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In July 2021, the following updates were implemented to the Netflix timed text style guides. Please follow these rules for all new tasks and projects. Feedback can be submitted via the button at the bottom of each style guide. The change log on each style guide serves as the main resource for looking at the changes - this article is a summary of the overall changes.

Update 25th August: Further edits were made to the Arabic TTSG on 25th August with some further examples added and a new section about diacritics.

All languages

  • The template and timings guidelines had some minor edits.
  • Guidelines about how to deal with air quotes were added to most style guides: 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.
  • Guidelines about the shape of a subtitle were added to most style guides: 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.
  • Points covering how to deal with brand names, trademarks and names of famous people were added to most style guides: 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.
  • Additional notes about music notes and spacing were added to most SDH sections: 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

Arabic

  • Extensive changes were made to the Arabic timed text style guide, including points covering dialect, abbreviations, character names, continuity, on-screen text, foreign dialogue, line treatment, quotations, hashtags, websites, numbers and diacritics.
  • Note: Some additional edits were made to the foreign words/dialogue and special instructions sections on 30th July due to some minor typos.
  • Edit 25th August:
    • New visual examples were added to the continuity, on-screen text, treatment of hashtags etc. and numbers section
    • The diacritics section was added
    • A slight adjustment was made to the rule in the SDH section about speaker IDs and dialogue needing to be on the same line

Brazilian Portuguese

  • The changes made to the Brazilian Portuguese timed text style guide include a change in the way we deal with speakers' titles in documentaries, a rule change regarding dual speaker subtitles which now require a space between the hyphen and subsequent text, a new line breaks section.

Dutch

  • The changes to the Dutch timed text style guide include additional points about abbreviations,  dual speaker subtitles, italics and emphasis, line treatment numbering.

English

  • The English timed text style guide was updated to cover line breaks, subjective punctuation points, additional clarity in the continuity section, exclamation mark usage and the allowance of interrobangs.

French

Greek

  • The Greek timed text style guide underwent several updates including dealing with names from other countries, numbers in FNs, italics, foreign dialogue, dealing with translated film and series titles, how to translate/include exclamations and diacritics in possessive pronouns.

Korean

Russian

Spanish

  • The Spanish timed text style guide was updated with an edited example in the continuity section, revisions to the dual speaker subtitle section, edits in the numbering section and a couple of minor adjustments in the SDH guidelines section.

Tagalog

  • The timed text style guide for Tagalog was edited with new examples and expanded rules in several areas, points around dealing with foreign words, ordinal numbers, quotations, formal writing style and hashtags.

Thai

Traditional Chinese

Ukrainian

  • The Ukrainian timed text style guide was edited and expanded to cover additional points relating to numbers in FNs, hyphens and dashes and punctuation in songs.
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