Romanian Timed Text Style Guide

1. Acronyms

  • Acronyms should be written without periods between letters: BBC, CIA, USA, UK

2. Character Limit

  • 42 characters per line.

3. Character Names

  • Do not translate proper names (e.g., Peter, Suzanne), unless Netflix provides approved translations.
  • Nicknames should only be translated if they convey a specific meaning.

4. Continuity

  • Do not use ellipsis when a sentence is split between two continuous subtitles.

                                     Subtitle 1    Am știut mereu
                                     Subtitle 2    că o să fii de acord cu mine în final.

  • Use ellipsis to indicate a pause or an abrupt interruption:

                                      A ezitat... în legătură cu slujba.

                                      - Voiam să-
ți spun că...
                                      - Nu mă interesează!

  • In the case of a pause, if the sentence continues in the next subtitle, DO NOT use an ellipsis at the beginning of the second subtitle.  

                         Subtitle 1    Dacă aș fi știut...
                         Subtitle 2    nu te-aș mai fi sunat.

  • Use ellipsis without a space to indicate mid-sentence pick-ups:

                                      ...semnat o înțelegere.

5. Documentary

  • Only translate a speaker’s title once, the first time the speaker appears in the documentary.
  • When ongoing dialogue is interrupted by a speaker’s title, use ellipses at the end of the sentence in the subtitle that precedes it and at the beginning of the sentence in the subtitle that follows it.

Subtitle 1     Dacă știam ce avea să urmeze…
Subtitle 2     CERCETĂTOR-ȘEF
Subtitle 3   ...nu aș fi procedat așa.

6. Dual Speakers

  • Use a hyphen followed by a space to indicate two speakers in one subtitle, with a maximum of one speaker per line.

                                       - Așteaptă!
                                       - Ai documentele?

  • When a sentence continues into a second subtitle that has two speakers, the hyphen indicating the first speaker would be followed by a space and an ellipses before the first letter of the dialog.

                                     Subtitle 1   L-ați văzut cumva pe Zdreanță,
                                     Subtitle 2   - ...cel cu ochii de faianță?
                                                        - Nu.

7. Font information

  • Font style: Arial as a generic placeholder for proportional SansSerif.
  • Font size: relative to video resolution and ability to fit 42 characters across the screen 
  • Font color: White

8. Forced Narratives

  • Forced narrative titles should only be included if plot-pertinent.
  • Forced narratives that are redundant (e.g., identical to onscreen text or covered in the dialogue) must be deleted.
  • Forced narratives should be in ALL CAPS, except for written passages (e.g., excerpts from books, magazines or newspapers, handwritten notes, social media messages and text messages), which must match the use of uppercase/lowercase as it appears on screen. 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 Forced Narratives with dialogue subtitles.
  • If at all possible, try to avoid interrupting a line of dialogue with a forced narrative.
  • When a forced narrative interrupts dialogue, use an ellipsis at the end of the sentence that precedes it and at the beginning of the one that follows it.

     

    Subtitle 1     Când poliția a ajuns la locuința suspectului...
    Subtitle 2     CRIMA CARE A ZGUDUIT ORAȘUL
    Subtitle 3     ...n-a mai găsit pe nimeni acolo.

     

9. Foreign Dialogue

  • Foreign dialogue should only be translated if the viewer was meant to understand it (i.e., if it was subtitled in the original version). 
  • When using foreign words, always verify spelling, accents and punctuation, if applicable. 
  • Foreign words should be italicized, unless they have become part of regular usage (e.g., in English, the following no longer need to be italicized: bon appétit, rendezvous, doppelgänger, zeitgeist, persona non grata) and unless they are proper names (e.g., a company name).

10. Italics

  • Italicize the following:
    • Album, book, film and program titles (for song titles, use quotes instead)
    • Foreign words (unless they are part of regular usage)
    • Dialogue that is heard through electronic media, such as a phone, television, or computer
    • Only use italics when the speaker is not in the scene(s), not merely off screen or off camera
    • Song lyrics (if rights have been granted)
    • Voice-overs
  • Do not use italics to indicate emphasis on specific words.

11. Line Treatment

  • Maximum two lines.

12. Numbers

  • From 1 to 10 written out: unu, doi, trei, etc. 
  • Above 10 written numerically: 11, 12, 13, etc.
  • When a number begins a sentence, it should always be spelled out.
  • Note that the above rules may be broken due to space limitations or reading speed concerns.
  • Measurements should be converted to the metric system unless the original unit of measurement is plot relevant.

13. Punctuation

  • There should NOT be a space before interrogation and exclamation marks.

14. Quotes

  • Use lower and upper double quotation marks („ ”) without spaces for regular quotations.
  • Use chevrons («») for quotes within quotes: „Steve a spus: «Totul e OK»”.
  • Quotation marks should be used at the start and end of a sentence and not at the start of every subtitle. 
  • Punctuation should be included within the quotation marks if the quote is an independent clause and outside if it’s not:

                                        „Eu îmi fac treaba și atât.”

                                        George Bush a declarat: „Irakul posedă
                                        arme de distrugere în masă!”

                                        M-a întrebat: „L-ați văzut cumva pe Zdreanță,
                                        cel cu ochii de faianță?”

                                        Ceva cunoscut
                                        sub denumirea de „magnetism”.

                                        Ce înțelege președintele Bush
                                        prin „arme de distrugere în masă”?

15. Reading Speed

  • Adult programs: 17 characters per second
  • Children’s programs: 13 characters per second

16. Repetitions

  • Do not translate words or phrases repeated more than once by the same speaker.

17. Songs

  • Only subtitle plot-pertinent songs if the rights have been granted
  • Italicize lyrics. 
  • Use an uppercase letter at the beginning of each line. 
  • Use ellipses when a song continues in the background, but is no longer subtitled to give precedence to dialogue. 
  • Punctuation: only question marks and exclamation marks should be used at the end of a line – no commas or periods. Commas can be used within the lyric line, if necessary. 

18. Titles

  • Main titles: do not subtitle the on-screen main title card.
  • Episode titles: do not subtitle episode titles if they do not appear on screen. If on-screen, either as part of the principal photography or burned into video, please obtain approved translations from Netflix.
  • Titles of published works, existing movies and TV shows: use official or well-known translations. If none are available, leave titles in the original language.

19. Special Instructions

  • All plot pertinent dialogue should be subtitled, and takes precedence over background dialogue.
  • Dialogue must never be censored. Expletives should be rendered as faithfully as possible.
  • Deliberate misspellings and mispronunciations should not be reproduced in the translation unless plot pertinent. 
  • For the characters Ș , ș, Ț, ț, the comma diacritical marks should be used. Do not use cedillas. 
Standard (Correct) Character Unicode
Uppercase S with Comma Ș U+0218
Lowercase s with Comma ș U+0219
Uppercase T with Comma Ț U+021A
Lowercase t with Comma ț U+021B
Legacy (Incorrect) Character Unicode
Uppercase S with Cedilla Ş U+015E
Lowercase s with Cedilla ş U+015F
Uppercase T with Cedilla Ţ U+0162
Lowercase t with Cedilla ţ U+0163

 

20. SDH Guidelines

  • Include as much of the original content as possible.
  • Do not simplify or water down the original dialogue.
  • Reading speed can be increased to:
    • Adult programs: 20 characters per second
    • Children’s programs: 17 characters per second
  • Truncating the original dialogue should be limited to instances where reading speed and synchronicity to the audio are an issue.
  • All same-language audible songs should be titled if the rights have been granted.
  • Song lyrics should be enclosed with a music note (♪) at the beginning and the end of each subtitle.
  • 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

21. Reference

 



Change Log:

2017-05-19

Revised section 5 Documentary  – example added
Revised section 8 Forced Narrative  – example added
Revised section 10 Italics  – 1st bullet point rewritten for clarity
Revised section 12 Numbers – 3rd, 4th, and 5th bullet points added
Revised section 14 Quotes – 1st and 2nd bullet points revised
Revised section 15 Reading Speed – words per minute removed
Revised section 16 Repetitions – 1st bullet point rewritten for clarity
Revised section 17 Songs – 5th bullet point revised
Revised section 18 Titles – 1st bullet point revised
Revised section 20 SDH Guidelines


Change Log:

2017-02-17

Revised section 19 Special Instructions – 4th bullet point added
Revised section 13 Punctuation – 1st bullet point revised


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