Subtitles

After gaining my degree in Translation Studies, I started to grow my interest in subtitling. Software tools like VisualSubSync, Subtitle Workshop and Aegisub help me create and synchronize subtitles in various formats (.srt might be the most common one, but .ass gives you very advanced formatting options), and I’m also very familiar with Amara.org – an on-line platform designed for making subtitles for YouTube.

If you want subtitles that are easy to read, neither slow nor fast, and do not overburden you viewers by being too comprehensive, there are simple rules regarding the number of characters per second and per line, timing, line breaks, and positioning on the screen.

I have gone through extensive courses on stylistics and contrastive linguistics and gained skills for recognizing structures and expressions that do and don’t sound good when used with spoken language.

My interest in subtitling and audiovisual media led me to pursue my master’s in Media Studies at Charles University, Prague. In my diploma thesis, I researched popular science channels on YouTube.

I have subtitled many educational videos for VerbalizeIt and Khan Academy – those about astrophysics and space science were especially interesting! I also subtitled two short documentaries about green tea. These two also required transcriptions (I actually had a computer-made YouTube transcription, which was very inaccurate and had to be reviewed).

You can learn something new about green tea, too. English transcription can be switched to Czech subtitles in the lower left part of the Amara window below. Amara can’t move the subtitles away if they cover what’s happening on the screen (see 8:13). This is where you’d appreciate the options of the .ass format.