And The Winner Is…
In many ways, “Nomadland” is a quintessentially American film, following a woman’s journey around the country and covering states as diverse as California, Arizona and South Dakota. The person who orchestrated that journey isn’t American, though, and last night Chloé Zhao became the first Chinese filmmaker and only the second woman of any nationality to win the Oscar for Best Director. As a co-producer, Zhao received a second award when “Nomadland” was named Best Picture. It was a night to remember for a gifted artist.
The people of Zhao’s home country will have the chance to savour her achievement when Nomadland is released in China this week, and the Chinese market is a source of rich potential. Over the past decade, many Hollywood blockbusters made their mark on the Chinese consumer, but the biggest success of all was “Monster Hunt”, a playful marriage of animation and live action that earned half a billion dollars. For the millions who saw it, 捉妖记 will be the title they recognise. Monster Hunt was a Chinese-made, Chinese language phenomenon, and its revenue was generated from a Chinese audience. Anyone seeking the attention of cinemagoers in Beijing or Shanghai now has high quality domestic competition.
How can they truly engage with their audience? Clients tell us that the distraction of dubbing often spoils viewer enjoyment and confuses the message. Accurate, nuanced subtitling, on the other hand, enables the viewer to appreciate a piece of work in its original language and appreciate its full meaning in their own.
XTM International can certainly help. Our industry leading translation management system has long set the standard for multilingual subtitling. Linguists and subtitlers working in XTM Cloud benefit from transcreation functionality that offers a range of alternative content translations, enabling users to choose the form of words their audience will find most persuasive. XTM Cloud 12.7 raises the bar further with the introduction of interactive previews to localize video subtitles. This feature is currently in beta version and offers linguists full video context, enabling them to make the most informed language choices possible. Interactive previews show subtitles in source or target languages and flag potential issues such as text length immediately. Linguists can synchronize video previews with a corresponding segment, and preview video subtitles on one screen and translate them on another. XTM Cloud 12.7 delivers convenience and accuracy. Above all, it delivers professionalism.
Why should linguists and filmmakers prize professionalism in video subtitling? Look what happens when you work with amateurs.
The Star Wars instalment “Revenge of the Sith” was titled “Backstroke of the West” in clumsy mistranslation from Chinese to English. Whatever that translator and subtitler are working on now, movie fans must hope they are doing it in a galaxy far, far away.
But when things are done with precision and skill, the story has a different ending. In recent years Oscar-winning directors Alfonso Cuaron, a Mexican, and Bong Joon-ho, from South Korea, have seen their films widely appreciated and loved. “Parasite”, Bong Joon-ho’s Korean language film, earned $259 million around the world – over a quarter of a billion dollars – and when he collected the 2020 Golden Globe award the director himself summed up the value of high-quality subtitling:
That one-inch barrier can be a mountain to climb without the right technology in place. But a system that unlocks creativity, offering increased choice, control and an interactive, in-context translation experience opens the door to positive outcomes for commercial video, e-learning and corporate video projects, in any format and any language.
You don’t need an Oscar nomination to come to this party. All you need is a translation management system that’s as easy to access as opening an envelope and as easy to use as pressing “play” on your remote control.
Make the right choices, and the winner is you.