Why should I get involved?
Although subbing can be a lot of work, it is also very fun and rewarding. Subbing is a great way to put language skills into practice. You'll learn a lot of new things along the way, and connect with a community of fans from around the world.
Introduction: Subtitle Translation
Translations are a community effort, and everyone is welcome to contribute! All you need to get started is an account. You don't need to be granted special permission to work on a project, but it wouldn't be a bad idea to check-in with others who may also be working on the same project to make sure you're all on the same page. At the same time, you are encouraged to apply to the team. There are certain restrictions for those who are not yet part of the team, and applying will grant you greater access and privileges. Applying to the team does not mean you have to be constantly active. It is understandable that you will have commitments outside of DSS, and will only work on subtitles as time permits. All work is voluntary!
Subtitle translation is divided into the following tasks: translation, editing, quality control editing (QC)
English Language Subtitles
- The subtitles are created by translating from Chinese/Japanese subtitles or by listening directly to the audio. You can access the translator module if you are capable in any of the source languages (namely Chinese, Japanese and Korean). This restriction ensures that lines are only marked as being translated when they have been verified by a translator.
- The editor module has similar functionality to the translator module, and can be used to improve translations.
Why are the subtitles translated from Chinese?
Chinese fansubbing groups are usually very fast to release subtitles. As there usually aren't official subtitles, this is currently the best method. We try to match the subtitles with the audio as closely as possible, using the Chinese subtitles as an aid.
Non-English Language Subtitles
- Like the English subtitles, non-English subtitles are created by translating from Chinese/Japanese subtitles, or listening to the audio. You can access the translator module if you are fluent in any of the source languages. The editor module has similar functionality to the translator module, and can be used to improve any translations that have been made.
- Once the English subtitles have reached a certain percentage of completion, translations can be made from English as well, so restrictions to the translator module are lifted.
In addition to English, currently supported languages include:
Arabic, Bengali, Bulgarian, Croatian, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Persian, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Thai, Turkish, Vietnamese
If the language you wish to work on is not in the list above, please make a request: here.
If you wish to join the team, please apply here: English Team or Non-English Team
Aside from translating, there are also many other teams that you can join at DSS, but you probably don't want to apply for more than one or two teams right off the bat.
Accessing the Web Editor
There are many ways of accessing the web editor.
Via the Forums
One way is to navigate to the forum thread for the project you wish to work on under Subtitle Discussions. In the thread, you will see a list of subtitles like the one below. There are icons on the right-hand side of the list that will open up the web editor.
- clicking on () will take you to the translator module.
- clicking on () will take you to the editor module.
Example List of Subtitles:
Via the Subtitle Status Page
Alternatively, the subtitle status page is a handy way of navigating to the project you wish to work on. Simply use the filters at the top to find the project and language you wish to work on, and click on the episode number on the left-hand side; you'll be taken to the download page. Scrolling down, you will find links to the translator and editor modules.
If the language you wish to work on is not listed, it will need to be created. To do so, go to English language subtitle's download page (by clicking on the episode number). You should see a list of currently supported languages in the right-hand column. Simply click the [Create] link for the language you wish to work on. If you don't see this list, it means that the English translations have not progressed far enough yet. After creating a new project, you made need to click on the red [Force Reload] link to update the subtitles listings.
Prior to starting a new project, it is highly recommended that you contact the elites for your language. You can find out who your elites are by asking in the chat room.
The first time you use the web editor, you will be presented with a profile page to fill out.
English, non-English) if you haven't already. Following the guidelines helps to keep the subtitles consistent. Once you have read the CTS Guidelines and filled out the profile, you will have access to the web editor.
Working with the Web Editor
The web editor is divided into many panes. The list below provides details about each pane.
- Top Bar - The color of the top bar indicates which module you're in and contains:
- user statistics - A count of the number of lines you've worked on, and subbing points (more about subbing points here).
- interface language selection - You can change the language of the interface. If the language you wish to use isn't listed, you can help create a language pack.
- useful links (guidelines, references etc.)
- line filters - Select which lines to show in the web editor.
- line navigation - Jump to a specific line or search for a line with specific text.
- name replacement - Chinese characters added to the list will be substituted by the specified text in the future (only for English subtitles). This list is shared by the entire project. The list is meant for character/place names. Do not use this list to make other translations.
- Editor - Contains the subtitles.
- Private Chat Bar - Send and receive private messages with users that are currently online. Remember to keep an eye on the chat bar to see if there are any messages. You can easily initiate a conversation with anyone on your friends list by clicking the () button on the bottom-right and selecting their name. If a user is not on your friends list, simply click the () button on the bottom-left, and click their name on the right-hand column.
- Public Chat Room - Send and receive public messages. If you are working on non-English subtitles, you will see two chat rooms. The top chat room is for non-English discussion. If you wish to use the bottom chat room, please converse in English. Remember to keep an eye on the chat room to see if there are any messages intended for you. Also, feel free to ask any questions you may have, but follow the chat room rules.
- Recent Edits - Displays a list of lines that have been recently changed.
The yellow box at the top of the web editor page lists the Do's and Don'ts. There may also be a green box with comments. Make sure to read and follow what is written in theses boxes.
Translating & Commenting
If you scroll further down the web editor page, you will find the subtitles. Each line is enclosed in it's own box.
- Line Number - Line number can be used to refer to lines, such as when matching lines for flashbacks.
- Timing - Start and end time for the line.
- Edit Link - Open the Full Editor.
- Chinese subtitle - Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese in smaller print
- Save button - Press save to commit changes. Remember to save your work!
- Text Field - Type the translation in this box.
- Advanced Settings - See below.
- DSS Database - See below.
- Edit Timing - Edit the timing of a single line. If many lines need to be synced, please let a timer know.
- Add a Comment - See below.
At the top of the box, you'll find the line number and the timing of the line. Note that the lines might not be listed in chronological order. Captions and lyrics are often added at the very end of the subtitles. Any lines missing from the Chinese subtitles are added at the very end as well.
Also, there are several levels of user permissions, so there may be some lines you are not able to modify. If your application for CTS Team hasn't been processed yet, you will fall under the "member" permissions group. Promotions are generally granted based on quality of work. If you wish to modify a line and you do not have permission to do so, please leave a comment on the line.
Lines that you can edit will have a text field in the middle of the box or a link at the top-right corner. If you don't see either of these things, it means that you cannot edit the line. If you don't have permission to edit a line, but you believe a line needs changes, you can leave a comment by clicking [Add a Comment]. To delete a comment that you've made, replace the text with '[.]'.
To edit a line, simply enter the translation into the text field, and click the save button.
You can also try using some of the more advanced settings that are listing below the text field.
- Auto-Saving automatically saves a line after you leave a text field. If you have this option enabled, you can simple hit Tab after you finish a line. You'll be taken to the next line, and the previous line will be saved automatically. (Shift-Tab will take you back to the previous line.)
- Hide Existing Line leaves the text field empty by default.
- Auto-Highlight automatically selects all the text in the text field when it gains focus.
Adding & Deleting Lines
Sometimes the Chinese subtitles will have extra lines or missing lines. Any elite member can add and delete lines.
To delete a line:
- Click the delete button.
- Final Lock the line.
- Set the timing of the line to 00:00:00,000 --> 00:00:00,000
To add a line:
- Click the [Insert New Line to end of the subtitle] link.
- Edit the timing of the line.
Improving Machine Translations
If you know Chinese, feel free to improve the DSS Translation Database by clicking [Add/Edit Words to Database]. An overlay will appear, displaying all the different sequences of characters that appear in that line. Simply click one of the sequences to add or modify a translation. These translations will be used in any new subtitles that are added to the system.
Questions & Feedback
If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the chat room. Also, if you are experiencing any problems or suggestions, feel free to leave a post under Site Feedback. As DarkSmurf is continually making improvements to the site, the information here may be out-dated.