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Sijin to Present at ATA's 63rd Annual Conference

Updated: Oct 25

I'm so excited to share that on October 15, I'll present a session at the 63rd annual conference of the American Translators Association in Los Angeles.


My talk is titled "Enjoy the Show: Tips for Enhancing Viewer Experience in Audiovisual Translation." I'll be drawing on my reflections as an audiovisual translator and my observations of other linguists’ work as a quality checker to highlight important decision-making elements for creating an enjoyable viewer experience.


Subtitling experience


I started my business as a translator specializing in research report translation for NGOs, and I discovered a new professional obsession when I branched out into audiovisual translation in 2018. Working with a vendor that supplies talent for a major streaming platform and with over 500 files now under my belt, I have received, in the agency’s words, “exceedingly high performance metrics in all delivered tasks.” My quality work has earned me quality controller access, selection as a preferred linguist, and a 10/10 rating from the end client’s expert reviewer.


I'm also expanding the subtitling part of my translation business as I'm taking on some additional roles:


  • I have recently become a test reviewer for an agency to grade English>Chinese and Chinese>English subtitling candidates in the recruitment process.

  • I was also offered a new role as a Chinese>English template creator, meaning I'll be rendering Mandarin content into English as a pivot language for the shows to be translated into various other languages.

  • I passed the Chinese>English test with another streaming service, so I'll be taking more into-English translation projects moving forward.


This is all to say I'm living my childhood dream of watching a lot of television while still being a productive member of society. Joking aside, it's been a true privilege to serve my clients in so many different capacities, from translating research reports for NGOs, to translating personal documents for individuals, transcreating ad copies for businesses, and now making entertainment accessible for international audience.


Presentation description


With audio, visual, and storytelling elements at play, subtitle translation works within a complex set of restrictions. Thus, thoughtful and deliberate consideration is needed to accommodate reading speed, shot changes, and linguistic particularities while preserving readability and honoring creative intent. Drawing on the speaker’s own experience as an audiovisual translator and her observations of other linguists’ work as a quality controller, this session will highlight important decision-making elements for creating an enjoyable viewer experience and identify common pitfalls. Attendees will learn practical tips and gain a deeper understanding of how the art of subtitling goes far beyond the act of translation itself.


Presenter bio


Sijin Xian, CT is an ATA-certified English to Chinese translator and the owner of Translaxian LLC. She specializes in research report translation for non-governmental organizations. She discovered a new professional obsession when she branched out into audiovisual translation in 2018. Working with a vendor that supplies talent for a major streaming platform, she now has over 500 files under her belt.

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