My life in French and German subtitles

I’ve been working for over 10 years now as a subtitler for several French, German and US companies.
Sometimes French subtitles were required, sometimes German ones. Sometimes I did the spotting, sometimes I didn’t. I must say I prefer concentrating on the actual translation. It’s tremendously fun to imagine how best to adapt a pun, a joke or a song into another culture, another language. A lot of people complain that things are missing in subtitles. Well, there’s just so much you can write, subtitles being limited for obvious reasons to 30 to 45 characters. Imagine reading subtitles of 3 lines or subtitles chasing each other! Don’t you want to actually see the movie? Thought so. So yes the subtitler’s job is also to condense and to make tough choices : what is really important and what is just small talk? If everything seems important, the really hard and creative part starts: how do you condense 3 ideas in one sentence?

Yesterday I read a contribution in a forum. A Bollywood fan was complaining that French subtitles of Indian films were complete nonsense and she said that she wanted to subtitle films.
First of all, I agree that French subtitles of Indian films are often worse than the weather on Jupiter.There are two explanations to that: the “translator” is a machine or the “translator” learned French on TV and was paid 100US$/movie (seriously, I was offered this rate by an Indian company).
No comment.
I understand that this fan might have felt differently when experiencing this machine translation, but subtitling is not a hobby. You can’t just get out of bed one morning and decide that you are going to subtitle a film today (for 100 US$/movie?). Well, obviously you can but you shouldn’t. Do you decide one morning to repair a plug in your flat or to open a diving school? I sure hope you don’t!

So here are a few examples of recent jobs I did. And feel free to contact me if you need my services :


Films, series or cartoons I recently subtitled in French for Sony and other film companies

Damages : Season 1

Married with children : interviews


Storm Hawks : Season 1


Bobby Deerfield : the movie


Kings Of South Beach : the movie

Films, series or cartoons I recently subtitled in German for Sony and other film companies


The Counterfeiters : the making of


Memory : the movie


Apocalypto : Making of


Absolute Wilson : the documentary


Here’s a short sample of subtitles I did for a US agency:


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Description : Blog avec mes histoires pas très sérieuses. Je suis l'auteur des textes, des illustrations et des photos (sauf mention contraire). Je suis également traductrice BD, littérature, ciné etc... pour l'allemand et l'anglais.
Pour me contacter :

Oeuvre d'utilité publique préférée : ***Vaincre la Mucoviscidose***

Abonne-toi cher lecteur


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