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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

"I think that's his penis" and other Subtitling tales

Aoi came by last night to give us her final advice on subtitling. I've mentioned before that Aoi is a professional Subtitle Artist who came to me via a FEW contact, Christina. You gotta love the Japan network.

Subtitling is a complicated mathematical business as well as one of rhythm. You have to find the most concise way of saying things and also not leave the screen empty while the character natters on in his native language.

We joked about translating the Japanese into English. There are a lot of "verbal pauses" in Japanese similar to our "ums" and "ahs." And when Japanese people are speaking on screen, they tend to use the most polite form of the language, which can take about twice as long as the more base form (literally). Joking aside, Aoi is a true professional. We sorted it all out quickly and then spent the rest of the night drinking tea and chatting about Japanese cinema. As she does a lot of the subtitling of Japanese films entering the British market, she knows her stuff. Two films that she suggested we all see are: "Uchouten Hoteru" and "Kamome Shokudo" or "Seagul Diner. Happy hunting.

Oh, the "penis" reference in the title of this entry is one of the subtitles in Tokyo Cowboys. I guess you'll have to watch the film to find out more. And, get your minds out of the gutter, it's not what you think.

Picture from Here.