Greek Timed Text Style Guide

1. Abbreviations

  • Mr / Mr. - κύριος / κος / κ. (the use of κος is preferred to the use of κ.)
  • Mrs / Mrs. - κυρία / κα (the use of κ. is to be avoided)
  • Miss - δεσποινίς / δις (the use of μις is to be avoided)
  • Dr / Dr. - δρ / Δρ (without a full-stop)
  • etc. - κλπ. / κ.λ.π.
  • i.e. - δηλαδή / δηλ.
  • e.g. - π.χ.
  • a.m. - π.μ. / το πρωί
  • p.m. - μ.μ. / το απόγευμα / το βράδυ
  • BC - π.Χ.
  • AD - μ.Χ.
  • & - και (the symbol can be used only if it is part of a foreign brand name: J&B, Smith & Wesson)
  • The use of abbreviations should be avoided unless there are space or time limitations.
  • When an abbreviated word – ending in a dot – happens to be the very last word of the

    subtitle, only one dot should be used. Commas, question marks and exclamation marks can succeed the full stop.

2. Acronyms

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

3. Character Limitation

  • 42 characters per line

4. Character Names

  • Proper names should be transliterated. Do not translate unless approved translations are provided by Netflix.
  • Nicknames should be transliterated. Only translate if the nickname conveys a specific meaning relevant to viewers.
  • Use phonological rather than the graphological transliteration:
    • Johnny - Τζόνι and NOT Τζώννυ, Patty - Πάτι and NOT Πάττυ
    • Some exceptions: Emily - Έμιλι or Έμιλυ, James - Τζέιμς or Τζέημς, April - Έηπριλ or Έιπριλ, Nigel - Νάιτζελ or Νάητζελ
    • Whichever option is chosen, it must be applied consistently throughout the translation.
  • Use language-specific translations for historical/mythical characters.

5. Continuity

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

Subtitle 1 Όταν ήμουν μικρή
Subtitle 2 κανείς δε με ήθελε για παρέα,

  • If a sentence continues from one subtitle to the next, place the appropriate punctuation, or no punctuation, at the end of the first subtitle.

Subtitle 1 Είναι απίστευτο,
Subtitle 2 αλλά πάντα ήθελα να μένω εδώ.

  • Use ellipsis to indicate incomplete speech.

Μια χαρά μπορώ να...

6. 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 no ellipses at the beginning of the sentence in the subtitle that follows it.

7. Dual Speakers

  • Use a hyphen without a space to indicate two speakers in one subtitle, with a maximum of one character speaking per line.

-Θα μας λείψετε.
-Γεια.

8. 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.

9. 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 a forced narrative with dialogue in the same subtitle.
  • When a forced narrative interrupts dialogue, use an ellipsis at the end of the sentence in the subtitle that precedes it and no ellipsis at the beginning of the sentence in the subtitle that follows it.

Subtitle 1 -Λοιπόν, νομίζω πως…
Subtitle 2 - ΔΕΝ ΚΑΤΑΠΆΤΗΣΗ
Subtitle 3 -είναι η καλύτερη συμβουλή που μπορώ
να σου δώσω.

10. 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).
  • Foreign words and expressions, such as bon appétit, rendezvous, doppelgänger, zeitgeist, persona non grata, should be translated.

11. Italics

  • Italicize the following:
    • Album, book, film and program titles (use quotes for song titles)
    • 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.

12. Line Treatment

  • Maximum two lines.

13. Numbers

  • From 1 to 10 written out: ένα δύο τρία, etc.
  • Above 10 written numerically: 11, 12, 13, etc.
  • When a number begins a sentence, it should always be spelled out.
  • The above rules might be broken due to space or time limitations.
  • Round all figures to the closest 10 units, unless it is absolutely necessary to express the exact value.
  • For ordinal numbers, suffixes must be used, with no gap between the number and the suffix: 1ος – 1η – 1ο.
  • To express decades, use the word "decade", followed by the apostrophe and the number: 20s - δεκαετία του '20
  • For decimals, use the comma: 6,8
  • For large numbers, use dots: 100.000
  • Date must be expressed in the Greek format: 23 Απριλίου 2016
  • For clock time, use the colon: 8:30
    • If the style of the text and the referent itself allows you (e.g. it does not refer to a flight departure or a military schedule), you may use the 12-hour system, as the Greek audience is better acquainted with it: 8:30 π.μ. (or μ.μ.)
  • For currency, use the word instead of a symbol. Full form of the word is preferred, but for time or space reasons, an abbreviation might be used: 10 δολάρια or 10 δολ.
  • To express the percentage, both the symbol and the word are acceptable, but the full form is preferred: % or τοις εκατό
  • Convert units to the metric system: kilometers (χλμ.), centimeters (εκ.), meters (μ.), kilograms (κ. or κιλά), unless explicit visual information, vital for the development of the plot, is constantly present. Ιn such rare cases, the measurement unit is retained: miles – μίλια
  • Temperature in degrees Fahrenheit should be changed to °C unless otherwise instructed.
  • For phone numbers, parentheses must be deleted while dashes may be used: 2124357724, 212-4357724

14. Punctuation

  • Please note the Greek question mark is a semicolon - ;

15. Quotes

  • Quotes should be used at the start and end of a sentence and not at the start of every subtitle.
  • Use double quotation marks (" ") without spaces for regular quotations.
  • Use single quotation marks (' ') for quotes within quotes.
  • Direct speech is introduced either by a comma or a colon, but consistency in application is required.

Eίπε, "Έλα εδώ". or Eίπε: "Έλα εδώ".

  • The closing quotation mark is placed before all other punctuation, regardless of whether the quote spans two or more subtitles or includes more than one sentence.

"Δεν χρειάζεται να του τηλεφωνήσω", είπε ο Μάρτιν.
Είπα, "Σταμάτα".
"Έλα εδώ, σε παρακαλώ".

  • If the whole sentence including the quote is a question or an exclamation, then the question mark or exclamation point is placed after the closing quotation mark. However, if that question or exclamation belongs to the quote (i.e. if the person whose words are quoted asked the question or made the exclamation), the question mark or exclamation point is placed before the closing quotation mark.

16. Reading Speed

  • Adult programs: 200 words per minute / 17 characters per second
  • Children’s programs: 160 words per minute / 13 characters per second

17. Repetitions

  • Do not translate words or phrases repeated more than once.

18. 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 preceded by a space should be used at the end of a line – no commas or periods. Commas can be used within the lyric line, if necessary.

19. Titles

  • Main titles: do not subtitle the main title unless requested by Netflix. In this case, an approved translation will be provided.
  • 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, please transliterate.

20. Special Instructions

  • Dialogue must never be censored. Expletives should be rendered as faithfully as possible.
  • Plot-pertinent dialogue always takes precedence over background dialogue.
  • Deliberate misspellings and mispronunciations should not be reproduced in the translation unless plot pertinent.

21. Speaker ID / Sound Effects for SDH versions

  • 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

22. Reference

  • Babiniotis, G. 1998. Λεξικό της Νέας Ελληνικής Γλώσσας [Dictionary of Modern Greek]. Lexicology Centre. Athens
  • Baker, Mona. 1992. In Other Words. Routledge. London & New York
  • Karzis, Th. 1995. Τα Σωστά Ελληνικά [Proper Greek]. Philippoti. Athens
  • Klairis Ch & Babiniotis G. 2005. Γραμματική της Νέας Ελληνικής [Modern Greek Grammar]. Ellinika Grammata. Athens
  • Triantafyllides, Manolis. 1990. Αναπροσαρμογή της Μικρής Νεοελληνικής Γραμματικής [The Small Modern Greek Grammar Revisited]. Scholl Books Publications. Athens

 

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