Ukrainian Timed Text Style Guide
- Abbreviations are written with periods in most cases. Exceptions:
- Measurements: кг (kg), см (cm).
- In a few cases, a hyphen is used between the first letter of the word and the last letter: м-р (Mr.), д-р (Dr.).
- Acronyms should be written without periods between letters.
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 language-specific translations for historical/mythical characters.
- Do not use ellipses when a sentence is split between two continuous subtitles.
Subtitle 1 Коли війна закінчиться,
Subtitle 2 він не зможе повернутися
Subtitle 1 до нормального життя,
Subtitle 2 як би вона цього не прагнула.
- Use ellipsis to indicate a pause or an abrupt interruption:
-Що б тобі сказати...
-Я не знаю.
- 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 Я така рада, що...
Subtitle 2 не знаю, що й сказати.
- Use ellipsis to indicate mid-sentence pick-ups:
...на цьому й закінчимо нашу програму.
- 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 ellipsis 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.
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.
8. Font Information
- Font style: Arial as a generic placeholder for proportionalSansSerif
- Font size: relative to video resolution and ability to fit 42 characters across 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 at the beginning of the sentence in the subtitle that follows it.
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, rendez-vous, doppelgänger, zeitgeist, persona non grata, should be translated.
- Italicize the following:
- 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)
- For albums, books, films and program titles do not use italics -quotation marks should be used instead.
- Do not use italics to indicate emphasis on specific words.
12. Line Treatment
- Maximum two lines.
- Numbers from 1 to 10 should be written out.
- Numbers above ten should be 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.
- Measurements should be converted to the metric system.
- Quotes should be used only at the start and at the end of a quotation, not at the start of every subtitle.
- Use chevrons («») without spaces for regular quotations.
- Double straight quotation marks ("") for quotes within quotes.
- Use chevrons («») without spaces for the following:
- Album, book, film and program titles
- Foreign words
- Periods should be outside the quotes e.g. «Hello».
- All other punctuation should be inside the quotes e.g. «Hello!», «Hello?», «Hello…»
15. Reading Speed
- Adult programs: 17 characters per second
- Children’s programs: 13 characters per second
- Do not translate 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 translate only once.
- 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: same as for normal dialogue.
- 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.
19. 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.
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