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Legacy Workflow: Pivot Language Dialogue List Scope of Work

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A Pivot Language Dialogue List (PLDL) will be commissioned for any content for which the source language is not English. Localization partners servicing non-English content will receive a PLDL as part of the reference materials provided by Netflix. The PLDL will encompass a time-coded transcription of the original dialogue alongside its translation into English. The English translation should remain true to the original creative intent and will serve as the pivot language for consistent translations across all dubbed languages.

Scope of Work

The creation of a Pivot Language Dialogue List involves two steps: 

  1. Original dialogue transcription by a native speaker of the source language.
  2. An English translation by a native English speaker with professional knowledge of the source language of the video. If a native English speaker is not available for translation, then a proofreading pass by a native English speaker is required to ensure native fluency of the translation.

The English translation should: 

  • Not take into consideration timing, lip sync or reading speed concerns.
  • Be the most natural, comprehensive and idiomatic rendition of the original text, preserving the tone and nuances creatively intended.

The PLDL service will include up to two deliveries:

  1. A PLDL created to the locked cut; and
  2. A PLDL created to final media, alongside a change log of Locked to Final changes pertaining to dialogue and on-screen text.

For workflows in which a Netflix QC is required, QC notes should be implemented in the final delivery of the PLDL.

In addition to PLDL creation, the PLDL partner is responsible for the below KNP entries:

  • Key source terms and phrases in the original language
  • English translations for all original language terms

Style Guide

  • The Pivot Language Dialogue List document should consist of three tabs: Dialogue List, Change List and Project Info. Example here.
  • PLDLs should not contain any logos, identifiers, or other text crediting the fulfillment partner.

Tab 1 - PLDL
Columns (from left to right): Timecode, Source, Dialogue, Translation, Annotations, Error Code, Severity, and Netflix QC Notes.

  • Timecode should be frame-accurate to Netflix burn-in timecode.
  • Source column should be in all caps and include consistent, correct spellings for:
    • Speakers (according to source material such as shooting script, credits or on-screen text)
      • Each cell should contain dialogue of one single speaker, except when multiple characters speak in unison. 
      • The speaker name should be Romanized.
    • Narrative text (text originating from the principal photography, i.e. a letter or sign).
    • Burned-in text (text added in the post production process: main and episode titles, creatively designed on-screen graphics, text messages, location, and time identifier).
      • Burned-in English subtitles for the original language dialogue should be ignored (see “Translation” section below);
      • Burned-in subtitles for foreign dialogue will be addressed below, under “Treatment of Foreign dialogue”.
      • Include “above-the-line” credits in Source column such as the screenwriter, producer, directors, and actors.
  • Dialogue column should contain a complete accurate transcription of all dialogue (main and background dialogue) and stutters/syllables as well as descriptions of mouth sounds in brackets (e.g.: [sighs], [laughs], [long pause], etc).
  • Translation column should contain the English translation of all dialogue as well as on-screen text.
    • If there are burned-in English production subtitles to the original dialogue in the locked proxy, those do not need to be transcribed into the English translation.
  • Treatment of foreign dialogue (non-source language)
    • Foreign words including short phrases:
      • Transcribe in the original language and italicize in the Dialogue column.
    • Longer passages:
      • Indicate foreign dialogue language (use format [speaks German])
      • Transcribe foreign language
      • If foreign dialogue is creatively intended to be understood (i.e. subtitled in the original version), translate into English (using burned-in subtitles in locked cut as reference)
        • If any mistranslations are noted in burned-in subtitles, please flag to Netflix before updating in dialogue list.
        • Sign language should receive the above treatment. Please reach out to your Netflix contact for sign language translations.
  • Annotations
      • The PLDL should include annotations for any instance of challenging idiomatic expressions, or that could be interpreted in more than one way. 
      • These annotations are required to ensure downstream localization remains as close to the original creative intent as possible.
      • Pay special attention to the inclusion of local idioms, slang, cultural references, double entendres, unclear references, the pronunciation of foreign names, local brands etc.
00:08:35:12 00:08:36:23 JOANA Você acha que dinheiro dá em árvore? Podemos tentar matar dois coelhos com uma cajadada só e economizar algum dinheiro. You think money grows on trees? We can try to kill two birds with one stone to save a bit of money.

(You...trees = meaning, 'do you think money is easily accessible')

(we...money= achieve two things at once)


Columns H, I and J are for Netflix internal use only, and are not to be filled out by the partner.

  • Error Code, the Issue type flagged in the dialogue list during QC.
  • Severity Level of the issue flagged.
  • Netflix QC Notes, an explanation of the issues detected.

Tab 2 - Change List
Please Include at the header: 

  • Version number
  • AV filename
  • Delivery date (DD-MM-YYYY)

Changes should be presented side-by-side in their respective columns next to the updated final translation. Example:












Sua situação financeira...

In your financial circumstance...

A floresta escura está longe do chalé.

The dark forest is far away from the cabin.

Dialogue & translation changed


Specific details about updated dialogue/on-screen text and summaries of global or broad changes (e.g.: eight-second offset at beginning of program, scene added at 01:22:30, etc) should be provided in the Notes column.

*Please refrain from using formatting (bold, underline or strikethrough) to indicate changes, as these might be lost when importing documents to different tools.

Tab 3 - Project Info
This tab should contain:

  • Show Title
  • Episode Title, Movie ID, and number in sequence of season
  • Total runtime
  • Reference Material Received: (Shooting script, None, Other) 
  • If Other, Specify (indicate what was received)
  • Version number (V1 being the original delivery, V2 the updated file and so forth)
  • Filename of video to which script is being delivered
  • Date file was delivered 

Disclaimer: do not add columns, change their formatting or their order. Use each column for its intended purpose only.

Reference/Workable Materials

  • Preliminary/Locked Proxy
  • Final Proxy

*Additional materials like Shooting Scripts, Show Guides, etc. may be available but are not required materials for fulfillment.

The following deliverables are expected for the fulfillment of the PLDL Scope of Work:

  • PLDL Version 1 - To locked/preliminary proxy
  • PLDL Version 2 - Updating to final proxy accompanied by a change list
    • If applicable, QC notes will be incorporated in Version 2

*Additional versions subject to conform rates.

File Naming Convention
[ShowTitle]_Season[#]_Episode[#]_[EpisodeTitle]_[PKID]_[PLDL]_[VersionNumber]_[DateOfDelivery DD-MM-YYYY]


Service Level Agreement (SLA)

  • To be considered on-time, the partner must deliver the initial translation within the agreed SLA upon receipt of video. Requests for delivery in less than the specific SLAs according to runtime will be subject to rush fee.
  • The turnaround time for the PLDL service is the following:
    • Up to 2 hours TRT (feature or batch of 3x 45min episodes), 7 calendar days;
  • Versioning and conforms should be delivered within 72 hours.
  • Failure to meet requirements and style guide specifications will result in redelivery request at partner cost that will impact metrics.


Change log (2019-07-11)

  • Scope of Work
  • Style Guide (Tab 1 - PLDL, Tab 2 - Change List, Tab 3 - Project Info)
  • Reference/Workable Materials
  • Deliverables
  • File Naming Convention
  • Service Level Agreement


Change log (2020-07-17)

  • Changed American Sign Language to more inclusive Sign Language
  • Updated Annotation section for clarity
  • Added one more example of file naming convention Clarified the use of Source column for non-Roman transcriptions
  • Updated the Project Info tab section to include “Reference Material Received”
  • Added Disclaimer section


Change log (2019-12-15)

  • Service Level Agreement- Conformance







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