Serbian Timed Text Style Guide

*This document covers the language specific requirements for Serbian. Please make sure to also review the General Requirements Section for comprehensive guidelines surrounding Timed Text deliveries to Netflix. 

1. Serbian Script

  • Serbian files will be delivered in both Latin and Cyrillic scripts. Please refer to the source request in Backlot to identify the correct script being ordered.

2. Acronyms

  • Acronyms should be written without periods between letters: BBC, CIA, SAD, UK / Би-Би-Си, Си-Ај-Еј, САД, УК

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.

5. Continuity

  • Do not use ellipsis when a sentence is split between two continuous subtitles.
  • Use ellipsis to indicate a pause or an abrupt interruption. In the case of a pause, if the sentence continues in the next subtitle, use ellipsis at the beginning of the second subtitle.  
  • Use ellipsis to indicate mid-sentence pick-ups.

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 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

  • If two characters speak in one subtitle, use a hyphen without a space to denote the second speaker only, with a maximum of one character per line.

Чекај!
-Имаш ли документе?

 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.

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).
  • Cyrillic Script: Familiar foreign words and expressions, such as bon appétit, rendezvous, doppelgänger, zeitgeist, persona non grata, should be transliterated. Unfamiliar foreign words and phrases should be either translated (if meant to be understood) or left in the original, depending on creative intent.
  • Latin Script: Foreign words and expressions should be italicized.
  • When using foreign words, always verify spelling, accents and punctuation, if applicable.

11. Italics

  • 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)
    • Voice-overs
    • Foreign words for Latin script only.
  • For albums, books, films, program and song 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.

13. Numbers

  • Numbers from 1 to 10 should be written out један, два, три, etc.
  • 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.
  • Time should be noted in the 24-hour format, except if otherwise plot pertinent.
  • Currency symbol comes after the amount.

Example: English: $23.99, Serbian: 23,99 $ (OR: 23,99 dolara)

  • A comma is used as the decimal separator: 23,99.
  • For numbers up to 9999 no comma or period should be used: 4000, 9000.
  • Numbers with five or more digits should be written with a space (not with a comma) before the last three digits.
  • Dates are written as follows: 20 February 2004 = 20.2.2004.
    • The full stop is always placed after the year.

Example: English: Olympics 2004   Serbian: Olimpijada 2004.

14. 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: "Чарли је рекао: 'Све је у реду.'"
  • Punctuation should be included within the quotation marks if the quote is an independent clause and outside if it’s not.

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.
  • If the repeated word or phrase is said twice in a row, time subtitle to the audio but translate only once.

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 ellipsis 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 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:
    • For Cyrillic Script: please transliterate.
    • For Latin Script: please leave in the original language.

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.

 

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