Dotsub and Tertia team up

Dotsub and Tertia team up for an integrated subtitle approach to Girl Rising

When Tertia CEO and Dotsub Advisory Board member Michael Novak first contacted the Girl Rising team, he knew he needed the combined capabilities of both Tertia and Dotsub to meet the subtitle needs for the film. The lessons learned from this effort provide some valuable experience for other film projects.

“Tertia focuses on enhancing English media for the global audience of 2 Billion ESL speakers through Same Language Subtitling, while Dotsub’s specialty is the management of video subtitles in multiple languages,” said Mr. Novak. “An integrated approach meets the subtitle quality needs of the Hollywood film, but also in a way that supports an enthusiastic crowd to spread the message of the Girl Rising globally,” he continued.

Dotsub has always been about “any video any language”, and to move a global audience emotionally, native language subtitles are most effective. The Dotsub system was used to successfully manage the translation of the film into many Asian and African languages.

Integrated advantages for DVD and Blue Ray

Girl Rising also needed to be distributed on platforms like DVD, Blue Ray, iTunes, Closed Captioning, and the web. The DVD and Blue Ray formats in particular have very specific format requirements for subtitles. Tertia’s Silicon Valley technology was used to format the original English subtitles to match these rigid requirements. It also parsed the English subtitles to allow for translated languages like Spanish to meet with DVD subtitle requirements, since Spanish needs more characters than English for the same sentence.

A booster rocket for crowd-based translations

The first time a video is subtitled, source-language captioning is needed to translate it. This process adds a 130% initial captioning burden to the translation process.

Many of Girl Rising’s global community of enthusiastic supporters want to translate the English captions into their native language. However skilled they may be in translation, a different set of skills is required for the initial captioning of the video. So many video clips can languish in an uncaptioned status because of this additional burden and skills mismatch.

Tertia’s captioning platform is used for the initial captioning of Girl Rising videos. The Dotsub community of Girl Rising translators then can focus on what they do best – translating the original set of captions without worry about format, caption overflow, or timecodes.

Additional value for English as a Second Language (“ESL”) viewers

By using the Tertia platform for captioning and the Dotsub platform for translation, Same Language English Subtitles (SLS) will also be produced for Girl Rising videos. This karaoke-style of subtitles has been shown to double literacy rates over static English subtitles.

For ESL viewers in Asia and Africa, this improvement in English literacy by watching the Girl Rising videos in SLS means they may have a path to a better job.  So an economic incentive is added to the important message of the film. It also means that viewers may watch the film repeatedly – once in their native language subtitles, and then again with the English SLS subtitles.

“Girl Rising is very excited about the combined strengths of Tertia and DotSub,” said Nishima Chudasama, Producer for Girl Rising. “We’re thrilled to be able to connect with our global supporters and share inspiring stories with wider audiences through this relationship.”

“We’ve been very pleased by our partnership with Tertia and Girl Rising,” said David Orban, Dotsub CEO. “Together both companies will look for other opportunities that can benefit from this collaboration.”

More information on Girl Rising is available at

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