The Life of a Subterranean Urban Subtitler

Hero Curve Element
The Life of a Subterranean Urban Subtitler

We decided to ask one of our regular Spanish subtitlers to tell us about their day-to-day life. Ana explained how she got into subtitling and told us a little about what the job involves.

Interviewer: So, Ana, how did you get into subtitling?

Ana: Well, after I finished my English degree, I did a masters in translation. I was working on a lot of English to Spanish translations, which I really enjoyed. Then the company who I was working with at the time offered me some Spanish transcription work. At first, I was just listening to Spanish and typing it out in Spanish, which was easy (but you had to type fast!) Then another company offered me some direct translation from Spanish into English. I listened to the Spanish files and I had to type the script into English. At first it was quite difficult, because I usually work into Spanish and not into English, but I got better and better at it, then I started subtitling which was something else?

Interviewer: So what was the difference?

Ana: Well, with subtitling, you have to use special software. The package I use is quite easy really, once you get used to it. The more you do it, the easier it gets, to be honest. And I suppose, well, you have to rephrase things and adjust things when you are producing subtitles, as they may be too long otherwise.

Interviewer: And is there anything else that proves problematic?

Ana: Usually, with the subtitling jobs, I am subtitling from Spanish into English, like I do with the transcriptions, so I am not subtitling into my native language, but into my second language. That’s a challenge and makes things more difficult. I always check my work though and it is double-checked and proofread by a native speaker too, so it all works out!

Interviewer: Excellent, thank you. And would you have any advice for anyone interested in becoming a subtitler?

Ana: Yes. Have a try! It’s a good skill to have and it’s quite fun in a geeky-kind-of-way.

Interviewer: Great, thanks for taking the time to talk to me.

Ana: Thank you.

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