Being a translator, if you are keen on getting into subtitling and do not know much about it, the information provided over here should help you understand better and aid in deciding whether it is a career option that you need to take.
First and foremost, you should understand that being a translator for doing the subtitling is just a part of the entire subtitling process. Subtitling involves a total of three steps that include translation, spotting and burning. Let us understand what each one is.
Translation involves translating the language in the audio to the language required for subtitling and bringing it in the text format. This process requires the skill sets of the translator. Most times, the translator does not use the actual audio but uses a master file that has already been spotted and presented in a text file.
The master file is used by different sets of translators to translate in different languages for subtitling. The advantage of this method is that the master file provides a common basis on which many translators can work and the spotting needs to be done only to the master file and helps in saving a lot of time and money.
Spotting refers to the process of recording the time of the subtitle to correspond exactly with the audio. This can be done by a person who knows both the languages, the language in the audio as well as the translated language to a good extent. This process is performed by the translator sometimes but mostly it is done by other technicians in the field.
The last step involves the burning of the prepared subtitles to correspond to the audio. This involves the burning of the subtitles using some good software and other equipment. This is generally done by a technician who has the infrastructure to do so and is generally not the work of the translator.
Before jumping into the bandwagon of subtitling, you need to remember that competition is killing the money paid to translators doing subtitling. Although the gloss and thrill of being involved with movies and such could be very enticing, you need to weigh all the pros and cons before taking up this as a career.