6 Tips to Avoid Mishaps When Working on Arabic Subtitling

Languages such as Hebrew, Arabic,Farsi, Urdu etc. need special attention while translating from the target to source language. Subtitling for these languages can be challenging as these are written from right to left. However, with the advent of new technologies and robust language support, localization has become much more reliable and straightforward. Nevertheless, subtitle services for such languages need extra care and attention to detail. Subtitling is an art form that helps you recreate and express a certain dialogue and when you translate it, it makes it globally appealing to a larger group. Subtitles have created and will create a huge impact in the visual media industry. It has helped the audience enjoy international content.

In this blog we will talk about tips on how Arabic to English subtitling services can be of great use in acquiring the intended knowledge. It will also talk about ways one can avoid when translating from one language to another.

Control how and by whom your translations are done:

Let us keep in mind that files that undergo translation have to work only on computers that have access to proper language support. Saving Online Arabic subtitles files or encoding them can bring up new issues that are hard to rectify. Even am is placed space in the wrong place can create new issues. One should be very careful when tweaks are made into the time codes of the subtitles or the meta data. A subtitling company should be aware by hiring only linguistic experts who are well versed in the language. Their skills and high knowledge of the language will make it easier to provide excellent online Arabic subtitles.

Do not overload too many characters in a line:

This goes without saying when it comes to literal translation. Generally, the foremost issue of a subtitling service could be that of the reading speed and the screen space presence. When it is for difficult languages, overloading of characters in one line can only lead to confusion for the audience. One thing to remember in literal translation is to not overdo your text and keep it minimum. This way you will be able to provide and create a user-friendly understanding and will make it easier for people to enjoy what they watch.

Captions need your attention:

It is quite important to incorporate content like full address or a longer string of names in subtitles.Text issues can pop up mainly because it has directional changes and is very different from other languages. The subtitle translators must avoid breaking caption lines inside longer left to right phrases in order to help with readability. When you include captions in subtitles, cultural sensitivity can help to avoid misperception. Quoting wrong aspects can make get your audience riled up. 

 Avoid wrong speech style:

Subtitle companies give voice,personality and an outline to the person talking in the video. This means that you are creating an appropriate style for the speaker’s voice with your subtitle translation. Failure in doing so will not create coherence between what is being spoken and what one is displayed. Let us, for example, say that the video shows an old lady talking to a young man. The subtitle displayed below should reflect the same and not look like a 15-year-old girl talking to a 60-year-old man. It has to match the audio-visual final product.


Keep your lines minimal and make sure it does not disturb the image or video that is running on the screen. This is the thumb rule of subtitle placement. Subtitles should enter when the speaker talks and exit when the speaker finishes. This will help with right timing sense. Likewise, you can add more than 2 lines on the video if it doesn’t obscure the image. In general,only 2 lines are used on the bottom of the screen and the alignment is centered.

Be careful with line break issues:

Finally, remember that your subtitles have to be semantically self-contained. Semantics and syntax are two major parameters that determine the subtitle breaks. You should also keep in mind about punctuation.Arabic is a language that does not let you make punctuation errors. Question mark in Arabic is inverted and looks like this:  ؟

Since the sides are interchanged, punctuation have to be used carefully. Here is an example:

“Where is the manager?”أين المدير؟
“He is in the office”المدير في المكتب

Make sure that the punctuation in subtitles are consistent.  produce accurate subtitles for the Arabic language.

About the Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may also like these