Turkish subtitling community was caught off-guard when Netflix launched its video-on-demand services. Local video market was already vibrant and soaring, yet Netflix and to a certain extent HBO were the last two bags of straw on the camel’s back.
Now, Turkish is spoken by 100 million people. 80 million people live in Turkey and broadband internet penetration rate is close to 95%. Turkish TV shows are crazy popular all the way from Serbia and Greece to Qatar and the Emirates.
The talent pool was not enough to meet the demand and therefore the industry spread too thin. Many multinational players began hiring undergraduate students based on their scores on an online test. Online screening tests have two pitfalls a) there is no vigilence, i.e. students can gather in the same room and take the test together, and b) one test does not guarantee performance in all domains and workign conditions, i.e. deadlines, formatting, etc.
Dragoman took a different approach. We analyzed the gaps and pitfalls and started building our team. It is painful yet the only right way to do this.
We have over 20 Turkish subtitling professionals from English to Turkish who can deliver world-class subtitling services in mainly Turkish and English, but also in Arabic, Russian, German, Spanish and French.
Hiring students may serve well for simple tele novellas if young colleagues are hard working and talented. However, talent is no guarantee for sustainable success. Talent needs rigorous feedback and training.
Senior translators and localization speciliasts, on the other hand, are typically over-booked and disinterested in video localization. Some see it below their pay grade.
Video is growing immensely and the localization industry can only meet the soaring demand with qualified subtitling professionals. Dragoman suggests that we all take the hard way, invest in people, cooperate with universities, launch long-term internship programmes and employ best in class quality assurance procedures.
There are so many websites and platforms on the internet claiming to have tens of thousands of linguists in all languages. Number one, they are probably bragging bout the same people, meaning the talent pool is still narrow and claimed figures are not adjusted for overlapping / shared resources. Number two, which is probably the sad truth is, these platforms have a ghost-list of under-qualified, under-screened and under-trained bilinguals. They rely on a limited group of great translators and the rest is a sales pitch.
Enough with cheating investors, let’s partner to build real results.