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noreign 2007-05-20 14:46

A Timming Issue
Don't you hate it when a line flashes by too quickly and you can't finish reading it? I've realized a lot of groups time the sub lines in accordance to the characters' voices. This is all good, yet sometimes a character speaks too quickly, or she/he says a short phrase which has a long translation, and then problems arise.

I personally prefer the lines to linger untill I can finish reading them comfortably, regardless of voice synchronization. So, I was wondering... What's the "correct" way to time? Is there any sort of convention among fansubbers? What does everyone think about this issue?

False Dawn 2007-05-20 15:09

First things first: I don't think there's such a thing as a "convention" in fansubbing.

Resolving the issue is usually done one of two ways though: either extending lead-in, lead-out (depends on the situation) or getting the editor to try to reduce the number of words in the sentence. A third, half-fix, is to make use of /N to split one long line into two short ones on the screen because it's actually quicker to read the short lines than the long line, though that works in very few situations.

Which one you decide on depends on the circumstances usually, however. After you've been timing for a while, you pick up some kind of sense of what will work in what situation, though even then, it can be difficult - especially as Japanese can be a lot more concise with their words than we can in English.

Harukalover 2007-05-20 15:10

If you let the line linger you get bitched at for letting it sit for so long.

If you flash the line it doesn't fit certain timer standards and you get bitched at by those timers.

Go for the middle ground and win!

jfs 2007-05-20 17:45

If there is a very quick exchange of words, with several short lines said in succession, perhaps do it the "professional" way (think DVD, TV broadcast) with two characters' lines in one subtitle. Like:

- Heard that?
- Yeah, something fell.
I realise this is not very common, but it might actually be easier to read.

False Dawn 2007-05-20 19:41

I've only actually come across one fansubbing group that's ever done that, and it was for a live-action film :D

If it's quick, joining the lines so that one starts when the one before it finishes usually solves problems with flashing. Though it looks a bit weird if the lines are almost the same, but not quite like "That's him." and "That's him?" -- the punctuation changing but the words staying the same isn't an easy one for the eye to understand straightaway.

noreign 2007-05-20 20:05

Thanks for the information, False Dawn. Those solutions you describe are really practical, which is why I'm surprised about not coming across them very often. I've seen a reasonable ammount of subs which disregard everything but voice-synch as timing criteria. So, I guess what I'm trying to do is increase awareness of this situation... And now that you mention that two-lines-in-one method, I'm wondering why it isn't used in fansubs. It would be fairly convenient (like in situations as the one described in the previous post ^).

Crovax 2007-05-20 20:23

When things in conversation get confusing like that, and leadout isn't an option due to conversation following shortly after, I feel consideration should be given to displaying the 2nd line whilst the 1st line's leadout is still going on, but giving it a secondary colour.
(yellow instead of white for example)

Of course, if such a situation happens more than once in one scene or more than 2-3 lines consecutively, you have to take care to let yellow always be the same person in that scene. Though said person doesn't always have to be yellow, only in the double-line instances.

Though jfs's example of using hyphen to denote different pieces of conversation would work as well.

Shounen 2007-05-23 02:11

Timers should learn how to properly use lead-in and lead-out. Or.. the edior(s) should make the lines shorther... so you can, (depending on how fast you can read the lines) read the lines and understaning what there saying in a way without losing to much info

(tho i bet all of you dont even undestand at all what there sayin, maybe some words here and there)

But make the lines smoother, and it should work.

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