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Turkish Timed Text Style Guide

This document covers the language specific requirements for Turkish. Please make sure to also review the General Requirements section and related guidelines for comprehensive instructions surrounding timed text deliveries to Netflix.

1. Acronyms

  • Acronyms should be written without periods between letters: BBC, CIA, USA, UK

2. Character Limitation

  • 42 characters per line

3. Character Names

  • Do not translate proper names (e.g. Peter, Suzanne), unless Netflix provides approved translations.
  • Nicknames should only be translated if they convey a specific meaning.
  • Use language-specific translations for historical/mythical characters (e.g. Santa Claus)

4. Continuity

  • When including ellipses in subtitles, please use the single smart character (U+2026) as opposed to three dots/periods in a row.
  • Do not use ellipses when a sentence is split between two continuous subtitles.

    Subtitle 1    En sonunda
    Subtitle 2    benimle anlaşacağını biliyordum. 

    Subtitle 1    Buraya kadar gelip
    Subtitle 2    eli boş dönmeni hiç istemezdim.

  • Use an ellipsis to indicate a pause (2 seconds or more) or an abrupt interruption. In the case of a pause (2 seconds or more), if the sentence continues in the next subtitle, use an ellipsis at the beginning of the second subtitle:

    Subtitle 1      Bir düşüneyim
    Subtitle 2      belki başka bir çözümü vardır.

    Subtitle 1      İnanıyorum ki
    Subtitle 2      güzel günler göreceğiz.

    Subtitle 1       Daha önce de dediğim
    Subtitle 2      Neden bunu konuşmaya devam ediyoruz?

  • Use ellipses without a space to indicate that a subtitle is starting mid-sentence.

5. Documentary/Unscripted

  • Speaker’s title: only translate the title. Do not include the speaker’s name, company name or character name as these are redundant.
  • Only translate a speaker’s title once, the first time the speaker appears.
  • 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 at the beginning of the sentence in the subtitle that follows it.

         Subtitle 1          Bu filmde

         Subtitle 2 (FN)   YÖNETMEN

         Subtitle 3          toplam altı ay çalıştım.

  • Dialogue in TV/movie clips should only be subtitled if plot-pertinent and if the rights have been granted.
  • News tickers/banners from archive clips do not require subtitles unless plot-pertinent.
  • Avoid going back and forth between italicized and non-italicized subtitles when the speaker is on and off screen. If the speaker is on-camera for at least part of the scene, do not italicize. Leave italics for off-screen narrators.

6. Dual Speakers

  • Use a hyphen without a space if two characters speak in one subtitle with a maximum of one character speaking per line.
  • Text in each line in a dual speaker subtitle must be a contained sentence and should not carry into the preceding or subsequent subtitle. Creating shorter sentences and timing appropriately helps to accommodate this.

7. Font Information

  • Font style: Arial as a generic placeholder for proportionalSansSerif
  • Font size: relative to video resolution and ability to fit 42 characters across the screen
  • Font color: White 

8. On-screen Text

  • Forced narrative titles for on-screen text should only be included if plot-pertinent.
  • When on-screen text and dialogue overlap, precedence should be given to the most plot-pertinent message. Avoid over truncating or severely reducing reading speed in order to include both dialogue and on-screen text
  • The duration of the FN subtitle should as much as possible mimic the duration of the on-screen text, except for cases where reading speed and/or surrounding dialogue takes precedence.
  • Forced narratives that are redundant (e.g. identical to onscreen text or covered in the dialogue) must be deleted.
  • Forced narratives for on-screen text should be in ALL CAPS, except for long passages of on screen text (e.g. prologue or epilogue), which should use sentence case to improve readability.
  • Never combine a forced narrative with dialogue in the same subtitle.
  • If at all possible, try to avoid interrupting a line of dialogue with a forced narrative.
  • If interrupting the dialogue with a forced narrative cannot be avoided, use an ellipsis at the end of the sentence that precedes it and at the beginning of the one that follows it.

9. 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 should be italicized, unless they have become part of regular usage (e.g. in English, the following no longer need to be italicized: bon appétit, rendezvous, doppelgänger, zeitgeist, persona non grata) and unless they are proper names (e.g. a company name).

10. Italics

  • Italicize the following:
    • Album, book, film and program titles (use quotes for song titles)
    • Foreign words (unless they are part of regular usage)
    • 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
  • Do not use italics to indicate emphasis on specific words

11. Line Treatment

  • Maximum two lines.
  • Text should usually be kept to one line, unless it exceeds the character limitation.

12. Numbers

  • From 1 to 10, numbers should be written out: bir, iki, üç, etc.
  • Above 10, numbers should be written numerically: 11, 12, 13, etc. 
  • Note that the above rules may be broken due to space limitations or reading speed concerns, as well as for consistency when listing multiple quantities, for example.
  • Measurements should be converted to the metric system, unless the original unit of measurement is plot relevant.

13. Quotes

  • Quotes should be used at the start and end of a line of applicable dialogue and not at the start of every subtitle.
  • Use double straight quotation marks (" ") without spaces for regular quotations.
  • Use single straight quotation marks (' ') for quotes within quotes.
  • Punctuation should be included within the quotation marks if the quote is an independent clause and outside if it’s not.
  • Use quotation marks if a character is seen to be reading aloud.

14. Reading Speed

  • Adult programs: 17 characters per second
  • Children’s programs: 13 characters per second

15. Repetitions

  • Do not translate words or phrases repeated more than once by the same speaker.
  • If the repeated word or phrase is said twice in a row, time subtitle to the audio, but translate only once. 

16. Songs

  • Only subtitle plot-pertinent songs if the rights have been granted.
  • Opening and ending theme songs should only be subtitled if clearly plot-pertinent (e.g. for children’s content when the lyrics tell a story) or if instructed by Netflix. Normally, adult programs should not have the opening songs subtitled, except for SDH.
  • Italicize lyrics.
  • Use an uppercase letter at the beginning of each line.
  • 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.
  • Album titles should be in italics.
  • Song titles should be in quotes.
  • Follow this approach for poetry also.

17. Titles

  • Main titles: do not subtitle the on-screen main title card.
  • Episode titles: do not subtitle episode titles if they do not appear on screen/are not voiced-over. If on-screen (either as part of the principal photography or burned into video) or voiced-over, please reference the KNP tool for approved translations.
  • Titles of published works, existing movies and TV shows: use official or well-known translations. If none are available, leave titles in the original language.

18. Special Instructions

  • All plot-pertinent dialogue should be subtitled, and takes precedence over background dialogue.
  • Dialogue must never be censored. Expletives should be rendered as faithfully as possible.
  • Always match the tone of the original content, while remaining relevant to the target audience (e.g. replicate tone, register, class, formality, etc. in the target language in an equivalent way).
  • Deliberate misspellings and mispronunciations should not be reproduced in the translation unless plot-pertinent.
  • Accentuation should be used consistently within the file. 
  • Accents are mandatory when they impart a different meaning. Example: hâlâ vs. hala.

19. Subtitles for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (SDH) Guidelines

  • Include as much of the original content as possible.
  • Do not simplify or water down the original dialogue.
  • Where content has been dubbed into Turkish, please refer to the dubbing script or dubbed audio as the basis for the SDH file and ensure that the two match as much as reading speed and timings allow.
  • 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.
  • For TV/movie clips, all audible lines should be transcribed, if possible. If the audio interferes with dialogue, please give precedence to most plot-pertinent content.
  • All same-language audible songs that do not interfere with dialogue should be titled, if the rights have been granted.
  • Use song title identifiers when applicable - song titles should be in quotes:
    ["Forever Your Girl" playing]
  • 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.
  • Identifiers/sound effects should be all lowercase, except for proper nouns.
  • Only use speaker IDs or sound effects when they cannot be visually identified.
  • When a speaker ID is required for a character who has yet to be identified by name, use [man] or [woman], or [male voice] or [female voice], so as not to provide information that is not yet present in the narrative.
  • Use a generic ID to indicate and describe ambient music (e.g. rock music playing over a stereo).
  • Sound effects should be plot-pertinent.
  • Sound effects that interrupt dialogue should be treated as follows:

         Subtitle 1: However, lately, I've been
                         [coughs, sniffs]

         Subtitle 2:  seeing a lot more of this.

  • Never italicize speaker IDs or sound effects, even when the spoken information is italicized, such as in a voice-over:

         [narrator]
         Once upon a time, there was

  • In instances of foreign dialogue being spoken:
    • If foreign dialogue is translated, use [in language], for example [in Spanish]
    • If foreign dialogue is not meant to be understood, use [speaking language], for example [speaking Spanish]
    • Always research the language being spoken – [speaking foreign language] should never be used 

20. Reference

For all language-related issues not covered in this document, please refer to:


Change Log:

2020-11-01

2020-07-26

  • Revised section 4 Continuity - 1st bullet point added clarifying type of ellipses permitted
  • Revised section 19 SDH Guidelines - 3rd bullet point reworded

2020-05-08

2018-06-04

  • Revised section 8 On-screen Text – section header revised for clarity

2018-03-09

  • Revised section 4 Continuity - 2nd bullet point rewritten for clarity, examples added
  • Added section 5 Documentary 
  • Revised section 8 Forced Narratives – 2nd and 3rd bullet points added, 5th bullet point revised
  • Added section 11 Line Treatment 
  • Revised section 12 Numbers - 3rd and 4th bullet points added
  • Revised section 13 Quotes - rewritten for clarity
  • Revised section 14 Reading Speed – words per minute removed
  • Revised section 15 Repetitions – 1st point revised for clarity
  • Revised section 16 Songs – 2nd bullet point added
  • Revised section 17 Titles – 1st and 2nd bullet points revisedRevised section 19 SDH Guidelines - renamed and expanded for clarity
  • Added section 20 Reference

2017-02-05

2016-05-15

 

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