Introducing Computer Assisted Localisation

Maarten Verwaest
March 27, 2019

More and more content is produced for global distribution and requires localisation. Conventional subtitling is a slow and expensive process, so we automated it. As a producer or a distributor, you can now reach a much wider audience.

Why automatic Subtitling

While some producers of audiovisual content, including Film, Television and Corporate Video, have considered subtitling as an essential part of the production process, providing subtitles is now mandatory in many places for cause of non-discrimination. Adding to that, content is increasingly produced with the intention of global distribution. So it needs localisation whereby the audio is translated in subtitles of other languages.

However, the cost of manual subtitling and localisation is significant. Depending on the type of content, it takes 10 to 20 hours hours of work to manually edit subtitles of a 50′ documentary or drama. So at Limecraft we asked ourselves the question what it took to radically automate the process.

Adding Machine Translation and Natural Language Processing

To automate the subtitling process, our development teams faced a number of different challenges. Turning audio into text is the easy part. You can use pretty good machine transcription services from Limecraft or other parties. Turning the script or the transcription into properly looking subtitles was the more challenging part, as we have explained in another blogpost.

But now we added machine translation to the pipeline. With a single click, you can instruct us to translate the transcription from the original language to the destination language.  Before and after the translation, we take care of the spotting rules and the timing, presenting the translated subtitles in a natural look and feel. For editing purposes, they are displayed alongside the media, so you can play the sequence with subtitles, check the quality and correct where necessary. When finished, you can export the subtitles in any format of choice (SRT, STL, EBU-TT-D).

Key Benefits

Statistics show that users save 50% to 80% of the cost and the turnaround time for same-language subtitling, depending on the quality of the audio and the grammatical quality of the spoken language. Once the original language subtitles are properly aligned, adding other languages is executed in minutes.

Creative Europe

The development of automated localisation of content is partially funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Commission.

Book a Demo