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Logistics & Budgetary Impact of Additional Language Subtitle Tracks

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Nov 27 13 6:58 PM

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I have done some checking, and it turns out that Blu-Ray can handle up to 32 subtitle tracks. Since the current plan is to have both color and monochrome variants of the subtitles, and we have both English and French subtitle tracks, this means that we could potentially support 14 additional languages.

Creating a new subtitle track is pretty easy -- it mostly just involves taking the English subtitle description text file (which uses AnimEigo's proprietary subtitle description language) and replacing the English dialogue with the new language, plus doing some layout tweaks as required if a subtitle becomes too long. Assuming that the translation is a volunteer effort, the major budgetary impact of doing an extra language track is some extra time on my part helping with the QC effort (creating and distributing test runs of the subtitles) and a minor increase in authoring cost. I'd estimate the expenses in the range of $500-$1000 per language.

One interesting twist is that extra language tracks can more than pay for themselves. If the cost is $1000 but adding a language results in 75 extra Basic backers signing up, then that would add more than $1000 back into the Basic budget.

If you are interested in taking on the challenge of creating a subtitle track for your native language -- and doing the PR work in your local community to get people to sign up once the commitment is made -- then step forward and declare yourselves. Ideally each track should be done by a small team that can share the work and cross-check each other.

Work on additional tracks could begin as early as Mid-December, since it can start as soon as each individual episode's English track has gone through initial timing/proofreading QC, which should begin sometime next week if the stars align.

Last Edited By: madoverlord Nov 28 13 2:56 AM. Edited 1 time

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#1 [url]

Nov 28 13 12:29 AM

Japanese Subtitles (日本語の字幕)

What about adding the Japanese language subtitles? Are there any already available or would those have to be made from the ground up?

I could help do a German translation/correction of the subtitles. Though I would prefer working with original Japanese subs to get an accurate translation done and only use the English subs to cross-check.

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#4 [url]

Nov 28 13 3:46 AM

madoverlord wrote:
There are no Japanese-language subtitles, so they'd have to be made from scratch. We *might* have the original scripts still.



That would be great. Could a Japanese subtitle track be made from them? Otherwise, I can probably transcribe the text from the OVAs with the help of some Japanese students I know and then translate.
I'd be very interested in doing that :)

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#6 [url]

Nov 28 13 8:54 AM

Like I have discussed with Robert through emails, I'm in for Italian subtitles.

I totally agree with Deruji that, for quality reasons, having the Japanese dialogues transcribed is mandatory. The remaining problem would be checking the accuracy of the various translations.

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#7 [url]

Nov 28 13 12:22 PM

No, I don't think that Japanese subtitles are mandatory for quality reasons; that doesn't really make sense. I've got no problem with extra subtitle tracks, but the Japanese ones seem like a waste of resources; any extra subtitles should be for languages that expand the potential audience of the set (practically ANY other language would be a better choice).

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#8 [url]

Nov 28 13 1:22 PM

Glorian - Japanese scripts may not be necessary to put into subtitle form on the discs, but they're mandatory for people making additional translations to be able to check against the original. Otherwise you start getting into the "translation of a translation of a translation" problem as more languages are added.

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#10 [url]

Nov 29 13 8:13 AM

Thanks go to Robert, I'll be in the German subtitle group.

Für alle deutschen Unterstützer, die das lesen und bei den Untertiteln mithelfen wollen, schickt mir bitte eine PM

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#14 [url]

Dec 2 13 7:46 AM

I have checked, and we only have printed scripts for #2 and #8. I further inquired with the licensor, and they don't have any scripts. So the translations will have to be done without that support.

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#15 [url]

Dec 2 13 7:52 AM

madoverlord wrote:
I have checked, and we only have printed scripts for #2 and #8. I further inquired with the licensor, and they don't have any scripts. So the translations will have to be done without that support.

A good ear and a Japanese dictionary are essential tools then.

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#17 [url]

Dec 2 13 9:03 AM

Bad news indeed. I've spent some time searching on the Japanese side of the web, but there's no way to find a transcription... which is only logical, being that we're talking of a 1987-91 product. As far as I can remember, Bubblegum Crisis gets linguistically complicated only in technical parts, yet having written scripts could make the difference.

KithKanan: if these subtitles do exist, then our problem is solved: we rip them and go. Could you please check that?

The other option is to start begging on every Japanese anime community for some mothertongue willing to transcribe the dialogues of the missing OVAs for us.

Last Edited By: Riccardo Dec 2 13 9:07 AM. Edited 1 time.

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#18 [url]

Dec 2 13 9:13 AM

Riccardo - I'll take a look when I can get at my BGC R2s - may take a day or few, I'm not sure exactly where they're hiding right now. I really need to take some time and organize my collection again. :/

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#19 [url]

Dec 2 13 11:22 AM

Riccardo wrote:
Bad news indeed. I've spent some time searching on the Japanese side of the web, but there's no way to find a transcription... which is only logical, being that we're talking of a 1987-91 product. As far as I can remember, Bubblegum Crisis gets linguistically complicated only in technical parts, yet having written scripts could make the difference.

KithKanan: if these subtitles do exist, then our problem is solved: we rip them and go. Could you please check that?

The other option is to start begging on every Japanese anime community for some mothertongue willing to transcribe the dialogues of the missing OVAs for us.

I had already thought about that option, I know several Japanese students here at university. I can probably get them to help write down the dialogue, though I can't say what the time frame will be right now, since they usually have busy schedules during the day.

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#20 [url]

Dec 2 13 12:39 PM

KithKanan wrote:
Riccardo - I'll take a look when I can get at my BGC R2s - may take a day or few, I'm not sure exactly where they're hiding right now. I really need to take some time and organize my collection again. :/

Please do, that would be a great help.

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