For the Defragged History YouTube series, I create my own subtitles, and I use Google Translate for the Dutch subs.
Once I finish editing an episode and am ready to start publishing it to YouTube, I run the whole text through Google Translate if I need Dutch subtitles. I only make Dutch subtitles for programs containing Dutch topics.
I have to run the text through the translator in three parts because the document upload only allows 5000 words at a time. An average script has about 12,500 words.
I then make the subtitle files using SubEdit program. I tried using DaVinci Resolve to make subtitles, but once uploaded to YouTube, it throws everything out of whack. It basically gets more and more out of sync as the video progresses.
Oranges and Apples
The interesting part comes when I check and correct the automatically generated translation.
Google Translate actually does a pretty good job. Still, the program has difficulty understanding idioms, sayings, memes and gets the wrong meaning for words that look the same but mean something else.
For the Eighty Years’ War series, I always have to make sure that it doesn’t translate Orange, the prince’s name, to sinaasappel, the dutch word for the fruit, but the color “Oranje.”
It also translates Holland to the Netherlands, which makes sense on one level. People often use the word Holland to describe all of the Netherlands. But that is not what was happening here, of course. Holland, today cut up into Noord Holland and Zuid Holland, is just Holland.
But using Google Translate does save a lot of time.
Most of the time, it even knows to translate x amount of miles to the correctly converted kilometers for the Dutch language. Even weirder still, it also knows when I am talking about nautical miles versus land miles. (Kilometer vs mijl) Kinda creepy, if you ask me.
It takes 6 hours to get a Dutch subtitle done and another 2,5 to enter the English one. I tried to find a quicker way, but that doesn’t seem to exist. I usually watch a TV show or a movie while I’m dragging and dropping the text in the program line by line.
I also use the subtitle check as a final check to see if there are any major errors in the video edit. Sometimes the errors are too small for me to worry about, but I’ve caught a few big boo-boos this way.
It’s unfortunate that there are too many errors, sometimes just stupid errors, that I can’t just throw this thing through the translator for other languages, like Spanish. If anyone knows a Spanish, French, Italian, or German translator for a fair price, drop me a line.