Interviews, round 3

Just that Intermark (or is it Reterview?!) you were looking for. This time, I reached out to a former colleague, dear friend and Digital expert Gonçalo Antunes, to talk some subs and translation. Here’s what he had to share.

Gonçalo’s LI

1) What’s your take on European Portuguese subtitling, in general? From your childhood experience up until you could get your head around expressions, jokes, can you rate it 1 to 5? Or… would you rate it?

Gonçalo Antunes (GA): I think our approach to use subtitles instead of dubbing had massive results in Portugal.

From a very young age our generation got stimulated to map words and pronunciation, which accelerated our skills to speak english more fluently than many other countries.

The challenge subtitles or any other form of translation will always face is the context where words and expressions are formed. It’s very hard to translate them and therefore even if you try to adapt them locally sometimes you fail big time. The best example is that cops are chuis even though no one uses that word in our country.

a show about some chuis

2) Can you name — no google! — three Portuguese subtitling agencies? Do you usually watch shows with our without subtitles?

GA: Gonna be honest… I don’t. But the question here is should I? 😂

I remember though voiceover agencies that worked of my childhood favourite shows — the almighty Herbert Richers.

touché, Gonçalo… touché!

I usually watch shows without subtitles except in one specific situation — if I’m watching something before going to sleep and the character has a very strong accent then I put English subtitles on.

3) Do you think AI will play a pivotal role in standard subtitling in the near future?

GA: Not in the near future. It’s happening now.

AI already plays a pivotal role to deliver many use cases like voice recognition, speech to text, customer care, etcetera.

If there is a large pool of data, AI can be used to provide real-time translation at scale and with a fraction of the cost. So I see standard subtitling being automated as we are walking in that direction, leaving room for subtitling companies to focus on premium services like bespoke translations.

many thanks to Gonçalo for his kind contribution!



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