This is also my approach. I’m always mindful that what I edit needs to be easily accessible to other languages. If 80% of my work can meet this requirement, I’m happy. There will always be technical terms some words that cannot be simplified.
I also keep in mind that some people who speak English as a second language also watch the English subs. This is another reason that I aim for easy-to-understand English. My many years of teaching overseas students from Asian countries helps with this. Until I started subtitling, I didn’t realise that years of working with overseas students and explaining concepts to them in simple English would become a valuable subtitling skill.
Hi all! I’m a native English speaker and professional editor and proofreader looking for GE opportunities.
I enjoy watching K-dramas and C-dramas in my downtime, so I was excited to learn that there were contributor roles for people who don’t speak more than one language. I’m slowly (very slowly) teaching myself Korean, but for now I’m looking forward to contributing as a General Editor in English.
I’m in the process of starting my own editorial services company, and I have bachelor’s degrees in English and journalism, as well as a master’s degree in publishing with a specialization in editing.
Good job in writing here, and putting the info on your profile page as well. Now I would advise you to search the contributor pages of dramas and films and seek the names of English Chief Editors. Then write a personal message to all of them saying the above, and also that you don’t have a Viki Pass yet (you may get one for free after having contributed 3000 subtitles, which is about 3-4 drama episodes or a long film).
Don’t go to “Coming soon” dramas to specifically ask to work on that project, because the new ones almost always require Viki pass. Whereas an experienced Chief Editor will also have older projects which are free for everyone. Start with those (even if they are not exciting) until you become Qualified Contributor. This includes a Viki pass, as mentioned above, but also access to many other dramas which are not normally licensed in your region. Sadly not all, but many.
Hello! I am looking to become an English editor for any shows needing the help. I am a native English speaker and have a Bachelor’s degree in English. I have taken several writing courses and love the process of editing and proofreading. Let me know if I can help you out!
I really agree with everything here that you’ve written (not sure where this reply will end up on the page, so I mean all the things you wrote in your response to the ‘tortured language’ comment above).
Except I do find that often, the English used in subtitles isn’t international, but US-centric, and I think about all the other English-speakers, including me, who are watching and having to mentally translate those words.
Where there is a choice of word between BE and AE, we put AE, because most of the subbers (Ko-En, Chi-En, Jap-En) are mostly in America.
What I mean by “international” English is to avoid all idioms, words, acronyms and references that would be understandable only in the US.
Recently we had a sentence in “One The Woman” which used the word “jackshit”. The General Editor, who is Australian, didn’t even know what it meant, and I also had to look it up. We substituted it, which is sad because it’s very colourful and it matched the style of the character very well. Now the subtitle is bland and I’m still looking for a stronger alternative. But if the viewers have to scratch their heads and stop to go to a dictionary, that’s not good.
This doesn’t mean dumbing down and shunning less-used words. But this was particular to only one nation of all the ones who use English.
Let me make an example I remember vividly. I’ve already mentioned it in another thread, but let’s repeat it here because it is pertinent.
In “Legend of the Blue Sea”, someone comments on someone else’s tracksuit colour saying “What are you, Rudolf?” I was an OL mod in that show, so I went to TD and asked the CE if what was meant was Rudolf Valentino or Rudolf Nureyev, because the connection with the tracksuit didn’t make sense in either case. It was replied to me that they referred to a character well-known in the US, Rudolf the raindeer. I had never heard of him. I know Disney characters, I know the Simpsons, Charlie Brown, and a few other US characters, but my knowledge isn’t all-comprehensive. So the CE went and changed the sub because she figured that if I didn’t know him, many other international viewers who use English subs here would also be baffled.
By international English, I mean what irmar has explained below (I was also using their term from the previous comment). I think irmar makes an important and fair point - ‘US English to be used in subtitles’ shouldn’t be taken as ‘use US idioms and other language only those who live there or are familiar with it use or understand’. I think we could come upon a sort of international English that tries not to use any terms like that, but ones that are understood throughout the English-speaking world. Usually, there are options for the words we use, and an option can be chosen which is familliar to most. Sometimes, a word will only be used in the US, while all the other places use the same different version, or another word altogether. Like ‘Mom’. Does any other country say or spell it like that?
The division between British and US English is well-known because that’s what all the textbooks and other resources have. As though there are only two options! But in Australia, we use some terms from each, and some of our own. We don’t speak either British or US English. That would be the same for people in New Zealand, South Africa, and Canada. US English is very regional-specific, although it’s used in some places with historical or current ties to that country, such as Korea, as the preferred version.
I also thought Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is a character everyone knows. In India, we get cartoons and other entertainment from both the US and Europe, so that’s why we’re familiar with both. SK also seems to have both, because I’ve seen a lot of references to Teletubbies.
What did the speaker in LOTBS actually say, though? Did he say “Rudolph” or something else? If he actually said Rudolph, shouldn’t we just let it be? I’ve come across a lot of references to a very famous Chinese novel(Journey to the West) I had absolutely no idea about… We just add a TN because I thought we shouldn’t change proper names.
Dunno, I’m German, and we learned it at school, too. Furthermore, there are movies and other references nowadays. Maybe it wasn’t as famous back then in Europe, even though it’s rather old in the first place.
In fact, I mainly recognize the American references if American job positions etc. are used. For example, I translated a crime drama that had lots of references to the USA’s judiciary system. Lately, a CE stated that they decided to use “play the rogue” to express that someone’s a playboy. If I research the word in the dictionary, the meaning appears to be slightly different. Therefore, I was first confused and translated it wrongly into German.
When I first went for Jap - Eng translation, I tried to avoid misunderstandings due to the fact that in English, words have tons of different meanings. For example:
“He’s been off lately, and it hit me.”
The original text meant something like “He’s been behaving weirdly lately, and then I realized what’s up
with him”. But sometimes it’s rather easy to miss the meaning.
Or “The stub records the places” (part of a song). This was referring to the stub of a ticket that “records” the places the protagonists went to over time. But I first had to check some alternative translations since stub can refer to cigarettes, trees or whatever…
I agree. As a native English speaking GE, I find it very important to check idioms. Google is a brilliant resource. Just recently I came across the translation, “lucked out”.
I’m Australian, and I agree with the image above. If I use “lucked out” it means “bad luck” or “unlucky”. In Canada and the US, though, the phrase means “very good luck”. I wasn’t aware of this until Google told me! So here’s an idiom that can have opposite meanings depending on where a viewer lives. This makes it unsuitable for global subs. In this instance, I sought clarification with the TE so a sub could be written that would be understood equally well by everyone, whatever their geographic location.
Jumping on to offer my services as an English editor. I am a native speaker with a Bachelor’s degree in English and a love of all things grammar/syntax/spelling. I have sent in some subtitle corrections for a couple of shows for @cgwm808 and am looking to become more involved. Please feel free to message me if you need help in any way!
I’m not a native speaker, but I’ve been using English in my daily life for years now.
If you need any help, don’t hesitate to contact me! I’ll be happy to help you!
I’ve met some new people through the English editing teams.
I just spent half an hour searching the Team Discussion from five years ago on that show. It was
Episode 7 part 6 @53:33. The ML’s friend is wearing this deep red jumpsuit and the ML is pissed so he tells him to go and change.
“Hyung, you go and change your clothes as well! Are you Rudoph?”
Yes, he said the word “Rudolph” in Korean. And the editors didn’t change it in the end. So I put “Santa Claus” in my translation, because that would have been instantly recognized by everyone in my country, without a note.