Posted by: TOC | April 5, 2014

No, I don’t speak Korean.

…but I often wish I did. Especially when I’m doing a “script adapting” job like the one I did last week. When I tell people I’m working on something like this “adapting an animated feature from Korea” into English, they assume I’m some sort of multi-lingual genius.

I’m not.

What happens is this: I get a copy of the film in the original language (with ‘visible timecode’ burned into the picture) along with a script (actually a huge Excel document) that includes the dialogue in usually poorly translated English, along with the ‘in’ and ‘out’ points of each line of dialogue.  I have to make sure those in & out points are accurate (to within one frame ) and then I have to re-write what the character is saying so that it matches the ‘lip flap’ seen on the screen AND makes sense plot-wise and character-wise… all while ‘American-izing’ slang and metaphors and whatever else might not make sense to a Western audience. If it sounds tedious to you, I can promise you that it is not. At least not to me. It does, however, require patience and a whole lot of time. It often takes an hour to ‘adapt’ just one or two minutes of dialogue, but for some reason I find it to be enjoyable work – rewriting not just by the line or word, but by the syllable… and of course trying to slip in some good jokes along the way.

 

Tipang_screengrab

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