5 Steps to Becoming a Subtitler

Anyone who’s enjoyed a TV series or a film understands the purpose of subtitles. They help the deaf audience enjoy movies, enable people to watch foreign films, and they explain the dialogue, which can sometimes be missed. These are also some of the reasons why many people want to start a career as a subtitler.

Posted on Dec 01, 2017 by Sophia Klippvik  | Tags: Subtitling, localization, blog, translation

Starting a career as a subtitler doesn’t have to be a difficult process. After speaking with our subtitlers, and hearing some great inside tips, here is a simple 5 step guide to starting a subtitling career.

Step 1: Have a love for language.

This is an important prerequisite, because a true language lover can play with the different degrees of depth of a language. When it comes to subtitling, it’s not just about translating the words, it’s about having an understanding of the context that is being translated. The ability to translate accurately without losing the original meaning of the content being translated.

5 steps to becoming a subtitler

Step 2: Decide which language or languages you want to specialize in and have at least one completed language class under your belt.

This is important because it will show you have concrete experience of the language you want to subtitle from and demonstrates that you have knowledge of the personality of that language.

5 steps to becoming a subtitler

Step 3: Take a course lecturing on the Theory of Translation.

One of our subtitlers said that this was important because this gives you an edge over the competition. Taking courses covering the theory of translation gives you a good theoretical foundation for the work. You will get a better understanding of what translation derives from as well as a deeper perspective.

5 steps to becoming a subtitler

Step 4: Get certified and familiarize yourself with the subtitling software used.

It’s important to get some sort of certification. Having credentials provides documentation that you have the skills required to translate professionally. Once you get into a university that offers professional certifications in translation, get familiar with the software subtitlers and translators use. Unless the certification program offers software training, make sure you find a course that helps you get familiarized, because translation software programs require knowledge to use if you want to take advantage of their full potential.

5 steps to becoming a subtitler

Step 5: Freelance or get an internship at a translation or localization company.

Once you are certified, start with some freelance work to get a feel for the different types of projects you will be working on or apply for an internship to build your CV. Both options will give you a hands-on start to your career.

5 steps to becoming a subtitler

BTI Studios is proud to be one of the largest localization companies specializing in translation subtitling and multi-language versioning among other localization and access services. This is thanks to our great team of over 4,000 language translators subtitling into more than 50 languages across our 21 global facilities. Our subtitlers have turned their passion for language into quality work, offering only the best linguistic translations.

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