American Society of Plastic Surgeons logoThe American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) is the largest plastic surgery specialty organization in the world. It represents 94% of all board-certified plastic surgeons in the U.S., and more than a thousand plastic surgeons worldwide. The mission of ASPS is to advance quality care by providing training, safety accreditation, and certification for member physicians. The ASPS also educates patients about plastic surgery procedures in order to help them make informed decisions about their treatments.

The ASPS came to MTM LinguaSoft with a set of four informational videos for localization into Latin American Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, and Italian. The videos provided overviews of four different types of breast surgery to inform patients about the procedures and to help them in their decision-making.

For multimedia localization, we recommend either voice-overs in the target language or subtitles. In this case, the client wanted subtitles, and they requested subtitles in English as well as the target languages. To ensure good results, we followed a multi-step process:

First, our video editor created English language subtitles from the time-coded scripts supplied by the client. She provided these subtitles as SRT (SubRip Text) files, which can also be opened and edited by translators as RTF files. The English language files then went to our Spanish, Brazilian, and Italian teams for translation, editing, and proofreading. With subtitle translation, a common problem is text expansion. For example, a Portuguese translation can require up to 20% more characters than the English source. Translators must be able to paraphrase when necessary to minimize text expansion and ensure that subtitles fit in the space available. This is why we work with translators who specialize not only in medical terminology but in script translation as well.

The proofed, translated target files were then returned to our video editor. She adjusted the timing of the titles so that the amount of text that appeared in each frame was a manageable size for the viewer to read. She also adjusted the placement and formatting of the subtitles to suit the client’s needs.

There are two options for subtitling videos: “hard subs” and “soft subs.” Hard is short for “hard-coded”—subtitles that are part of the video code and cannot be turned off. Soft subs are stored in a separate text file and can be turned on and off by the viewer. For soft subs, we generally deliver SRT files.

ASPS chose hard subs, so our video editor coded the approved subtitles into the video. After a final review, we delivered finalized video files to the client.