A large metropolitan hospital wanted us to subtitle its cardiac care and post-operative care videos into the ethnic languages of its clients: Spanish, Vietnamese and Tagalog (Filipino). In this way, the cardiac patients could know what to expect before and after their operations.
The English videos had a lot of narration that totally filled each frame. For Vietnamese and Tagalog, the subtitling process worked fine. But Spanish posed a unique problem. Since Spanish requires about 20% more words than English does, the subtitles — if they followed the exact English narration — would have exceeded the available time for each frame.
To resolve this problem, the Auerbach team first rewrote the entire English script, cutting it by 20% but retaining the essential concepts. After receiving client approval, we then translated the abridged script into Spanish.
The abridged translation then expanded by 20%. When we did the Spanish subtitles, the essential concepts then fit the time allotments of each frame.