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Netflix to Pay Users to Translate Shows

We’ve all been a little confused by the subtitles on Netflix occasionally, with a few words just looking completely out of place. Have you ever wondered how Netflix, and other streaming services, translate media, in the form of films and television programmes, into other languages? And could you be the one to help them?

A new program from Netflix is inviting users to get paid for creating subtitles for its content through its new Hermes program. As it stands there are currently over 20 languages in play within the content you can find on Netflix and those who sign up will be working as contractors with local firms in their area and be paid through the volume of translating and subtitling they complete.

This change in tact in terms of finding ways to subtitle media is a reaction to the short supply of professional translators that work specifically with subtitles in certain parts of the world. You may struggle to find someone who can work in Dutch or Danish for example. The program won’t just let anyone take part however, so hold your horses. Each applicant will have to take part in, and successfully complete a 90-minute exam that tests English proficiency as well as the ability to translate certain phrases into the target language you are aiming to work with. The other part of the test is to see if a person can spot technical mistakes and linguistic errors in current subtitles.

It has been a growing problem for Netflix and other streaming providers that original content from around the globe might not be receiving the highest standard of translation and this is a reaction and a proactive approach to languages that aren’t even available on Netflix yet. Each successful person will be tracked and metrics analysed to figure out what type of content each person is most suited to, and where they perform their best work, with a view to pairing individuals with the right type of media content in future.

Translation services can span so many different sectors these days, as evidenced in this news story. We consume so much media these days and with the world becoming smaller and smaller in terms of cultural aspects like film, television and sport, streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon are bringing media to our homes that just wouldn’t have been possible even a decade ago. Having the right translation in place is vitally important in order for the messages intended in each piece to be accurately portrayed, much in the same way that a legal document has to be translated correctly to include nuance and specific detail from one country to another, or when a medical document and examination has to be translated so a person with no knowledge of the language where they are receiving treatment can understand what is going on. Translation takes many forms, and Netflix has just tried to help eradicate the barriers in one area.

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