TABLE OF CONTENTS
This article provides best practice ideas and options in solving commonly encountered text localization challenges for nonfiction content (documentaries and unscripted). It is not a substitute for Timed Text Style Guides. Please always refer to the style guides for language/asset specific requirements. If you have specific concerns or encounter an instance that requires further attention, please seek advice from your Netflix Representative.
MUSIC, SONG TREATMENT
Subtitling and captioning rights vary across (and even within) the various categories of music (original/commissioned, licensed, public domain). Please seek advice from your Netflix Representative.
For SDH, please adhere to the English SDH Style Guide for all audible songs regardless of plot-pertinence.
BRAND NAMES TREATMENT
- If the brand name is the subject of the documentary or program, do not substitute or otherwise change the brand name.
- If the brand name is not the subject of the documentary or program, treatment can be handled in one of the following ways:
(A) use the same original language brand name if it is widely known and used in that territory;
(B) use the name that brand is known by in that territory;
(C) use a generic term for the product.
- Do not use another company's name or trademarked item in lieu of the original brand name.
TV/MOVIE/HISTORICAL CLIP TREATMENT
- Historical/Archival footage or audio clips: Cover instances with subtitles only to ensure the historic and creative intent of these clips are maintained.
- Anything historical and filmed/recorded outside of the film/series itself is typically considered archival material. Examples of commonly used archival material are: Recorded audio from confessions/phone calls, TV news footage, court footage, speeches from political figures or activists, etc
- Subtitling and captioning rights vary across (and even within) the various categories of clips (owned original, licensed, public domain). Please seek advice from your Netflix Representative. Do not subtitle events for non-plot-pertinent dialogue in TV/Movie clips.
- For SDH, please adhere to the English SDH Style Guide for all audible dialogues in TV/Movie clips regardless of plot-pertinence.
NAMES OF KNOWN PERSONS
- Any reference to a known person (celebrity, actor, politician, musician, etc.) should not be changed to a local known equivalent unless approved by your Netflix representative.
ONSCREEN TEXT TREATMENT
- Please refer to the Language Timed Text Style Guides
- Netflix Original Credits - Use Netflix-approved translations provided in the Originals Credit Translations document.
- Burnt-in text, on-screen text messages, quotes, or forced narratives - please translate and subtitle/FN for all languages unless redundant in the target language. Please DO NOT dub for these instances.
- News tickers/banners from news archive clips: Translations and subtitles are not required unless they are plot pertinent.
- Newspaper headlines/highlighted excerpts from articles: Translate and subtitle in the forced narrative file. Include translations in the full subtitle file, as well, if/when dialogue allows.
Exceptions: If the headline translation is covered within dialogue, do not translate/subtitle.
- Reminder: 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.
FOREIGN DIALOGUE TREATMENT
- For the general guidelines on the treatment of foreign dialogue in subtitles, please refer to the Timed Text Style Guides.
- Foreign dialogues should be translated and subbed only if plot-pertinent (usually with forced narratives). If you are ever unclear about what should or should not be covered, please inquire with your Netflix Representative.
- Removing references to dubbing and audio in general. For specific dubbed audio instructions refer to the Creative Excellence in Dubbing - Guidelines article.