by Molly Yurick
As a translator specialized in travel and tourism, I saw the Covid-19 pandemic take my business from thriving to flatlining in the blink of an eye. In less than a year, I went from audiovisual newbie to seeing my name in the credits of my first subtitled film. In this session, I provided a detailed timeline and explanation of the steps I followed to diversify my business and transition from full-time translator to subtitler for the world’s largest streaming service in just a few months. I was pleased to see a full room at the conference, with lots of attendees standing in the back, and a good group of virtual attendees as well.
I started the session by defining audiovisual translation and media localization and then explained how they’re growing industries in need of professionals to meet demand. In this section, I emphasized that subtitling is just one piece of a very large puzzle that is the audiovisual translation world (alongside dubbing, script translation, audio description, and much more). I then briefly defined subtitling and how it can be broken into three main service offerings: CC/SDH subtitles, intralingual subtitles and interlingual subtitles.
The bulk of my session consisted of breaking my transition journey down into a step-by-step guide that audience members could follow to break into the subtitling market themselves. I emphasized that these were the steps that worked for me, and that there were probably many other ways to break into the field, too.
Step 1: I signed up for ATA’s Audiovisual Division mentoring program.
Step 2: I took a specialized subtitling course.
Step 3: I set up a rigorous marketing plan.
Step 4: I started working almost full time as a subtitler.
I wrapped up the session with a list of my favorite resources and opened up for questions. I finished my presentation much more quickly than expected, so I had over 30 minutes to answer questions from the audience, and there wasn’t a second to spare at the end. On-site and virtual attendees asked a wide array of interesting questions.
Molly Yurick is a Spanish>English translator, subtitler, and copywriter based in northern Spain. Specializing in tourism and hospitality translation, her subtitles can be found on the world’s largest streaming service. She serves as deputy chair of ATA’s Public Relations (PR) Committee and is also a member of ATA’s School Outreach Program and PR Writer’s Group.