Views/consensus on puncutation in subtitles?
Thread poster: Ruby Phelps

Ruby Phelps  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 00:39
Chinese to English
May 24

Hi all,

I'm new to subtitling and I apologise if this question has come up on these forums before! I understand there is some difference of views regarding whether or not you should include some kinds of punctuation in subtitles, and that these conventions vary by language/region. I'm thinking mainly about things like full stops/periods and commas at the ends of lines, rather than question marks or exclamation marks.

I translate from Chinese to English, and in Chinese
... See more
Hi all,

I'm new to subtitling and I apologise if this question has come up on these forums before! I understand there is some difference of views regarding whether or not you should include some kinds of punctuation in subtitles, and that these conventions vary by language/region. I'm thinking mainly about things like full stops/periods and commas at the ends of lines, rather than question marks or exclamation marks.

I translate from Chinese to English, and in Chinese it is standard to leave out lots of the punctuation, including most full stops, commas and so on.

Any views on the conventions in English?

If the client has no strong preference, or is unsure, do you think it is better to add the appropriate punctuation back in, or leave it out?
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Sarper Aman  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 19:39
Member (2019)
English to Turkish
+ ...
Guidelines May 24

Hello Ruby,

The answer is in your target language guideline which your vendor provides. I've didnt hear "leaving full stops out" in any English language guideline when a sentence requires a full stop but there are some instructions about commas, question marks and exclamation marks. As far as I experience, usually there are no strict rules using commas at the end of a line, if subtitle (dialogue) continues in the second line or in the next subtitle. But consistency matters. Commas,
... See more
Hello Ruby,

The answer is in your target language guideline which your vendor provides. I've didnt hear "leaving full stops out" in any English language guideline when a sentence requires a full stop but there are some instructions about commas, question marks and exclamation marks. As far as I experience, usually there are no strict rules using commas at the end of a line, if subtitle (dialogue) continues in the second line or in the next subtitle. But consistency matters. Commas, question marks, exclamation marks are treated different in songs. If your vendor didn't/doesn't provide you any guideline, you can refer to these two Netflix guidelines.

https://partnerhelp.netflixstudios.com/hc/en-us/articles/217350977-English-Timed-Text-Style-Guide

https://partnerhelp.netflixstudios.com/hc/en-us/articles/219375728-English-Template-Timed-Text-Style-Guide
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Aline Amorim
 

Ruby Phelps  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 00:39
Chinese to English
TOPIC STARTER
guidlines May 25

Sarper Aman wrote:

Hello Ruby,

The answer is in your target language guideline which your vendor provides. I've didnt hear "leaving full stops out" in any English language guideline when a sentence requires a full stop but there are some instructions about commas, question marks and exclamation marks. As far as I experience, usually there are no strict rules using commas at the end of a line, if subtitle (dialogue) continues in the second line or in the next subtitle. But consistency matters. Commas, question marks, exclamation marks are treated different in songs. If your vendor didn't/doesn't provide you any guideline, you can refer to these two Netflix guidelines.

https://partnerhelp.netflixstudios.com/hc/en-us/articles/217350977-English-Timed-Text-Style-Guide

https://partnerhelp.netflixstudios.com/hc/en-us/articles/219375728-English-Template-Timed-Text-Style-Guide



Hello Sarper,

Thanks a lot, these guides are just the kind of thing I need! My client didn't provide any guidlines whatsoever - I usually do regular document translations for them, and now just suddenly they also require some video.

Cheers


 


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