- 1 Why would you want to translate offline?
- 2 What is offline translation?
- 3 Downloading the transcript from dotSUB
- 4 Handling the downloaded .srt file
- 5 Uploading the translated file to dotSUB
- 6 Setting up your offline translation environment
- 7 Setting up your offline translation environment - for real geeks
- 8 Using google translate
Why would you want to translate offline?
There can be many reasons for offline translations, for example:
- you cannot be constantly connected to the internet while doing your translation
- you are tired by the fact that due to the overload of the dotSUB interface, sometimes it does not save your changes to a line
- you would like to use some machine aided translation tools (e.g. http://translate.google.com)
If any of this is true for you, offline translation might be an option for you.
What is offline translation?
Offline translation is translating a transcript outside of the online dotSub interface. It is still done on your computer, but withouth the need to be constantly connected to the internet. This involves downloading the original transcript to your computer, doing the translation, then uploading the result back into dotSUB. Naturally, you must be connected for the downloading and uploading part.
Downloading the transcript from dotSUB
dotSUB offers several industry standard transcript formats for download. You can find them on the "Watch video" page in the "Translate and Transcribe" box. Just select the desired format then click on the desired language - which will be English for translation case.
While there are many formats there, the best probably is to choose the SubRip (.srt) format, which is offered by default. It is the simplest out of all formatting, and contains the timing data and the text in separate lines, thus also easier to read and handle.
Once you have clicked on the desired language, the subtitles in a text file with .srt extension (if you chose SubRip) will be downloaded by your web browser.
Handling the downloaded .srt file
You can open the .srt file by any text editor software on you computer, including Notepad or Word if you are running Windows. The file is structured in blocks as follows:
- Subtitle number (increased by one for each line)
- Start time --> End time (in hour:minutes:seconds,milliseconds)
- Text of subtitle (one or more lines)
- Blank line (to separate from the next block)
1 00:00:00,000 --> 00:00:02,000 Humans in the developed world 2 00:00:02,000 --> 00:00:05,000 spend more than 90 percent of their lives indoors,
During translation, all you have to do is: replace the original text in the "Text of subtitle line" with your translated line, and leave everything else intact.
1 00:00:00,000 --> 00:00:03,000 Elveszítjük a hallgatási képességeinket. 2 00:00:03,000 --> 00:00:07,000 A kommunikációnk kb. 60%-át hallgatással töltjük,
Upon opening the file, your text editor might ask you a couple of questions, to know how to read the file properly:
- if it asks you about Encoding type, chose UTF-8
- if it asks you about End of Line (EOL) formatting or file format, you can either chose Unix (or LF) or Windows (or CR+LF) formatting.
It is important that you do not change the timing, the subtitle number or the blank lines in any way, otherwise you won't be able to upload the result to dotSUB.
Obviously you will need to save your file after the translation, as a best practice always give a different name and a version number to each saved state. When you save your work, check the file extension, as some text editor saves everything with the .txt extension. If that is the case, correct it to .srt.
Uploading the translated file to dotSUB
Once you are done with the translation, navigate to the Translating... page of dotSUB. At the bottom among the Controls click on Import an existing translation click on Choose file, find the file on your computer, then click on Import.
If the import is successful you will be taken to the Watch video... page, where you can immediately watch your new subtitles in action.
If there has been any tolerable error, you will see an error message appearing over a yellow background over the video. If the file cannot be imported, you will receive an error message on the Translating... page. The reason for such error might be that you have changed the srt file structure (e.g. timing or removed blank lines) substantially, or you are trying to upload a file with a wrong formatting or extension.
Setting up your offline translation environment
dotSUB offers one great convenience for translating: you can see the original English text and your translated text at the same time, one under the other. To efficiently translate in an offline environment you need some similar setup. The closest to that, is to keep your original and your translated file in two separate windows lined up next to each other, while you scrolling is synchronized among them.
Below are two tips to create such an environment.
Using Microsoft Word
As most people are using Windows based computers, where Microsoft Word is available, here are some simple tips for them.
- Download the .srt file as instructed above.
- Make a copy of the downloaded file, with a different name (e.g. change the ENG part to your translating language, like HUN). The original will be your source file that you leave intact, the copy will be your working file.
- Start up Microsoft Word, and open both the source and your work file from the File -> Open menu. A File conversion panel might ask you to select the file encoding. Choose Other encoding then from the list Unicode (UTF-8) and click OK.
- Once you have both file open, select Window -> Compare side by side with... Two window panels will appear next to each other. The active window during your menu selection will be placed on the left side of the screen. Scrolling between the windows will be synchronized. If the two windows are not alogned for some reason, click on the Reset window position button in the just appeared menu box.
- Now you can do your translation by keeping e.g. in the left window the original file, and writing your translation into the other file in the right window.
- When you are done, save the result. When Word asks you for the format, always choose Plain text. If you get a File Conversion window, always choose Unicode (UTF-8) and do not mark Insert line breaks nor Allow character substitution.
Setting up your offline translation environment - for real geeks
Using google translate
There are many ways to do it, the one detailed here is just an example.