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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. Abbreviations

  • The use of abbreviations should be avoided unless there are space limitations.
  • Abbreviations of personal titles should only be used if they precede a proper noun, e.g. Prof. (Profesör), Dr. (Doktor), Av. (Avukat), Alb. (Albay).
  • When abbreviations need to be used, internationally accepted abbreviations should be used for units of measurement, e.g. m (meter), mm (millimeter), cm (centimeter), km (kilometer), g (gram), kg (kilogram), l (liter).
  • For more clarification on the abbreviation rules refer to these guidelines.

2. Acronyms

  • Acronyms should be adapted to the Turkish equivalent unless it is commonly used and understood in its original form (NATO, CIA, FBI, NASA).
  • Suffixes for acronyms/initialisms should be added in line with the Turkish pronunciation unless the acronym/initialism is in common use (in press, media or internet) with its English pronunciation (e.g. BBC, WHO).

FBI’a (Ef-Bi-Ay’a)

CIA’i = (Si-Ay-Ey’i)

  • If an acronym is more than four letters and is commonly used, it should be capitalized without periods, and the suffixes should be added according to the way they are pronounced in the original version (e.g. UNESCO, UNICEF).
  • Acronyms should be written without periods between the letters: ABD, BM, TL, AB.

3. Capitalization

  • Use sentence case for subtitles containing dialogue, quoted full sentences, full sentences following a colon, lyrics and verses.
  • Use title case for titles, forms of address (Her Majesty, His Excellency), ranks and nicknames before or after a name: Dr. Walter Bishop, Bay Draper, Kaptan Kirk, Yüzbaşı Brown.
  • When a title, form of address, or rank becomes synonymous with a character's title, if it serves as a substitute to their actual name, and/or if it is used as a nickname, it should be capitalized.
    • Dur bir dakika Doktor. DeLorean'dan zaman makinesi mi yaptın? (Referring to Dr. Emmett Brown, aka Doc, from Back to the Future)
    • Bu sabah Kral toplantı yaptı.

-Hangi kral?

-Hangi kral olacak, Kral Henry.

  • Use sentence case for titles, forms of addresses, and ranks when they are offered merely as a character trait or when they define the relation between two characters rather than being a nickname.

           Ahmet Bey, müsait misiniz? Bu bey sizi görmeye gelmiş.

           Öğlen oldu ama muhasebeci ortada yok.

           Dersten sonra sizinle konuşabilir miyim hocam?

           Teşekkürler komiserim.

           Nereye gidiyorsun anne?

  • When a title, form of address, or rank is followed by a first person singular possessive suffix and becomes part of the character’s nickname, even if it is in title case, the suffix does not need to be separated by an apostrophe.

           Ayşe Hocam, nasılsınız?

           Sizi görmek çok güzel Kraliçem.

  • In Turkish grammar, forms of address used towards family members/friends should not be capitalized.

           Example: Babam ve Ahmet amcam da gelecek.

  • The same applies when terms like “teyze” or “amca” are used as a general reference to someone or as a term of endearment, if they are not part of a nickname.

           Example: Lily teyzeniz, annenizle böyle tanıştı.

  • Foreign names should be capitalized as per source language alphabet. This applies to languages that use the Latin alphabet:

           Example: Ciudad Juárez–  CIUDAD JUÁREZ

           Example: Tamir İçin Adalet - TAMIR İÇİN ADALET

  • Do not capitalize non-specific months and days:

           Okullar eylülün ikinci haftasında öğretime başlar.

           Kurul toplantılarını perşembe günleri yaparız.

  • Political movements derived from proper nouns should be capitalized: Dekartçılık, Epikürcülük, Kalvenci, Kartezyenizm, Lüterci, Marksist, etc.
  • Leave a space and capitalize after an ellipsis.

           Line 1: Bunu nasıl söyleyebileceğimi…

           Line 2: Onu maalesef kurtaramamışlar.

           Line 1: Ben… Sensiz ne yapacağımı bilmiyorum.

  • The only exception to this rule is when an ellipsis is used at the beginning of an event where it is not followed by space:

           Subtitle 1:           Zaten o sana…

           Subtitle 2:           …ne zaman saygı duydu ki?

4. Character Limitation

  • 42 characters per line

5. 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.
  • Do not use the Turkish versions of names that appear in content. Align with the spelling in the template.

Examples: Ahmed, Jasmin, Noah, Karim

  • Use language-specific translations for historical/mythical characters (e.g. Noel Baba).
  • When suffixes are added to the name of the characters, they should be added according to the pronunciation in the content. This rule applies for non-English content, (original pronunciation).

Examples: Tommy’ye, Darryl’ın

  • When using dots/periods, only add a space after the last initial in abbreviated proper names (e.g. M.K. Atatürk). If a different spelling is present, whether as on-screen text or end credit, align with that spelling.
  • When an abbreviation is commonly used as a nickname, avoid using dots for readability (e.g JFK, FDR, JJ, JD, AJ).
  • Transliterate uncommon or unfamiliar letters/characters which appear in names or proper nouns when working from a Roman alphabet language into Turkish if they may cause confusion or be hard to understand or pronounce. Note that diacritics should be kept in proper nouns and names. For example: If the Icelandic name Þór appears, please transliterate as Thór (following relevant KNP and guidance about handling character names). If a German street name such as Torstraße appears in the source, please transliterate as Torstrasse (following relevant KNP and guidance about handling proper nouns and names).
  • When translating Korean, Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese content, the name order should be last name-first name, in accordance with linguistic rules.

6. 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 or dashes when an ongoing sentence is split between two or more continuous subtitles.

Subtitle 1: En sonunda

Subtitle 2: beni bulacağını biliyordum.

Subtitle 1: Buraya kadar gelip

Subtitle 2: eli boş dönmeni hiç istemezdim.

  • Use an ellipsis to indicate an intentional pause of 2 seconds and more, an intentional suspension, or an abrupt interruption. If the sentence continues in the next subtitle, use an ellipsis at the beginning of the second subtitle.

           Subtitle 1: Daha önce de dediğim…

           Subtitle 2: Neden bunu konuşmaya devam ediyoruz?

           Subtitle 1: Ben sana…

           Subtitle 2: …ne yaptım ki?

  • But when the second sentence is a full sentence, you may eliminate the second ellipsis.

           Subtitle 1: Bir düşüneyim…

           Subtitle 2: Belki başka bir çözümü vardır.

           Subtitle 1: Ama…

           Subtitle 2: Bu hiç akıl kârı değil.

           Subtitle 1: Ve Oscar’ın sahibi…

           Subtitle 2: Leonardo di Caprio!

  • Please note that sometimes it may be better to move the conjunction to the second subtitle to avoid any ambiguity and to improve readability:

Source:

Subtitle 1: Are you coming, or…

Subtitle 2: …are you going to sit here all night?

Avoid:

Subtitle 1: Geliyor musun yoksa…

Subtitle 2: …tüm gece burada mı oturacaksın?

Prefer:

Subtitle 1: Geliyor musun…

Subtitle 2: …yoksa tüm gece burada mı oturacaksın?

  • Ellipses that are used to indicate a pause within the same subtitle should be avoided if they do not offer a significant difference in terms of readability or meaning, or if the Turkish equivalent is already a full sentence.

           Incorrect:

           Subtitle 1: Ama… böyle bir şey nasıl olabilir?

           Correct:

           Subtitle 1: Ama böyle bir şey nasıl olabilir? 

           Incorrect:

           Subtitle 1: Bilmiyorum… gelir sanmıştım.

           Correct:

           Subtitle 1: Bilmiyorum, gelir sanmıştım.

           Subtitle 1: Bilmiyorum. Gelir sanmıştım.

  • If the gap is kept long intentionally, you can segment the text as per these examples:

           Subtitle 1: Bilmiyorum. (gap of 2 seconds or more)

           Subtitle 2: Gelir sanmıştım.

           Subtitle 1: Ama… (gap of 2 seconds or more)

           Subtitle 2: Böyle bir şey nasıl olabilir?

  • If you cannot adjust segmentation for one reason or the other, but the pause is either plot-pertinent or longer than two seconds, leave space after the ellipsis and capitalize:

           Subtitle 1: Bilmiyorum… Gelir sanmıştım.

           Subtitle 1: Ama… Böyle bir şey nasıl olabilir?

  • Use an ellipsis to indicate that a sentence trails off and does not continue in the same or following subtitle. Keep the ellipsis usage within the same subtitle to a minimum.

Subtitle 1: Ama ben… Neyse, boş ver.

Subtitle 1: Sanırım… Boş ver.

  • When the source template has a word which is cut or interrupted, try and avoid cutting a word in half, and instead cut it off mid-sentence, avoiding any unintended ambiguity whenever possible.

Source: Everything is going to be fi…

Turkish: Her şey yoluna…

Source: I don't think that's neces…

Turkish: Bence buna hiç gerek…

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

Subtitle 1: …ve elindeki bıçağı yere bıraktı.

  • When ongoing dialogue is interrupted by a speaker’s title, or another character's dialogue, 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 projede yaklaşık…

Subtitle 2: (FN) YÖNETMEN

Subtitle 3: …sekiz ay çalıştım.

  • Within a sentence where swear words are bleeped out for creative purposes, do not add a space before or after the ellipsis.

Subtitle 1: Go… yourself.

Subtitle 1: S… git.

  • When an ellipsis is used to indicate bleeping at the end of the sentence, do not add another period to indicate sentence closure. Never use 4 or more consecutive dots/periods. Exclamation marks and question marks are exceptions to this rule (e.g. “Ağzına s…!”)
  • When characters finish each others’ sentences, use an ellipsis after the first sentence only.

          Line 1:         -Leb demeden…

           Line 2:         -Leblebiyi anlarım.

7. Documentary/Unscripted

  • 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.
  • Do not italicize the archival footage when it covers the screen and not seen on a TV or a monitor in the scene.

8. Dual Speakers

  • Use a hyphen without a space if two characters speak in one subtitle with a maximum of one character speaking per line:

-Geliyor musun?

-Geldim!

  • 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.

           Example (incorrect):

           Subtitle 1:

                     -Ne istiyorsun?

                     -Bak,

           Subtitle 2:

                     bir anlaşma yapalım.

                     Ben sana sosyal hayatında yardım edeyim,

           Subtitle 3:

                     sen de bana okulda yardım et.

           Example (corrected):

           Subtitle 1:

                     -Ne istiyorsun?

                     -Bak, bir anlaşma yapalım.

           Subtitle 2:

                     Ben sana sosyal hayatında yardım edeyim,

                     sen de bana okulda yardım et.

9. 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

10. Foreign Words and 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 that are accepted as specific terminology from a particular field may be used without italics (e.g. music, dance, science) such as “allegro”, “andante”, “cuprum”, “deseptyl” and so on.
  • Foreign words should be italicized, unless they have become part of regular usage (e.g. in Turkish, the following no longer need to be italicized: selfie, hacker, link) and unless they are proper names (e.g. a company name).
  • Make sure to use the Turkish transliteration of words which exist in Turkish language, (e.g. koordinasyon, leydi, kokteyl, pikap, jip/cip).
  • Foreign words used in place names do not require italics. For example, for “Chez Jacques” (name of a restaurant), there is no need to add italics to “chez” even though it is a foreign word.
  • Depending on the content and target audience, only well-known idioms (frequently appearing in press, media and internet) and phrases derived from Latin should be left as is. For example, “Veni, vidi, vici” (Geldim, gördüm, yendim.), “persona non grata” (istenmeyen kişi)
  • Proper names should be written in their original form: Beethoven, Shakespeare, da Vinci, McLaren, O'Brien.
  • If a proper name has a widely-used Turkish spellings, use the commonly accepted version: Napolyon, Sokrates, Aristoteles, Platon, Bolşevik, Çehov, Çaykovski, Dostoyevski, Gogol, Gorbaçov.
  • Be consistent when it comes to transliterating non-fictional character names in foreign content that uses a non-Latin alphabet, such as Russian, Japanese, Arabic.
  • Use the established translation/transliteration of place names if available: Atina, Brüksel, Cenevre, Pekin, Anvers, Tokyo, Hiroşima, Nagazaki, Meksiko, etc. 
  • When both transliterated and original versions of a place name are commonly used, either can be used as long as it is consistent (e.g. California/Kaliforniya, Chicago/Şikago). If you use the original spelling, make sure to capitalize according to the original language rules (e.g. WASHINGTON, VAŞİNGTON).
  • The references section contains further guidance.

11. Italics

  • Italicize the following:
    • Titles of books, periodicals, works of art, albums, movies, TV shows, radio shows, video games, etc. (for an episode title in a series, song titles, and newspaper and article headlines use quotation marks)
    • Foreign words (unless they are part of regular usage)
    • Dialogue that is heard through electronic media, such as a phone, television, or computer, loudspeaker, non-sentient robots, robotic voices or AI, etc. But do not italicize sentient and moving robot characters, and do not italicize if the speaker is merely holding a microphone or a bullhorn on camera (e.g. when an announcement is heard in a stadium, use italics; cut to press box, commentator continues making the announcement on camera, do not use italics)
    • Only use italics when the speaker is not in the scene(s), not merely off-screen or off-camera, behind a door or glass, out of shot, or in another room
    • Song lyrics when sung, not quoted (if rights have been granted)
    • Narration, unspoken thoughts, inner monologue, and voice-overs
  • In sections such as a phone conversation where the shot changes regularly between speakers, always ensure that segmentation and timing rules are correctly applied so as to ensure italics are used consistently and correctly.
  • Italicize suffixes, and symbols and punctuation marks that come before or after the italicized part.

          -Stranger Things’in hangi bölümlerini izledin?

          -Tüm bölümlerini izledim.

          Tuzu uzatabilir misin por favor?

  • If you need to italicize a word or phrase contained within italicized text, use unitalicized text.

          Yarın fajita yemeye gideceğiz.

          Breaking Bad’in tüm bölümlerini izledim.

  • However, if the entire text needs to be italicized in already italicized text, do not remove the italics.

          -Yarın geliyor musun?

          -[over the phone] Qui.

  • Do not use italics to indicate emphasis on specific words.
  • Do not italicize archival footage when it is not transmitted from a device in the scene, such as a TV or a monitor.
  • Do not italicize fictional TV footage (e.g. newscast), fictional home videos (e.g. videos recorded by a phone, VHS, etc.) and security footage when they are not transmitted from a device in the scene, such as a TV or a monitor

12. Line Treatment and Line Breaks

  • Maximum two lines.
  • Text should usually be kept to one line, unless it exceeds the character limitation.
  • Avoid having one short word on either one of the two lines, try to shorten the subtitle, apply an early line break if possible, or rephrase the sentence to avoid it.

          Example (incorrect):

                    Line 1: Bak,

                    Line 2: karşı evin çatısına bir kuş yuva yapmış.

          Example (correct):

                    Line 1: Bak, karşı evin çatısına

                    Line 2: bir kuş yuva yapmış.

          Example (incorrect):

                    Line 1: Henüz

                    Line 2: kesin bir şey söylememiz mümkün değil.

          Example (correct):

                    Line 1: Henüz kesin bir şey söylememiz

                    Line 2: mümkün değil.

          Example (correct):

                    Line 1: Henüz kesin bir şey söyleyemeyiz.

  • Avoid having half a sentence and a full sentence on the same line if possible.

  • Break lines:
    • After gerunds:

Line 1: Tüm giysilerini yıkayıp

Line 2: onu temiz ve düzenli tutarsın.

    • Unless:

Line 1: Jane’e gelip gelemeyeceğini sordum,

Line 2: bilmediğini söyledi.

    • Before conjunctions (it is preferable to keep linguistic units together):

Line 1: İşlerin çocukluğumuzdaki gibi yürüdüğünü

Line 2: farz ediyorsun.

    • Do not separate a noun from its article or adjective, or a verb from its auxiliary.

Line 1: Apartmandaki komşulardan rahatsız

Line 2: oluyor musunuz? (incorrect)

Line 1: Apartmandaki komşulardan rahatsız oluyor

Line 2: musunuz? (incorrect)

Line 1: Apartmandaki komşulardan

Line 2: rahatsız oluyor musunuz? (correct)

    • After adverbs (e.g. daha, göre, önce) postpositions (e.g. için, dek), optative case, punctuation marks.

                 Example (incorrect):

                 Line 1: Galiba anlatamıyorum. Büyük bir

                 Line 2: sorunum var.

                 Example (correct):

                 Line 1: Galiba anlatamıyorum.

                 Line 2: Büyük bir sorunum var.

  • Situations where a line break would serve as clarification (e.g. stand-up specials where the comedian plays two or more characters conversing) or is a part of the style (songs, poems).
  • Although a pyramid or a rectangle shaped subtitle is preferable most of the time, it is just as important to keep closely related linguistic units together. Try to find the balance between these two. Rephrase if it will result in a better line break when reading speed allows.

Example (unbalanced):

Line 1: "Sağ ol

Line 2: ama seni tehlikeye atmak istemiyorum."

           Example (incorrect):

           Sağ ol ama seni

           tehlikeye atmak istemiyorum.

Example (rephrased for balance):

Line 1: "Teşekkür ederim

Line 2: ama seni tehlikeye atmak istemiyorum."

  • In some instances leaving the adjective “bir” before the line break can improve readability when there is no way to keep the phrase on one line.

Examples:

Line 1: Genç, güzel, uzun boylu, sırma saçlı bir

Line 2: kasaba kadınıydı karşımızdaki.

Line 1: Biz öyle sıradan bir

Line 2: eğlence grubu değiliz.

  • Favor keeping word groups together when there is a list of nouns or back-to-back adjectives, rather than simply breaking before the conjunction.

           Example (incorrect):

                     Bir sürü kuş, böcek, insan

                     ve köpek âdeta ahenk içinde yaşıyordu.

           Example (corrected)

                     Line 1: Bir sürü kuş, böcek, insan ve köpek

                     Line 2: âdeta ahenk içinde yaşıyordu.

  • Favor keeping units connected to each other linguistically, syntactically, and semantically together.

           Example (incorrect):

                     Line 1: Bunu yarın patronuma

                     Line 2: söylediğimde tepesi fena atacak.

           Example (corrected):

                     Line 1: Bunu yarın patronuma söylediğimde

                     Line 2: tepesi fena atacak.

           Example (incorrect):

                     Line 1: Arkadaşım doğum günümde gelmiş

                     Line 2: geçmiş en güzel pastayı yaptı.

           Example (corrected):

                     Line 1: Arkadaşım doğum günümde

                     Line 2: gelmiş geçmiş en güzel pastayı yaptı.

  • Aim to avoid separating phrases from postpositional particles such as “gibi, diye, benzeri.”

           Example (incorrect):

                     Line 1: Bana “Seni sevmiyorum”

                     Line 2: diyen sen değil miydin?

           Example (corrected):

                     Line 1: Bana “Seni sevmiyorum” diyen

                     Line 2: sen değil miydin?

13. Numbers

  • From 1 to 9, numbers should be written out: bir, iki, üç, etc.
  • Above 9, numbers should be written numerically: 10, 11, 12, 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, or when a number is used as a figure of speech.

Dokuz on gün daha buradayız.

Sana kırk kez söyledim.

  • Use a period as the thousands separator for numbers with four or more digits. Use a comma as the decimal separator.

           3.500 dolar borcum var.

           1,5 milyon insan

           19.250,98 lira

  • If the number has more than six digits, write it out.

Üç milyon, 15 milyar, etc.

  • Units should be separated from the preceding figure with a non-breaking space (2.000 kg) while symbols should not be followed by space (%15).
  • Currencies should be spelled out.

3.000 avro, 500 lira

  • If you are working on dialogue-heavy content, you should still aim for spelling out the currency. However, when there is not enough space, the currency symbol can be used. If you decide to use the symbol, make sure it is used consistently throughout the file.

3.000 avro or 3.000 €

500 lira or 500 TL

3.000 dolar or $3.000

  • Measurements should be converted to the International System of Units (SI), unless the original unit of measurement is plot relevant.
  • When writing ordinal numbers, it is better to spell out the suffix when a number above 10 is used. However, sometimes, for style, consistency, or to overcome space limitations, you may use a period (.), or you may spell it all out. The important thing is to be consistent throughout the file.

           Birinci, ikinci, üçüncü, 22’nci, 23’üncü, 24’üncü

           Exceptions:

           72. Cadde, II. Dünya Savaşı, ha sekizinci ha onuncu

  • Use an apostrophe to denote decades and centuries.

‘20s, ‘30s…

1920'ler, 1930'lar (or 30’lu yıllar, 30'lar)

  • For sports, competitions, games or quizzes, always use numerals to display points, scores or timings.

           Tory maçı 3-2 kazandı.

14. 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 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.
  • Forced narratives that are redundant (e.g. identical to on-screen text or covered in the dialogue) must be deleted when they are on their own. However, when they are similar and the timing allows, it is best to include them so that the viewer does not need to go back and forth between the on-screen text and subtitle:

NEW ORLEANS, 1984

BROWN AİLESİNİN EVİ

  • Line breaks for forced narratives should match the on-screen text to increase readability.
  • On-screen text with hashtags can be written in title case to improve readability:

           #SonSınıfınİlkGünü

15. Poetry

  • Do not use italics.
  • Include quotation marks if someone else's poem is being recited.
  • Do not use quotation marks if a character is reciting their own poem.
  • Follow punctuation and capitalization of the original poem, if available.
  • If not available, use uppercase letters at the start of a new sentence only and commas or periods at the end of lines.
  • Existing translations of poetry and literary works may only be used if they are in public domain and/or clearances have been obtained.

16. Punctuation

  • Avoid using complex punctuation which could be hard for viewers to follow. For example, avoid using colons and semi-colons and instead use simple, clear sentence structures to aid comprehension.
  • Some of these examples conflict with TDK rules. These examples take precedence over TDK for readability purposes, please refer to TTSG for exceptions.
  • Commas
    • Do not use commas before conjunctions with the exception of when the lack of a comma might cause ambiguity due to free word order in Turkish, especially when the sentence trails off after a conjunction.

Example (incorrect):
Source: Are you coming, or…
Turkish: Geliyor musun yoksa…

Example (correct):
Source: Are you coming, or…
Turkish: Geliyor musun, yoksa…

    • Commas must be used whenever there is a risk of misunderstanding what the original is saying.
    • Commas are unnecessary in simple sentences where there is no risk of ambiguity.

O, benim arkadaşım > O benim arkadaşım. 

    • To separate consecutive sentences.

Thomas called and said he wouldn’t be able to make it.

Thomas aradı, toplantıya gelemeyeceğini söyledi.

    • Use commas to separate phrases and clauses within a sentence.

                Bu yarışı kazandıklarında, ki kazanmaları kaçınılmazdı, dünyada bir ilki başarmış olacaklardı.

  •  
    • Where more than one foreign name appears in a row, they should be separated by a comma for readability.

Winston will stay in Wisconsin.

Winston, Wisconsin’de kalacak.

    • Comma usage in direct speech, if the addressee is at the end of the sentence, is redundant in Turkish, unless there are back-to-back proper nouns or readability is improved.

Examples (redundant):

Gelmiyor musun Susan?

O öyle mi yapılır şapşal?

Examples (where commas may improve readability):

Gel, Alberto.

Adamın adı Juan, Helen.

    • Commas should not be used with phrases which function as reduplicates.

Example:

Anne babam gelmedi. (meaning “my parents”)

Zaman zaman buraya gelirim.

Pılımı pırtımı toplayıp gideceğim.

Görüşeli üç beş yıl oluyor.

    • Commas can be used instead of quotation marks after direct quotes.

Tedaviyi aksatmazsan

çabuk iyileşirsin, dedi.

    • In some cases, “demek” can be used as a figure of speech. In that case, a comma is not required.

Bir uğrayayım dedim.

    • Do not use a comma after “mı/mi” particle when it is used as “when.”

Oraya gitti mi dönmek bilmez.

    • Avoid commas next to ellipses.

Etrafı toplayacağını söylese de,… (Incorrect)

  • Apostrophes
    • Use an apostrophe for inflectional and/or derivational suffixes on foreign words that are not transliterated or adapted into Turkish, since it helps pick out the foreign words and facilitates readability. 

                Bluetooth’u, selfie’ler, etc.

                Bugün tio’m gelecek.

                Taco'lar hazır, sofraya gelebilirsiniz.

    • However, please keep in mind that some borrowed words that are mostly phonetic can be exempt from this rule:

                Hamburgerimi alıp geliyorum.

                Pizzalar geldi!

                Ninjalardan nasıl kaçacağız?

    • When separating an inflectional or plural suffix added to a foreign proper name, use an apostrophe.

                New York’lular

                Jason’lar

                Dwight’lardaki

                Schumacher’larda,                     

                Massachusetts’lilerden,

                April’cığım

    • To separate suffixes from numbers

1985’te, 18’inci madde, 22’nci kat; 8,25’lik, 657’yle, 9.15’te, etc.

    • For specific months and days:

17 Aralık’a kadar, 12 Temmuz 2010 Pazartesi’nin, etc.

    • Do not use an apostrophe to separate suffixes added to quoted material.     

Queen’den “Bohemian Rhapsody”yi çalmak istiyorum.

    • When a plural suffix loses its meaning and serves as a part of the word’s stem, use an apostrophe to separate the other suffixes which follow (e.g. Filipinler’e, Seyşeller’den, Prens Hazretleri’nin, Majesteleri’yle, etc.)
    • When separating suffixes from names of institutions, establishments, organizations, governing/industry bodies, corporations, sessions, departments, places of work, use an apostrophe:

Meclisi’ni

Kurumu’nu

Kurulu’nu

Başkanlığı’nın

Bölümü’nün

  •  
  • Colons and semicolons
    • Do not use colons or semicolons when separating hours and minutes as per Turkish grammar.

12:30 a.m. = 00.30 (Not 00:30)

17. Quotes

  • Use quotation marks at the start of the quotation and after the last line of the quotation, marking the beginning and end of the quotation (rather than the beginning and end of every subtitle within the quotation)

           Example:

                     Subtitle 1: "Bencillik, göze takılmış ayna gibidir.

                     Subtitle 2: O gözler nereye bakarsa baksın,

                                       kendinden başka birini görmez."

  • 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 is not.
  • Do not use final punctuation (full stop and comma) in quoted sentences. Note: this does not apply to question marks and exclamation marks.

           Examples:

                     Yasın beş evresinden ilki “inkâr”.

                     TDK’da “alt yazı” olarak geçer,

                     Dil Derneği’nde “altyazı”.

                     “Görüşelim tabii” dedi,

                     “Çevirilerden vakit bulursam.”

  • Use quotation marks if a character is seen to be reading aloud.

                     “Bir zamanlar Hansel ve Gretel adında

                     iki kardeş yaşarmış” diye okumaya başladı.

  • Quotation marks can be used to mark the words or expressions that have been made by the speaker, grammatically or phonetically incorrect or in the process of being coined.

Line 1:  -İçeri girmemin “mahsuru” var mı?

Line 2:  -Mahzuru yok, buyurun.

  • If an on-screen character does “air quotes” when speaking, please apply quotation marks to the equivalent word in the target language in order to retain creative intent and to help ensure clarity about which word or part of the sentence the air quotes apply to.

18. Reading Speed

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

19. 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. Reduplications such as “Vay vay” or  “Vah vah” are exempt from this rule.
  • When a word is repeated a significant number of times, such as "No, no, no, no, no", do not omit the repetition completely. “Hayır, hayır.” is preferred.
  • Do not contradict visual cues. For instance, when a speaker is pointing at multiple things, do not omit repetitions.

Bunu, bunu ve bunu alacağım.

  • Rhymes, poetry and lyrics are excluded from this rule.

20. Segmentation

  • Each subtitle must be semantically and grammatically self-contained, especially if a sentence goes over two or more subtitles. 
  • Longer chains of short subtitles and sentences spanning over three subtitles should be avoided whenever possible.
  • Avoid unfinished sentences continuing in separate subtitles.
    • Example (incorrect):

Subtitle 1:

Ben aslında oraya gelecektim.

Sonra bir de ne göreyim,

Subtitle 2:

sen zaten çoktan vazgeçmişsin.

Madem basıp gidecektin,

Subtitle 3:

neden bir arayıp söylemedin?

    • Example (corrected):

Subtitle 1:

Ben aslında oraya gelecektim.

Subtitle 2:

Sonra bir de ne göreyim,

sen zaten çoktan vazgeçmişsin.

Subtitle 3:

Madem basıp gidecektin,

neden bir arayıp söylemedin?

  • Keep questions and answers grouped together when two speakers are present. Make sure you follow the segmentation rules and avoid spoilers where suspense is created for creative intent or joke punchlines.
    • Example (incorrect):

Subtitle 1:

-Ben gelmiyorum.

-Sen geliyor musun?

Subtitle 2:

-Hayır.

-Ya sen?

Subtitle 3:

Ben gelirim.

    • Example (corrected):

Subtitle 1:

Ben gelmiyorum.

Subtitle 2:

-Sen geliyor musun?

-Hayır.

Subtitle 3:

-Ya sen?

-Ben gelirim.

    • Example (incorrect):

Subtitle 1:

-Sen niye buradasın?

-Nereye gideceğimi

Subtitle 2:

sana soracak değilim.

    • Example (corrected):

Subtitle 1:

Sen niye buradasın?

Subtitle 2:

Nereye gideceğimi

sana soracak değilim.

  • Back-to-back subtitles with short durations should be merged where timing and punchlines allow.
  • As best practice, where back-to-back subtitles from the same speaker appear, try to avoid duration imbalance if possible (for example a 20-frame segment before a 5-second segment, followed by another 20-frame segment).
  • Break lines and segments grammatically and in accordance with the flow of the language whenever possible.
    • Example (incorrect):

Subtitle 1:

Yol yardımı aradığımda

Subtitle 2:

kimse gelmediği için

10 kilometre yol yürümek zorunda kaldım.

    • Example (correct):

Subtitle 1:

Yol yardımı aradığımda

kimse gelmediği için

Subtitle 2:

10 kilometre yol yürümek zorunda kaldım.

    • Example (incorrect):

Subtitle 1:

Çocukların gelişimlerine

dikkat etmek büyük önem arz ediyor.

    • Example (correct):

Subtitle 1:

Çocukların gelişimlerine dikkat etmek

büyük önem arz ediyor.

21. 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.

22. Titles

  • Main titles: Subtitle the on-screen main title for branded content when the approved title for Turkish is available in KNP/Terminology and it does not match the title which appears in the card. Do not translate the main title from scratch: always use the approved title provided.
  • Do not subtitle when the on-screen main title and the approved title for Turkish are identical and fully match. (e.g. the on-screen title is already in Turkish, both read with the exact same words and spellings, etc.)
  • Subtitle when the approved title for Turkish contains a part that is transliterated/translated/transcreated/edited and does not fully match the on-screen main title. (e.g. when the on-screen title is The Haunting of Bly Manor but the approved title for Turkish is The Haunting: Bly Malikânesi)
  • When the provided translation of the main title does not work with a line break in a way that fits within the limit, the maximum character count per line or maximum line limit can be exceeded. Do not split the provided translation into multiple subtitle events.
  • Do not italicize the main title event.
  • 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.

23. 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 (i.e. replicate tone, register, class, formality, etc. in the target language in an equivalent way).
  • Syntax may be reformulated for clarity when translating.

           Source: I was very clear, Toby, when I said I didn’t want this.

           Turkish: Bunu istemediğimi gayet net bir şekilde belirtmiştim Toby.

  • While translating make sure that you retain the intended tone and severity.

Source: What the fuck am I supposed to do now?

Avoid: Ne yapacağım ben şimdi a… koyayım?

Prefer: Ben şimdi ne bok yiyeceğim?

  • Deliberate misspellings and mispronunciations should not be reproduced in the translation unless plot-pertinent.
  • Avoid unnecessarily inverted sentences, and be mindful of how the word order can change the meaning (e.g. “Ali bugün okula gitti.”,  “Ali okula bugün gitti.” and “Bugün okula Ali gitti.”)

           Example (incorrect): Yok ki yapmam gereken bir şey benim.

           Example (corrected): Benim yapmam gereken bir şey yok ki.

  • Please pay attention to the content when translating words relating to family connections.

Example:

aunt: teyze/hala/yenge

uncle: amca/dayı/enişte

brother: abi/ağabey/kardeş

sister: abla/kardeş

  • Pay attention to consistency of formal/informal address, especially in a series. (Siz vs. sen)
  • Avoid unintended religious language.
  • When an expression such as "Oh, my God" is used to express surprise, anger or excitement and has no intended religious sentiment, capitalization is not mandatory in the translation, but both forms can be used as long as it is consistent, i.e. "Aman tanrım” and “Aman Tanrım”.
  • Do not translate onomatopoeias (sound words) and interjections that the general audience would understand (e.g. ah, oh, huh, hmm, mhm) when used in isolation. However, onomatopoeias and interjections such as “yuck, ouch, yay, hooray” that the target audience might not be familiar with can be translated, especially when working on kids’ content.
  • Using accents is mandatory for all words (Kâğıt, rüzgâr, inkâr etc.) particularly for distinguishing homographs:

hala (aunt) / hâlâ (still)

ala (mixed color) / âlâ (better, best)

kar (snow) / kâr (profit)

aşık (competition) / âşık (to be in love)

askeri/askerî, dini/dinî, ilmi resmî, resmi/resmî

  • Accent rules from both TDK and Dil Derneği can be followed as long as accents is applied consistently (e.g. hükûmet/hükümet, herhâlde/herhalde)
  • When brand names or trademarks appear, you may either; use the same name if it is known in the territory you are translating for; adapt to the name that the brand or product is known by that the territory you are translating for (e.g. Algida instead of Wall’s); or use a generic name for that product or item. Avoid swapping out names of brands, companies or famous people for other names (e.g. when needed, Kleenex should be localized as “peçete” or “mendil” instead of “Selpak”).
  • The minimum duration may be extended to one second for a better viewer experience whenever possible.

24. 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" çalar]
  • Song lyrics should be enclosed with a music note (♪) at the beginning and the end of each subtitle.
  • Add a space between the music note and the preceding or subsequent text.
  • When a dual speaker subtitle appears in a song, e.g. when there is a duet, each line of sung text should have a music note at the beginning and end to clearly indicate that both characters are singing.
  • Use brackets [ ] to enclose speaker IDs or sound effects.
  • Identifiers/sound effects should be all lowercase, except for proper nouns.
  • Prefer simple present tense in SDH descriptors and labels: e.g. [hüzünlü müzik çalar]
  • Only use speaker IDs or sound effects when they cannot be visually identified.
  • When characters are not yet identified, use [erkek], [kadın] or [erkek sesi], [kadın sesi], 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 müzik çalar] or [radyoda hafif caz müziği çalar]
  • Plot-pertinent sound effects should always be included unless inferred by the visuals.
  • Subtitle silence if plot-pertinent. For example, when plot-pertinent music ends abruptly.
  • Be detailed and descriptive, use adverbs where appropriate when describing sounds and music, describe voices, speed of speech, volume of sounds.
  • Describe the sounds and audio as opposed to visual elements or actions.
  • Sound effects that interrupt dialogue should be treated as follows:

Subtitle 1: Son zamanlarda…

                  [öksürür]

Subtitle 2:  …buna sık rastlar olduk.

  • Speaker IDs and the corresponding dialogue should ideally be on the same line.
  • Never italicize speaker IDs or sound effects, even when the spoken information is italicized, such as in a voice-over.

[anlatıcı] Bir zamanlar…

  • In instances of foreign dialogue being spoken:
    • If foreign dialogue is translated, use [in language], for example [İspanyolca]
    • If foreign dialogue is not meant to be understood, use [speaking language], for example [İspanyolca konuşur]
    • Always research the language being spoken – [yabancı dilde konuşur] should never be used
  • When working with existing poetry and song lyrics, align with the original spelling of the poem or song in order to keep the meter and the rhyme intact.
        • Example:
          Güzelliğin on par'etmez
          Bu bendeki aşk olmasa

25. References


Change Log:

2022-11-03

  • Revised section 22 Titles - "for branded content" added

2022-10-07

  • Revised section 5 Character names - 7th bullet point added
  • Revised section 13 Numbers - minor typos corrected
  • Revised 16 Punctuation - 4th bullet point added about commas with examples, 8th bullet about "ve" removed, bullet about reformulating syntax removed
  • Revised section 22 Titles - rules added/edited to include main title translations
  • Revised section 24 SDH Guidelines - final bullet point added

2022-06-17

  • Revised section 1 Abbreviations - 3rd bullet point edited
  • Revised section 2 Acronyms - 3rd bullet point edited
  • Revised section 3 Capitalization - whole section heavily edited and expanded
  • Revised section 5 Character names - 3rd, 6th, 8th and 9th bullet points edited and expanded
  • Revised section 6 Continuity - whole section expanded with new examples
  • Revised section 8 Dual speakers - new examples added to 2nd bullet point
  • Revised section 10 Foreign Words and Dialogue - 3rd, 4th, 5th, 7th, 8th, 10th, 11th, 12th and 13th bullet points edited and expanded
  • Revised section 11 Italics - whole section heavily edited and expanded
  • Revised section 12 Line treatment and line breaks - whole section heavily edited and expanded
  • Revised section 13 Numbers - 4th, 9th, 10th and 12th bullet points edited and expanded
  • Revised section 14 On-screen text - 2nd and 3rd bullet points edited, 9th and 10th added
  • Revised section 16 Punctuation - 1st bullet point edited, new examples added, apostrophes section expanded extensively
  • Revised section 17 Quotations - New example added to 1st, 5th and 6th bullet points
  • Revised section 19 Repetitions - 2nd bullet point expanded
  • Revised section 20 Segmentation - 1st and 2nd bullet points edited, minor text edits in subsequent examples
  • Revised section 23 Special Instructions - 4th bullet point added, 8th added with examples, bullets 12 to 17 edited and expanded
  • Revised section 25 References - links added for country names and capital cities

2021-07-11

  • Revised section 5 Character Names - 7th bullet point added
  • Revised section 17 Quotation Marks - 1st bullet point edited with localized example added

2021-07-11

2021-04-19

  • Article received extensive additions and edits, including new sections and renumbering of existing sections
  • Section added: Abbreviations
  • Section edited: Character Names, bullets 3-6 edited/added
  • Section edited: Acronyms, all bullets added or expanded
  • Section added: Capitalization
  • Section edited: Continuity, edited and expanded from the 2nd bullet point onwards
  • Section edited: Documentary/Unscripted, 8th bullet point added
  • Section edited: Dual Speakers, example added
  • Section edited: On-screen Text, 9th bullet and example added
  • Section edited: Foreign Words and Dialogue, section renamed and expanded from 3rd bullet point onwards
  • Section edited: Italics, 2nd and 3rd bullet points added
  • Section edited: Line Treatment and Line Breaks, edited and expanded from 3rd bullet point onwards
  • Section added: Segmentation
  • Section edited: Numbers, all bullet points edited and expanded including a change to the parameters for writing out numbers. Numbers above 9 should be written numerically (previously above 10)
  • Section edited: Quotes, 4th and 6th bullets added
  • Section edited: Repetitions, 3rd, 4th and 5th bullet points added
  • Section edited: Songs, final bullet referring to poetry removed
  • Section added: Poetry
  • Section edited: Special Instructions, edited and expanded from the 4th bullet point onwards
  • Section added: Punctuation
  • Section edited: References, additional sources added, 1st and 3rd bullet points added

2021-02-24

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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