How do we feel about some so-called translation projects that, when digging a bit deeper, actually involve transcription and translation and a whole lot of extra work?

I don't know if these are very common but lately I have been translating subtitles for a couple of videos. At first, it looks like a pretty straightforward task: you play fragments of the video to follow the context and then translate that part, checking back to see if everything makes sense in the context of the video.

But what happens when the source texts are not proper subtitles, but rather automatic closed captions of the video? This means that pretty much all the time they are incorrect, incoherent, badly put together, unintelligible, etc., which forces one to play the video a million times to try and decipher what it's being said and then translate it so it makes sense? What if the audio quality of the source video or the speaker’s speech is so bad that making out what it's being said takes one 10 times longer than usual and the transcribed texts are gibberish?

I do not intend to refer to specific projects, I just wanted to see if anybody here has ever encountered these kinds of projects and what your approach to them is.


1 comment

  • 0

    I actually avoided those collections right after seeing the preview text. So basically, that's my approach ;-)

    Watching a video for context for every sentence is likely to slow you down a great deal even when the original text is well done - which is bad if you still get the same rate per word. I might consider these jobs if they were paid by the hour or if I was really-really good at them, but I'm afraid none of the two conditions is met...

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