Hebrew Timed Text Style Guide
This document covers the language specific requirements for Hebrew. Please make sure to also review the General Requirements section and related guidelines for comprehensive instructions surrounding timed text deliveries to Netflix.
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. Grammar and Syntax
- Follow appropriate Hebrew grammar. Refrain from adhering to English/source language syntax as this can create awkward, stilted phrasing.
- Here are some examples of basic grammar do's and dont's:
- In general, please adhere to the new full script spelling rules of the Academy of the Hebrew Language to ensure comprehension.
- Please note these exceptions:
צהריים, מחרת, הנה, אמנות/אמן.
- The words אמא/אימא and מייד/מיד may be spelled either way provided that there is consistency within the same file.
- However, add Mater Lectionis (א, ה, ו, י) to avoid ambiguity when words that are spelled the same way mean two different things:
מנהל/מינהל, מחזור/מיחזור, יזמה/יוזמה, תכנה/תוכנה, חכמה/חוכמה, ישרה/יושרה, אבדן/אובדן
- 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 an ellipsis when a sentence is split between two continuous subtitles.
Subtitle 1 תמיד ידעתי
Subtitle 2 .שבסופו של דבר תסכים איתי
- Use ellipses to indicate a pause (2 seconds or more) or an abrupt interruption:
.היא היססה… בנוגע לקבלת העבודה
…עמדתי להגיד לך ש
!אני לא רוצה לדעת מזה-
- In the case of a pause (2 seconds or more), if the sentence continues in the next subtitle, do not use an ellipsis at the beginning of the second subtitle.
Subtitle 1 …אם היא הייתה אומרת לי
Subtitle 2 .לא הייתי מתקשרת אליך
- Use ellipsis without a space to indicate that a subtitle is starting mid-sentence:
.וחתמתי על ההסכם…
- 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 no ellipses at the beginning of the sentence in the subtitle that follows it.
Subtitle 1 …עבדתי על הסרט
Subtitle 2 (FN) - שם הבמאי-
Subtitle 3 .במשך שישה חודשים
- 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.
7. 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.
- 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.
?איך זה קרה לה בדיוק
.אין לי מושג-
8. 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.
9. On-screen Text
- Forced narrative titles for on-screen text should only be included if plot-pertinent.
- When on-screen text and dialogue overlap, try to include both where possible. If not, precedence should be given to the most plot-pertinent message.
- 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 should be enclosed in hyphens ( - ), except for foreign dialogue.
ישראל מזרחי -
- מנהל אגף החינוך
- In cases where large amounts of continuous text are split between several subtitles, and it is not possible to create self-contained sentences, please do not use hyphens. For example:
Subtitle 1 בהיותה בשיא כוחה, היתה האימפריה הרומית עצומה
Subtitle 2 והשתרעה ממדבריות אפריקה
Subtitle 3 .עד לגבולות צפון אנגליה
- Never combine a forced narrative with dialogue in the same subtitle.
- When a forced narrative interrupts dialogue, use ellipses 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.
Subtitle 1 …לא ידעתי מה לומר
Subtitle 2 (FN) - שיקגו, יוני 2013 -
Subtitle 3 ,האנשים נכנסו לאולם אחד אחד
.ואני פשוט צפיתי בהם
10. 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.
- Do not use italics.
12. Line Treatment
- Maximum two lines.
- Text should usually be kept to one line, unless it exceeds the character limitation.
- Prefer a bottom-heavy pyramid shape for subtitles when multiple line break options present themselves, but avoid having just one or two words on the top line.
- 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, 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.
- For currency, symbols are not used. Instead, currency types should be written out.
.זה עלה 30 דולר
- Both Hebrew and Latin punctuation marks are accepted.
15. Quotation Marks
- Use quotation marks at the start of the quotation and then at the beginning of each new line belonging to the same quotation:
Subtitle 1 .אני תמיד נראה עצבני"
Subtitle 2 ,כשאתה נראה עצבני כל הזמן"
Subtitle 3 ".אנשים חושבים שאתה עסוק"
- Use double quotation marks (" ") without spaces for regular quotations. Use single 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. A quotation continuing over more than one subtitle should be considered as an independent quotation in any case.
“.לא ידענו מה לעשות, הלכנו הלוך וחזור ולא היה מוצא"
הוא אמר לי, "אני חושב שאם אשתדל מאוד
".אצליח למצוא פתרון לבעיה"
"היא אמרה לי, "עזוב, אתה לא רציני
- Use quotation marks for poetry.
- Use quotation marks when a character is seen to be reading aloud.
- 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.
16. Reading Speed
- Adult programs: 17 characters per second.
- Children’s programs: 13 characters per second.
- 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 subtitles to the audio but translate only once. Disregard if the repetition is for emphasis or has some narrative significance. Use discretion.
- 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.
- Use opening quotes for lyrics and a closing quote at the end of the last verse. Do not italicize.
- 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.
- 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.
- When subtitled, episode titles should be enclosed in hyphens, as are all other forced narrative titles.
- Hyphens should also be used for approved Netflix credits translations.
- NETFLIX סדרה מקורית של -
- Titles of published works, existing movies and TV shows: use official or well-known translations. If none are available, please transliterate.
20. Special Instructions
- Dialogue must never be censored. Expletives should be rendered as faithfully as possible.
- Plot-pertinent dialogue always takes precedence over background dialogue.
- 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.
- 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; or use a generic name for that product or item. Avoid swapping out names of brands, companies or famous people for other names.
- Names of real-life people (cast, public figures) should be transliterated based on common practice, even if common practice is different from pronunciation in the source language.
- Nicknames of real-life people should be treated based on common practice (e.g. Bubba the Love Sponge Clem - באבה 'ספוג האהבה’ קלם).
- Names of places and institutions, either real or made up, should be transliterated.
- Character names and nicknames should be transliterated except for the following cases:
- If reading speed or space is a problem, leave well-known abbreviations in English (FBI rather than אף-בי-איי, NFL rather than אן-אף-אל.
- If reading speed and space allows, it is recommended to leave in Hebrew. Use your discretion on a case-by-case basis.
- Transliteration should comply with the transliteration rules of the Academy of the Hebrew Language.
- If pronunciation is tricky, please make sure to find out the origin of the name (Hindi/Tamil, Spanish/Basque) and research its pronunciation.
- For further details regarding Hebrew transliteration, please consult the Netflix Hebrew Transliteration Guidelines.
22. 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 Hebrew, 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: [השיר "Forever Your Girl" מתנגן]
- 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.
- Only use speaker IDs or sound effects when they cannot be visually identified.
- When characters are not yet identified, use [גבר], [אישה] or [קול גבר], [קול אישה] so as not to provide information that is not yet present in the narrative.
- Gender-neutral identifiers like [קריין.נית חדשות], [רופא.ה] or [מוכר.ת] can be used where appropriate.
- Use a generic ID to indicate and describe ambient music, e.g. [מוזיקת רוק נשמעת] or [מוזיקת ג'אז רכה מתנגנת ברדיו]
- 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:
…כתובית 1: יחד עם זאת, בזמן האחרון
[משתעל, מושך באפו]
כתובית 2: …ראיתי עוד מזה.
- Speaker IDs and the corresponding dialogue can be on the same line if there is space, or:
…לפני שנים רבות, היה
- In instances of foreign dialogue being spoken:
- If foreign dialogue is translated, use [in language], for example [בספרדית]
- If foreign dialogue is not meant to be understood, use [speaking language], for example, feminine form [דוברת ספרדית], masculine form [דובר ספרדית]
- Always research the language being spoken – [שפה זרה] should never be used
- "The Academy of the Hebrew Language" Website: http://hebrew-academy.huji.ac.il
- Even-Shoshan Dictionary http://www.xn----0hcdndtvomdb2jb.net/
- New sections added for 3. Grammar and syntax and 4. Spelling - subsequent sections renumbered accordingly
- Revised section 9 On-screen Text - 2nd bullet point edited, 6th bullet point edited with new examples added
- Revised section 10 Foreign dialogue - points around transliteration removed and moved to new section below
- Revised section 15 Quotation Marks - 1st and 3rd bullets edited and examples added, review section carefully
- Revised section 17 Repetitions - 2nd bullet point expanded
- New section added for 21. Transliteration
- Revised section 13 Quotation marks - 1st bullet point rephrased for clarity
- Revised section 10 Line Treatment - 3rd bullet point added
- Revised section 13 Quotes - 8th bullet point added
- Revised section 18 Special Instructions - final bullet point added
- Revised section 19 SDH Guidelines - 10th and 11th bullet points added
- Revised section 19 SDH Guidelines - localized examples added
- Revised section 5 Dual speakers - 2nd bullet point added
- Revised section 10 Line treatment - 2nd bullet point added
- Revised section 13 Quotation marks - 6th and 7th bullet points added
- Revised section 3 Continuity - 1st bullet point added clarifying type of ellipsis permitted
- Revised section 19 SDH Guidelines - 3rd bullet point reworded
- Revised section 18 Special Instructions - 3rd bullet point added
- Revised section 19 SDH Guidelines - 3rd bullet point added
- Added section 7 On-screen Text - section header revised for clarity
- Revised section 3 Continuity - revised for accuracy of display and consistency
- Revised section 4 Documentary - 3rd and 4th bullet points added
- Added section 7 Forced Narratives - 2nd, 3rd and 5th bullet points added, example updated
- Revised section 8 Foreign Dialogue - 3rd bullet point added
- Revised section 11 Numbers - 4th and 5th bullet points revised
- Added section 12 Punctuation
- Revised section 13 Quotes - 5th bullet point rewritten for clarity, examples revised
- Revised section 15 Repetitions - 1st point revised for clarity
- Revised section 16 Songs - 2nd and 3rd bullet points added
- Revised section 17 Titles - 1st and 2nd bullet points revised, 3rd and 4th bullet points added
- Revised section 18 Special Instructions - 4th bullet point added
- Revised section 19 SDH Guidelines - renamed and expanded for clarity