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.

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.

                                                Subtitle 1 - ถ้าฉันรู้...
                                                Subtitle 2 - ฉันคงไม่โทรไปหาเธอหรอก

5. 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

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

14. Repetitions

  • Words or phrases that are repeated more than once should be translated with Thai repetition marks - ไปไกลๆ

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 main title unless an approved translation is provided by Netflix.
  • 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, 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.

18. 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

19. Reference

  • Generic rules for transliteration from foreign languages, please refer to: http://www.royin.go.th/?page_id=617
  • For spelling, please refer to: http://www.royin.go.th/dictionary/

 

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