Netflix introduces timed text authoring Lineage An initiative to streamline subtitling and dubbing

Netflix, the mammoth platform where users watch shows, movies and more, is the ultimate source of entertainment. Netflix offers a variety of options to their viewers, from dubbed audio to various subtitles in a different language. It is an attempt by Netflix to be more inclusive and make their videos more accessible to the users.

Creating a dub, or a subbed video, is a complex multi-step process that involves correctly transcribing and correctly time the audio, which is in the original language to text, localizing this text to the target language and then translating it effectively, and putting the translation to dubs and the subbed videos.

As easy as it sounds, it is not. Every text that you read on the screen on Netflix has gone through these levels to ensure that proper translation has taken place.


Timed Text Authoring Lineage

Authoring scripts, or scripts, are the soul of the localization workflow. Not only they carry dialogues but also have time codes, narratives and more. These script goes from transcribers to translators, voiceover artists and more! Scripts are text files, therefore they are available in a variety of formats. Due to this,  inconsistency arises, hindering the efficacy of the workflow.

Which is why Netflix has come up with “Timed Text Authoring Lineage” (TTAL). A TTAL file will essentially carry all the information that needs to be exchanged (script, dialogues, time code, metadata, original language text, transcribed text, language information etc.) between different professionals, yet following one central format.

According to Netflix tech blog, “They have carefully crafted the name TTAL to convey its purpose and usage:

  • “Timed Text” in the name means it carries the dialogue along with the corresponding time code.
  • “Authoring” is for authoring scripts in dubbing and subtitling
  • The “Lineage” part of the name is how the script has evolved from the time the show was produced in one language to the time when it transforms into another language by the voice actors or subtitled in other languages.”

 Netflix has made all the efforts to simplify the workflow process to avoid mishandling of the important dub and the subbed files.

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