Hebrew Timed Text Style Guide

 1. Character Limitation

  • 42 characters per line

 2. Character Names

  • Proper names should be transliterated (e.g., Christopher = כריסטופר ). 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.

 3. Continuity

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

תמיד ידעתי
שבסופו של דבר תסכים איתי.

  • Use ellipsis to indicate pauses.

היא היססה... בנוגע לקבלת העבודה.

  • Use ellipsis without a space at the end of the first subtitle when there is a pause between a sentence running over two subtitles.

אילו ידעתי...
לא הייתי מתקשרת אליך.

עמדתי להגיד לך ש...
-אני לא רוצה לדעת מזה!

  • Use ellipsis followed by a space to indicate mid-sentence pick-ups.

… תמתי על הסכם.


 4. 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.


 5. 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.


איך זה קרה לה בדיוק?
-אין לי מושג.


 6. 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.

 7. 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 hyphens ( - ), except for foreign dialogue.


- עברית -

  • 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.

לא ידעתי מה לומר...

- שיקגו, יוני 2013 -

האנשים נכנסו לאולם אחד אחד,
ואני פשוט צפיתי בהם.

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

 9. Italics

  • Do not use italics.

 10. Line Treatment

  • Maximum two lines.

 11. 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 due to space limitations or reading speed concerns.
  • Convert to the metric system: kilometers (km), centimeters (cm), meters (m), kilograms (kg).
  • For currency, symbols are not used. Instead, currency amounts should be written out.

זה עלה שלושים דולר

 12. Quotes

  • Double quotation marks (“ “) without spaces for regular quotations.


הוא אמר: "אל תלכי לשם."

  • Single quotation marks (‘ ‘) for quotes within quotes.


"אתמול בחמש אחר הצהריים
לחשתי לה, 'בואי'".

  • Quotes should be used only at the start and at the end of a quotation, not at the start of every subtitle.
  • Closing quotations marks should follow the punctuation mark (period/question mark) if the quote constitutes a whole sentence. If quoting only a few words the quotation marks should precede the punctuation mark. 

היא אמרה לי,
"עזוב, אתה לא רציני".

"לא ידענו מה נעשה.
הלכנו הלוך חזור ולא היה מוצא."


 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

  • 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.

 15. Songs

  • Only subtitle plot-pertinent songs if the rights have been granted
  • 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 should be used at the end of a line – no commas or periods. Commas can be used within the lyric line, if necessary.

 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, please transliterate.

 17. 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. 

 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

 

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