General procedure for transcription/translation/subtitling

Discussion in 'Translation and Text Composition Projects' started by Ann O'Nymous, May 16, 2008.

  1. Ann O'Nymous Member

    General procedure for transcription/translation/subtitling

    - Now that we have been through a certain number of cases, I would like to propose a general procedure to cope with this type of work. I will treat the longest case (subtitling a video), but it fits most cases.

    We are put, or put ourselves, into rather high pressure situations and this leads sometimes to results that are slightly below what we could have with a little extra effort or time.

    In this type of voluntary and decentralized work, communication is vital for success.

    IMO, all tasks described below can be handled on this forum. Sometimes, people decentralize on another site. It is OK as long as information and feed-back are provided here.

    I used part of this document (

    Suggestions to improve what follows are welcome.

    0. Before the start
    0.1 Original document and objective
    The original document can take different forms: video or audio file(s), a text. The first question is: what are we going to do with it? A transcription, a translation, producing subtitles?
    IMHO, the answer to this question should not keep us from following all the steps, in order to avoid future double work. For instance, if the objective is to produce English subtitles of a French video, the production of a French transcript is not compulsory, but it will be helpful if someone else whishes to produce German subtitles. It takes some extra time, but it is worth it; possibly, the production and publication of the final transcript and/or translation could be delayed after the publication of the subtitled video.
    0.2 Responsibility of the OP author
    The person who creates a new thread should consider themselves as the project manager and should be a native speaker of the language of the original document. This person should define the objective(s), organize the work, support and motivate those who join the project.
    The OP should be the place where people can get information about the status of the project, if help is needed, the timetable, etc. I put at the bottom of this message a proposal for any OP.

    1. Transcription
    1.1 Making the original document available to all
    If the document is not already published somewhere, someone should take care of it. When dealing with a video, publishing the audio is often enough.
    1.2 Organizing the transcription work
    If the OP is well organized, the transcription work is up to each person in charge of a segment (Look at the thread mentioned above for tips, and at the end of this message for an example).
    1.3 Preparing the final version
    Preparing the final version is mainly putting together the segments (if necessary) and ensure the consistency of the whole (initials, number of stars for “f***”, etc.).
    1.4 Publishing the final version
    The final version of the transcript can take different forms (PDF, html, txt). Ensure that the format can be easily used by others for further use.
    Add a link in the OP.

    2. Translation

    2.1 Making the source available to all
    If the translation is based on a transcript, look above. If not, ensure that the source is available to all.
    2.2 Organizing the translation work
    See 1.2.
    2.3 Preparing the final version
    The consistency check (if necessary) can be done by anybody. The language check should performed by a native speaker of the destination language. If nobody volunteered so far, post a request in the corresponding section of the translation sub-forum (Translation and Text Composition Projects - Activism Forums) or contact by PM one or more people from the translators’ list (
    See also 1.3.
    2.4 Publishing the final version
    See 1.4. According to the importance of the document, a new thread might be created.

    3. Subtitling
    As this work is often performed by a single person, the coordination effort is limited.

    4. Time management tips
    4.1 Resist time pressure
    People are often very impatient to get the information you are going to provide. Resist their demands by providing a reasonable date for publication. Within the project team, try to avoid adding to much time pressure on the others
    4.2 Plan ahead
    When you take care of a specific task, try do define when you will be able to do it and report it. So, the other tasks can be adapted accordingly. In the other hand, knowing when others will be finishing their task can help you plan yours.
    4.3 Quit instead of delaying
    If, for some reason, you cannot do what you said you would, report ASAP. Someone else could be in a position to do it quicker. As volunteers, we should not be ashamed to do that.
    1.3 Preparing a final version of the transcript

    5. Example of OP

    Objective: Transcription / Translation / Subtitling / Other
    Phases: Phase 1, 2, 3, … (if necessary
    Phase: X (if necessary)
    Specific site: Link (if necessary)
    Availability of the original document: Who and status
    Original document: Short description with names, dates, length/duration, etc. (+ link)
    Preliminary timetable: Deadline of each task
    Roster: If necessary, segment the document and mention who does what (page 1, 2, 3, … or 0-5, 5-10, 10-15 minutes, …), deadline, double-checking if meaningful, and status (done).
    Harmonization and preparation of final version: Consistency check/ Language check (who and status)
    Final document: Name (+link)

    6. Example of transcript/translation

    Description of the document
    Segment (if necessary)
    People involved (if initials are used below; useful e.g. in an interview)
    XX: Blah blah blah
    XX: Blah blah blah [11:00] Blah blah blah [12:00]
    YY: Blah blah blah [13:00] Blah blah blah [14:00] Blah blah blah [15:00]
    YY: Blah blah blah
    (The last sentence before the beginning and the first after the end of the segment facilitate the preparation of the final document.)
  2. indeedindeed Member

    Re: General procedure for transcription/translation/subtitling

    what has happened here?
    That was a very useful post.
  3. TrevAnon Member

  4. Ann O'Nymous Member

    Re: General procedure for transcription/translation/subtitling

    Just for the record: going to the thunderdome was not a problem in itself.

    What I cannot accept is that a mod can modify a post without leaving a trace of it (official answer from an admin).

    I don't want that what I did to be misused, so I removed most of it.

    I am sorry if it creates inconveniences for you.
  5. its.an0nym0us Member

    Re: General procedure for transcription/translation/subtitling

    Stop bawing and get back to work ebery1!
  6. indeedindeed Member

    Re: General procedure for transcription/translation/subtitling

    There certainly was a big possibility advice on transcription/translating/subtitling would be misused. Such information can be very dangerous in the wrong hands.

    But I understand your point of view. Should you want to repost it, don't hesitate, as it really was helpful. Thanks a lot for the work you've done so far. seriously.
  7. its.an0nym0us Member

    Re: General procedure for transcription/translation/subtitling

    It was not about amateur transcriptions. Ann has her panties in a bunch because she got made fun of for hating on the Breaking News section and being argumentative instead of constructive in a discussion.
    All of her posts were deleted because this argument later led to a successful prank where Ann is CONVINCED that the mods are editing all of her posts. Don't fucking feel sorry for her.

    Fuck, even if that version of the truth is wrong, I'd still say that this is very useful with or without her. And will happen with or without her. So if you are interested in helping with transcriptions, head to a current transcription thread and pick up on it.
  8. Ann O'Nymous Member

    Re: General procedure for transcription/translation/subtitling

  9. TakeAnonMe Member

    Re: General procedure for transcription/translation/subtitling

    Hi Ann,
    This is the 2nd time I've returned the original content of your posts. They're informative and provide help to the community. Deleting content does not help Chanology; please don't do it again.
  10. indeedindeed Member

    Re: General procedure for transcription/translation/subtitling

    thanks for replacing the content.
    sure it will go on with or without Ann O'Nymous, I'd just prefer with. That's all.
  11. Ann O'Nymous Member

    Re: General procedure for transcription/translation/subtitling

    Sorry, I deleted it again before reading your message. I won't do it again.

    But, from my point of view, the content is mine. It would be clearer if somebody was copying it in another post (e.g. quote).

    At least, I kindly ask you to use the comment line so that is is clear that this is not my action.
  12. its.an0nym0us Member

    Re: General procedure for transcription/translation/subtitling

    Take the lovefest elsewhere.
  13. indeedindeed Member

    Re: General procedure for transcription/translation/subtitling

    nothing of that sort. the more content is added, the better. I don't care about the drama.

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