Subtitling services can pose unique challenges as the translation of the audio text can be longer than the source text. This causes the technical difficulty of synchronizing the superimposed text with the audio in the video. Ideally, you would take the entire translation and superimpose it along with spoken audio from the video. However, as this is not always possible, it is necessary to modify and condense the translated text while taking into consideration the normal reading speeds and the complexity of the content.
As subtitling is part of the post-production process, the original video cannot be modified, making the subtitling service a critical element in this process.
It is important to have experts in both subtitling and translations to ensure that the text conveys the right message and that it conforms with the technical specifications of the video, respecting all the common metrics of the target viewer.
Loss or change of meaning also happens because the written text cannot transfer all the nuances of the spoken language. Unlike the printed page, the changing screen does not allow the viewer to re-read a line, which disappears in a few seconds. Audiences have to divide the viewing time between two different activities, reading the subtitles while at the same time watching the moving picture. Thus, subtitling has created not only a new form of translation, but also new reading processes and audiences. This type of reading demands different literacy skills, which are often effectively acquired in the process of viewing.