Many of you might have observed that even though the translation in subtitles is quite good you often have great difficulty in reading through it and following the plot of what you are viewing. This is because the person placing the subtitles has just put them in without giving any consideration to certain important aspects of subtitling.
While burning subtitles after a translation, it is important to keep in mind a few things in mind such that it becomes easy for the viewer to read the subtitles easily and follow what is being conveyed. The translation should be concise and apt and communicate what needs to be understood as simple as possible.
For easy reading it is important not to place too many characters in a line while subtitling. Also, it is important to bear in mind the average speed at which the viewers can read through the subtitles, yet it should match the speed at which things are transpiring on the screen.
As grammar is important to any translation, proper division of the lines is necessary for subtitling. This enables the viewer to read through the subtitles with ease and yet can see what is happening on the screen. If proper division of lines is not maintained, it will just end up like a jumble of sentences causing undue confusion to the viewer.
If the entire text cannot be placed in one line, then the division of lines has to be performed. The best way to divide lines is after a punctuation mark and prior to conjunctions (and, because, or, etc) and prepositions (for, in, on, etc). A few other things to remember is not to break down names, abbreviations, numbers, phrases, etc that will make it difficult for the viewer to understand what is being conveyed.
The best method to follow while subtitling is to think of whether the target audience will be able to read through your subtitles in the manner in which they are appearing along with following the events on screen.