Thai Timed Text Style Guide


1. Character Limitation

  • 35 characters per line.

2. Character Names

  • Do not translate proper names (e.g., Peter, Suzanne), unless Netflix provides approved translations. 
  • If there are no official translations, please transliterate the English character names. 
  • Nicknames should only be translated if they convey a specific meaning.

3. Continuity

  • Do not use ellipsis when a sentence is split between two continuous subtitles. 
  • Use an ellipsis to indicate a pause or an abrupt interruption. 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      ถ้าฉันรู้...
                                                 Subtitle 2     ฉันคงไม่โทรไปหาเธอหรอก

  • Do not use ellipsis to indicate mid-sentence pick-ups. e.g. when resuming subtitling plot-pertinent background speech, like news on TV, after giving precedence to dialogue:

                                            - เช้านี้คุณอยากทานอะไรคะ
                                            - ได้มีการเซ็นสนธิสัญญาระหว่างอเมริกาและรัสเซีย

4. Dual Speakers

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

                                            - ถ้าฉันรู้...
                                            - ฉันคงไม่โทรไปหาเธอหรอก

5. Font information

  • Font style: Arial as a generic placeholder for proportional SansSerif
  • Font size: relative to video resolution and ability to fit 35 characters across the screen
  • Font color: White

6. 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 enclosed in parentheses (), except for foreign dialogue.

                                                (สามปีต่อมา)

  • 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.

7. 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 or phrases should be translated when possible (i.e. hello, goodbye, thank you, merci) or transliterated when no accurate translation exists.

8. Italics

  • Do not use italics.

9. Line Treatment

  • Maximum two lines.

10. Numbers

  • From 1 to 10, numbers should be written out.
  • Above 10, numbers should be 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 if line length and/or reading speed are a factor.

11. Punctuation

  • There are no periods - sentences should be separated with a single space. 
  • Never use question marks - exclamation marks can be used.

12. Quotes

  • Double quotation marks (“ ”) without spaces
  • Single quotation marks for quotes within quotes:

                                                    “เด็กบอกว่า ‘ผมหิว’”
  • Quotes should be used at the start and end of a sentence and not at the start of every subtitle.

13. Reading Speed

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

14. Repetitions

  • Words or phrases that are repeated more than once should be translated with Thai repetition marks - ไปไกลๆ
  • A space should be added after the Thai repetition mark, but not before:

                                                     นายต้องทำแบบนั้นแน่ๆ ก่อนที่จะไปทำเรื่องอื่น

15. Songs

  • Only subtitle plot-pertinent songs if the rights have been granted
  • Do not Italicize lyrics. 
  • Use ellipses when a song continues in the background but is no longer subtitled to give precedence to dialogue. 
  • Punctuation: punctuation should not be used in songs.

16. 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 the 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, transliterate the original title.

17. Special Instructions

  • All plot-pertinent dialogue should be subtitled and takes precedence over background dialogue.
  • Dialogue (including expletives) should be rendered as faithfully as possible, without using dialect or words that would otherwise introduce a level of obscenity not implied in the content.
  • Deliberate misspellings and mispronunciations should not be reproduced in the translation unless plot-pertinent.
  • Both formal and informal language styles are acceptable, depending on the content. Please make sure to always be mindful of creative intent and language usage of the source material.

18. 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 on a stereo).
  • Sound effects should be plot-pertinent.

19. Reference



Change Log:

2017-05-05

Revised section 3 Continuity - 3rd bullet point revised, example added
Revised section 13 Reading Speed – words per minute removed
Revised section 14 Repetitions– 2nd bullet point added
Revised section 16 Titles – 1st bullet point revised
Revised section 17 Special Instructions – 4th bullet point added
Revised section 18 SDH Guidelines - rewritten for clarity
Revised section 19 Reference - rewritten for clarity

 

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