Amara On Demand Guidelines

The Amara On Demand (AOD) standard guidelines outlined below provide our linguists with the framework for creating and delivering your subtitles. These are the standard defaults we deliver to at AOD.

  • Definitions - Key terms and definitions:
    • Subtitles - are text synchronized to the dialog of a video, normally displayed at the bottom of the screen.
    • Captions - are subtitles in the same language as the video.
    • Translations - in this context, are subtitles translated from one language to another. Occasionally, ‘translation’ may also refer to text translation.
    • Subtitles for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (SDH) - are subtitles that include relevant information about audio, like sound cues and speaker identification.
    • A Master Track - is same-language subtitles prepared for translation. All AOD translations include a Master Track.
  • SDH - Our standard practice when creating SDH:
    • SDH is the default for same-language captions
    • Non-SDH is the default for translations
    • SDH will:
      • Describe meaningful sounds
      • Describe and/or caption Music when necessary
      • Italicize off screen sound effects or speech
      • Identify speaker’s emotions
      • Identify off screen or unclear speakers
      • Identify relevant speech in foreign languages
  • Subtitles - Our standard practice when creating subtitles:
    • Maximum 42 characters per line
    • Maximum 2 lines per subtitle
    • Maximum 25 characters per second
    • Subtitle divisions and line breaks respect grammatical units
    • Subtitles are on screen no more than 7 seconds and no fewer than 1 second
    • Subtitles are synced within 0.5 second accuracy
    • On-screen text that is in the same language as the subtitle track should not be included in the subtitles
    • Note: for translation, AOD standard practice is to translate to and from English.
  • Difficult audio - Media that includes one or more of the following qualities that interfere with the understanding of speech:
    • Background noises (eg. wind, crowds, machinery, etc)
    • More than one person speaking at the same time
    • Recording media artifacts or defects
    • Unclear or quiet speech
    • Any other issues that affect the clarity of speech in a recording
    • Note: Videos identified as having difficult audio, an additional fee may be assessed.
  • Technical terminology - Language in a recording that is specialized and may include:
    • Terms related to scientific, health, engineering, or other specific fields
    • Jargon or any other language that is specialized or technical in nature
    • Note: Videos identified as having technical terminology, an additional fee may be assessed.

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