[Estimated reading time: 4 minutes, 18 seconds. (862 words)]
Technology and translation are my two main professional addictions, no wonder I’m also known as Tradugeek. And when it comes to translation technology and subtitling, you can say I’m sort of a software sommelier. I have been playing and working with subtitling software for over a decade now in my everyday life. I went from open source to commercial software from my clients to what is now my subtitling paradise, Ooona. So, if you want to know why I looove Ooona so much, and why I think you should try it if you’re a freelance subtitler like myself, please continue reading.
Working from a Mac as a translator has always been a challenge as many of the leading software both for technical and audiovisual translation usually don’t offer a MacOS version. Ooona solves that problem as it is an online subtitling tool that you can access from Google Chrome on a Mac or a PC. So, I think that’s already a great benefit, particularly for the possibility of working online in the Cloud and having your projects at hand wherever you go.
Translate and Create
Another thing I like about Ooona is that all the tools you need for different tasks are separated, so you don’t have to face a UI with a thousand options when the only thing you’re trying to do is to translate or create subtitles. And of course, in that set of tools Ooona offers, Translate and Create are the most important ones for freelance translators. Translate allows you to translate from a timed master template, while Create allows you to work from scratch when you’re subtitling directly from audio. In these two tools, you can choose between the Standard and Pro version. Both are great, but the Pro version includes the audio-wave and shot-change detection, so that’s the one I like the most.
Of all the tools I’ve tried—and believe me, I’ve tried a lot of tools—, this is the most intuitive one with an in-your-face interface that makes our work extremely easy, while still offering an unmatched set of tools for the translation process, like comprehensive import/export options, hotkeys personalization, short forms and autocorrect, personal dictionaries, a myriad of timecoding options for easy spotting, and easily accessible text editing options for positioning, text format, splitting and merging subtitles, and more. Additionally, Ooona offers a robust QC and Spellcheck option—which you can personalize for every client—and you can see the errors on your subtitles on the fly.
Ooona’s hotkeys window
QCing in Ooona
Did you ever needed to burn subtitles in videos and struggle with free software or even with professional video editing tools and couldn’t manage? Don’t worry, the Burn & Encode tool has you covered. You can load subtitles and media, customize the look of your subtitles, preview your changes, and even trim the output video.
When I discovered this tool, I went crazy by just knowing I wasn’t going to need to use two or even three different apps to do just one simple task. I love it, and it has made my life so much easier.
Burning subtitles with Ooona is incredibly easy
Teamwork: reviewing subtitles
Ooona also offers a Review tool which you can use in case you work in pairs with a colleague and commonly proofread their translations and vice versa—which is something I highly recommend doing for high quality translations. Review allows you to share a project with another user inside Ooona and track the changes—it includes tags and error codes. There is even a Compare tool to see all changes made to an original subtitle by comparing it with another.
Transcribing made easy
If transcribing is something you do in your everyday life as a professional translator, you can use Ooona’s Transcribe tool to create dialogue lists and production scripts. The tool lets you easily set the characters of your video, customize the layout to add any other information you deem necessary, and export the final document to Word or Excel.
You should probably dive into The Poool
In 2020, Ooona created a directory for professionals working in the audiovisual localization industry. The Poool is an online platform for LSPs and individuals trying to find professional audiovisual translators specializing in different fields and language pairs. I believe it’s the first open directory of this kind in the whole world where every professional can join. I signed in as soon as it launched, and you should probably register too.
Convenient payment options
If you’re interested in one of the tools I’ve mentioned, you should know that they’ve made it easy for you. You can subscribe to the tools they offer for a week, a month, a semester, and a year.
Subscribing for a week helps you deal with your projects, if you only work from time to time with videos
To conclude, I would like to say that Ooona is an ever-evolving tool, so if you are like me and think that subtitling tools could add more features, hang on, as the team is already preparing integration with CAT tools, speech recognition, machine translation expansion, and there’s even an AVT Pro Certification Program in the works. So, the future looks promising for them, and for us.