"Ordinary Life", the documentary film by Sapporo director Taizo Yoshida, has started to be subtitled by Imagine students and some of my friends and friends-of-friends.
It's an 80 min. film of mainly interviews with ordinary people of Fukushima.
First I had to watch the film again and make a detailed list of each scene and interview, with the times of each section start and finish.
Then I blocked the sections out into chunks of translation. About 5 to 8 minutes each section. Usually interpreters work for 10-15 minutes if they are interpreting continuous speech - for example a speaker at a conference - that is about as much as one person can do. Then another interpreter takes over. This isn't continuous speaking, because it is a film. But, 5-8 minutes is maybe enough for one person to work on.
They will listen/watch and then stop the CD, then either a) type the translation directly into their computers or b) make notes, listen again and type.
There are18 chunks of translation, 13 translators all over Sapporo.
Some of them work as professional or volunteer translators or interpreters for J.I.C.A. at Shiroishi, or for local government, or charity events, and some of them are retirees and housewives who are good at English.
Nobody has ever done film subtitle work before - so it is an interesting challenge for all of us! This is a small film project so of course we are all doing this as volunteers. But if it wins an Academy Award for Best Documentary, we'll go to Hollywood together ;-))
Finally the translations will come back to me as coordinator, and then I am C.A. Edington, an American friend and fellow-teacher/editor, will check all of them and do the editing.
And then Yoshida-san and his team will join the film and the English subtitles - and Ordinary Life will be ready for non-Japanese audiences.
It's exciting. I look forward to seeing these ordinary people in Fukushima telling their stories in English.
This week NHK had a report about the film.