Supplementals & Marketing Assets Timed Text Style Guide


I. General Requirements


1. Duration

  • Minimum duration: ⅚ (five-sixths) second per subtitle event (e.g. 20 frames for 24fps; 25 frames for 29.97fps).
  • Maximum duration: 7 seconds per subtitle event.

2. File Format
Text assets must be delivered in TTML (.dfxp, .xml, .ttml) format.

3. Frame Gap
2 frames minimum (regardless of frame rate)

4. Glyph List
Only text/characters included in the NETFLIX Glyph List (version 2) can be used. 

5. Line Treatment

2 lines maximum

Always keep the text on one line, unless it exceeds the character limitation. Follow these basic principles when the text has to be broken into 2 lines:

  • The line should be broken
    • after punctuation marks
    • before conjunctions
    • before prepositions
  • The line break should not separate
    • a noun from an article
    • a noun from an adjective
    • a first name from a last name
    • a verb from a subject pronoun
    • a prepositional verb from its preposition
    • a verb from an auxiliary, reflexive pronoun or negation

6. Positional Data
Should be expressed in generic terms (textAlign, displayAlign, etc.) or percentage values. Do not use pixel values. All subtitles should be center justified and placed at either the top or bottom of the screen.

7. Timing

  • Timing to Audio: Subtitles should be timed to the audio or, if necessary, within 3 frames of the audio. If more time is required for better reading speed, the out-time can be extended up to 12 frames past the timecode at which the audio ends.
  • Timing to Shot Changes: It is good practice to avoid subtitles that cross the shot changes whenever possible, as this is disruptive to the viewing experience.
  • Dialogue that crosses shot changes: when dialogue crosses the shot change the timecodes should be adjusted to either be at the shot change or at least 12 frames from it.

If dialogue starts between 8-11 frames (green zone) before the shot change, the in-time should be moved up to 12 frames before the shot change.

If dialogue starts 7 frames or less (red zone) before the shot change, the in-time should be moved to the shot change.

 

If dialogue ends between 8-11 frames (green zone) after the shot change, the out-time should be moved out to 12 frames after the shot change.

  

If dialogue ends 7 frames or less (red zone) after the shot change, time code out should be moved to the shot change, unless in the case of a subsequent subtitle, as described below.

If there is one subtitle before and one after the shot change, the second one should start on the shot change, and the first should end two frames before.

8. KNP Consistency
Please seek available KNPs to ensure consistency with localized show content. Please reach out to your Netflix Representative if there are questions.

9. Netflix Credit Translations
Translations for Netflix Originals title cards must be included in full and forced subtitle streams.  The subtitle should be timed to match the exact duration of the on-screen Original credit if possible.

10. Title Cards/Dedications
Subtitle all plot pertinent and otherwise relevant on-screen text that is not covered in dialogue and/or redundant in the target language such as: “Based on True Events”, “In Loving Memory of Jane”, etc.

11. Currency
Currency should not be converted in the subtitle files. Any mention of money amounts in dialogue should remain in the original currency.

12. Translator Credits
Please do not include translator credits for supplemental and marketing assets with runtime under 5 minutes. For assets with runtime over 5 minutes, please reach out to your Netflix Representative.


II. Stylistic Requirements



1. Acronyms
Follow your language specific guidelines according to the respective Timed Text Style Guide.

2. Character Limitation
Follow your language specific guidelines according to the respective Timed Text Style Guide.

3. Continuity  
Follow your language specific guidelines according to the respective Timed Text Style Guide.

4. Documentary  
Follow your language specific guidelines according to the respective Timed Text Style Guide.

5. Dual Speakers
Follow your language specific guidelines according to the respective Timed Text Style Guide.

6. Font Information
Follow your language specific guidelines according to the respective Timed Text Style Guide.

7. Narrative Subtitles

  • FN translation should match the localized graphics.
  • Any instance of on-screen text relevant to the plot (whether set element or text added in post) should be included. When on-screen text and dialogue overlap, precedence should be given to the most plot pertinent message. Avoid over truncating or severely reducing reading speed in order to include both dialogue and on-screen text.
  • Please ensure forced narratives are positioned accordingly to avoid overlap with onscreen text. In cases where overlap is impossible to avoid (text at the top and bottom of screen), the subtitle should be placed where easier to read.
  • Forced narratives should be in ALL CAPS. In order to improve readability, mixed case can also be used for long passages of on screen text (e.g., long written passages used as prologue or epilogue).
  • Never combine a forced narrative with dialogue in the same subtitle.
  • When a forced narrative interrupts dialogue, use your language specific guidelines.

8. Foreign Dialogue 

  • Foreign dialogue should only be titled if the viewer was meant to understand it. When in doubt, please check with the Production and/or appropriate Netflix Representative.
  • Please follow the usual treatment for foreign words or phrases for your language (italics, translation, transliteration).

  • When using foreign words, always verify spelling, accents, and punctuation, if applicable.

  • Unfamiliar foreign words and phrases should be italicized, if applicable for your language. A foreign dialogue exchange should not be italicized.

9. Italics
Follow your language specific guidelines according to the respective Timed Text Style Guide.

10. Italics
Maximum two lines. 

11. Quotes
Follow your language specific guidelines according to the respective Timed Text Style Guide.

12. Numbers
Follow your language specific guidelines according to the respective Timed Text Style Guide.

13. Reading Speed
Follow your language specific guidelines according to the respective Timed Text Style Guide.

14. Repetitions 

  • Do not subtitle words or phrases repeated more than once.
  • If the repeated word or phrase is said twice in a row, time subtitle to the audio but subtitle only once.

15. Songs

  • Do not subtitle song lyrics.
  • For SDH:
    • Use a generic ID to indicate and describe ambient music (e.g., rock music playing over a stereo).
    • Please use song title identifiers when applicable - song titles should be in quotes:  e.g. ["Forever Your Girl" playing]

16. Titles

  • Main titles: please refer to the Master Marketing Translations document to see if the main title should be translated for your language. Your A/V Producer, Content Localization Specialist, or QC Coordinator will provide access to this document if necessary.
  • Titles of published works, existing movies and TV shows: use official or well-known translations. If none are available, please follow the usual treatment for your language (leave in the original, translation, or transliteration).

17. Special Instructions 

  • Dialogue must never be censored. Expletives should be rendered as faithfully as possible, unless specifically instructed to create a “safe” (expletive-free) trailer for all audiences.
  • Plot-pertinent dialogue always takes precedence over background dialogue.
  • Deliberate misspellings and mispronunciations should not be reproduced in the translation unless plot pertinent.
  • Do not translate onomatopoeia (sound words) that the general audience would understand (e.g. wow, ouch…) when used in isolation. 

18. SDH Guidelines

  • Include as much of the original content as possible.
  • Do not simplify or water down the original dialogue.
  • Truncating the original dialogue should be limited to instances where reading speed and synchronicity to the audio are an issue.
  • Use brackets [ ] to enclose speaker IDs or sound effects.
  • Only use speaker IDs or sound effects when they cannot be visually identified.
  • Use a generic ID to indicate and describe ambient music (e.g., rock music playing over a stereo).
  • Sound effects should be plot pertinent.
  • Never italicize speaker IDs or sound effects 

 

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