by Daniela Costa
March: Jorge Díaz Cintas
Jorge Díaz Cintas needs no introduction. He’s a renowned author in the AVT field, and I talked with him about his new book, Subtitling: Concepts and Practices. Jorge told us how this book was born and what it took to make it happen. The book contains exercises and access to software like Ooona and Wincaps, and it’s a perfect combination of reading and technology. We discussed the role of technology and how working in the cloud helps companies provide their services faster, but also how it can make language professionals feel disconnected from their peers since everything is more automated. Jorge thinks there’s room for improvement and now that technology plays such a vital role in the translation process we’ll see more changes in the near future. We also addressed the differences between Ooona Pro and Ooona Create, and how these two versions of the software are useful in different stages of audiovisual translation.
We then moved on to discuss the role of machine or assisted translation in subtitling. Jorge believes that “there’s some mileage to go with some of the technology.” He concluded that machine translation is still experimental and is made available to translators as an alternative that can be used or not, depending on your specific needs.
Another interesting topic was the growing trend to translate foreign content using English as a pivot language and how template creators should be experienced translators who understand the nuances of the original language because, as Jorge puts it, “it does require a flair for the language”.
Jorge also told us about the Ooona Pool, a directory or platform where language professionals can register and companies can seek the talent they need.
April: Chris Fetner
Chris Fetner is the managing director of the Entertainment Globalization Association. This new initiative advocates for specific actors in the industry, including translators.
The association is focused on education, advocacy, standardization, and outreach, and brings together all stakeholders in the audiovisual industry. Chris talked about membership and stressed the fact that you don’t have to be a seasoned translator to join the organization. In fact, there’s an interesting fellowship program aimed at people who are newer in their careers, with 5 to 10 years of experience.
The most interesting feature is that fellows travel to EGA headquarters in Los Angeles and have meetings with the Hollywood creative community. As Chris said, “All of the translators are basically rewriting scripts. So wouldn’t it be great if they could be a little bit more connected to the original version writers?”
Chris also stressed the fact that filmmakers should be more aware of the localization process, and that that’s one of the association’s goals. He described it beautifully: “localization is an extension of their art.”
EGA also features a directory of companies and individual members, and job opportunities are posted on the Association’s website.
Last but not least, Chris told us about a licensing program, which started with a short film entitled Spirits of Greenwood Cemetery. He told us about how this idea was brought to life and their plans to licence more films in the future.
May: Kate Edwards
Kate Edwards is an experienced geographer and cartographer who introduced us to the world of culturalization. She told us about her beginnings and how she started working for Microsoft as a cartographer for the Encarta encyclopedia.
There she was able to explore culturalization, focused not only on language as a way of communication but also on symbols, colors, gestures, icons, etc.
As she explained it, “localization is a subset of culturalization” and “culturalization digs deeper not only to language but also to symbols, color usage, design and the use of themes.”
After leaving Microsoft, Kate founded her own company, Geogrify, which provides consulting services for the videogame and software industry.
Kate has worked on AAA video games and gave us very illustrative examples of how a simple gesture, a set of words or an image may be offensive in other cultures. We discussed the use of religion, even fictional ones, and how sensitive issues should be addressed to make content available in different markets.
We also talked about the role of the International Game Developers Association, which Kate chaired from 2012 to 2017, and how she created the Localization Special Interest Group, where localization stakeholders meet and share their experiences and concerns.
Kate’s stories about culturalization errors and their impact on different markets are fascinating, and this opened our eyes to the importance of cultural elements in audiovisual materials.
All in all, we had a great time with these three guests and there’s much more to come, so stay tuned for our next IG lives.
To watch these interviews in full, follow the Division’s Instagram account, @ata_avdivision, and watch them on IGTV or go to our dedicated page to access direct links to each interview. See you next time!