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editing in a foreign language

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tel jaba
editing in a foreign language
on May 11, 2009 at 12:38:49 pm

hey guys

have you ever worked on a documentary that is in a language that you don't speak at all? and without having a translator sitting next to you all the time?

I just got this project that is in a Dutch, and I don't know a word in Dutch!! no time to study either!!
so what would you suggest to do?

I asked to have the transcription and translation of the interviews put into subtitles in the FCP and so that way I will be editing with subtitled picture the whole time

any other idea?


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Mark Suszko
Re: editing in a foreign language
on May 11, 2009 at 2:16:03 pm

Have someone who knows Dutch free-translate what's said as they speak, recording this as an audio track. Decide on and mark some point in each tape designated as a synch point, or use time code to keep in snych. Drop the audio into a spare track adn lock it to picture, now you can listen in your own language to make at least a rough cut. Leave plenty of "handles" on the cuts for timing purposes.

Then when you have an approval of the rough cut, go back and refine the translation with a better version.

I had to do this when editing a piece with a lot of sign language in it. I don't read it, so I had someone off camera interpret into a spare audio channel to give me a guide track. Worked great.


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tel jaba
Re: editing in a foreign language
on May 11, 2009 at 2:43:59 pm

that's a very good idea, thanks Mark


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grinner hester
Re: editing in a foreign language
on May 11, 2009 at 4:54:49 pm

get a translator.
I was once the floor director for a weekly live spanish-speaking show... and I spoke only english.
lol
now THATS freakin funny.



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Juris Eksts
Re: editing in a foreign language
on May 12, 2009 at 12:40:36 pm

Assuming you're cutting the dialogue for an interview, if you have a transcript of that dialogue you can easily work from that.
Of course you will need someone who understands the language to mark up the tanscript as to what you want in the programme.
You will very quickly get a feel of the language and know where to cut any dialogue as long as it's marked up on the transcript. Keep a very good note of the timecodes of where paragraphs start and end, and you'll soon know where sentences start and end.
You will need someone to check all your cuts, but that's easily adjusted.
If you try to work from a subtitled version, you'll be looking at 2 different references as to where dialogue should cut. Unless every word is subtitled seperately, which would not make sense in English anyway because the word sequence in the sentence would be different from English. To do the subtitles you'd need a complete transcript anyway.
This sort of job is done in Europe all the time, and presents few problems.

Hope this helps,

Juris Eksts


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Alan Lloyd
Re: editing in a foreign language
on May 12, 2009 at 7:12:08 pm

In an earlier life I directed a show usually done entirely in Hmong. No IFB, so I had to communicate through a crew member to the (bilingual/English-speaking0 host to wrap a segment.

It was...interesting...


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grinner hester
Re: editing in a foreign language
on May 13, 2009 at 1:25:30 am

Amazing how you learn to follow a conversation perfectly without catching words.
We developed hand signals for breaks and such... the funny thing witht hat is the host would do it when I was still on a two shot. lol



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