Netflix translations: Subtitling at Scale

Netflix translations: prologue

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This article discusses Netflix translations in regards to vetting and testing linguists. Linguists provide accurate subtitling for Netflix’s media products. Called Hermes, this is yet another example of how the translation industry permeates our lives – even our leisure time.

  • Since its inception, Netflix has become a household name in streaming content. With a massive subscriber base of almost 100 million accounts, the company recently announced that it fully recognizes that English will not be the primary viewing language on Netflix.

Enter Hermes

What is Hermes?  According to Netflix, “Hermes is the Netflix translator testing platform for Fulfillment Partners, as well as individuals with a background in subtitling that want to join our network.”

The Hermes platform is supposed to be smart enough to not only vet translators, but also to pair them to suitable tasks for which they are a strong match. This offers not just work opportunities for linguists, but also promises to provide a standardized registration platform with worldwide reach, relevance, and acceptance.

After five years, Netflix translations appears in just 2 non-English languages – Spanish and Portuguese.  Today, they have over 20 languages with more expected in coming years. With this move, it will be interesting to see how Netflix itself improves as a service provider, as well as how Hermes will continue to evolve and have other applications beyond Netflix media.

* Hermes – the messenger of the Olympic gods in mythology, is the name chosen by Netflix for its platform to implement the strategic move to hunt for translators.


Netflix translations links:

Hermes FAQ

Netflix Tech Blog


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