Marion Cole translates for the audiovisual realm: she translates film scripts and synopses; technical documents and also does subtitling work.
“Translating a screenplay is really gratifying because it allows me to combine both my passions: writing – translating and drama – acting”
“The Audiovisual Translations I have done are varied: I have worked both from English to French and from French to English on several animated series for children and adults. I’ve translated scripts, synopses, pitches, literary bibles, presentation documents, etc. – basically, anything to do with a series I’m currently working on that needs to be translated.”
It’s always best to work on an entire series, or at least whole season of a series, best for the production team and the translator. Being there throughout the entire project, seeing it develop and evolve, from the beginning to the end is essential. Working this way, over several months or even years, allows the translator to really grasp a series, to live with it, know its characters and sceneries as if it were their own, in order to ensure coherent writing in both languages.
“And what a thrill to finally watch an episode after months of working on paper, i.e. computer screen, and even spot your name in the end credits!”
Subtitling: Subtitling is a difficult yet gratifying exercise. It’s difficult because of its time/space limits, its ultimate concision necessity, but gratifying to see the end product.
As in literary translation, the translator has to make decisions and choices: to favour one sentence over another. Choosing what the viewer will read, which information he needs to fully understand the film and what its author wants to say, which message is given. And often, the lack of space (compared to the time allowed on screen) forces us to choose which piece of information will be remembered.
Choosing is both difficult and pleasing. It’s difficult because you don’t want to change the text or its meaning too much or let some information get lost. And it’s pleasing and satisfying because you feel that you have some responsibility in the viewers’ perception of the film. It is hard to decide what is important for the film’s full understanding, without overburdening the viewer with irrelevant information. One must find some middle ground and make the right choices: know one’s subject, never hesitate to ask its author or the film crew anything to make sure nothing has been missed. If possible: it is preferable to talk or write to the director, producer, editor, technical team to ensure the text’s proper comprehension.
Then comes the absolute necessity of a simulation. The simulation is the audiovisual translator’s final step: where he proofreads the film, viewing it with subtitles, and with the client. This stage is extremely important because it enables, with some hindsight, to ensure the translation’s quality and coherence, and thus ensure the targeted audience’s best perception and comprehension of the film.
Whatever the project, it shall be treated with the same degree of interest, seriousness and professionalism, whatever its subject, nature or form.