'The course is built up in a very professional way. You go ahead step by step, so you don’t get frustrated with the workload but still get the feeling of making progress all the time.'

 

'It feels like having a real teacher right next to you explaining all the things you need to know, while showing you what to do on your computer.'

 

'...subtitling is a discipline that needs to be learned. It’s not just something that you can ‘pick up on the job.'

 

'Bartho really helps his students right till the end.''

Student Testimonials

Miss Michael Muldoon, September 2016, Spain
' I have just completed Bartho's course and I really enjoyed learning about the process of subtitling. Bartho clearly knows the business well and treats it very much like an art form. Occasionally, his feedback can be quite harsh, but I believe this is because, as I previously mentioned, he very much cares about the subject of subtitling. And on the occasion that I spoke to him, he was very cordial, extremely patient and very helpfully talked me through an element of the process I had been struggling with. So if you get critiqued harshly, don't take it too much to heart and take Bartho's comments on board. It's worth persevering.'

Aleksandra Hristova, April 2015, Bulgaria
'I started the course in January 2015 after searching in vain for an online subtitling course in Bulgaria. The learning materials are really well-structured and the emphasis is placed on the practical aspects of subtitling. The first learning challenge every new student has to face is spotting/ pretiming. Despite the clear instructions and the demo movies, at first I failed to understand it and I delivered a disastrous file for feedback. However, thanks to Bartho who took the time to explain me everything from scratch, I could get back on track and rectify my pretiming mistakes.

Thanks to the course I learned how to put into practice the basic subtitling rules, how to make the subtitles more readable and less distracting and how to condense better in order to keep all the essential information without leaving out too much. The mind maps, the various exercise videos and the helpful advice of Bartho and the former students made the learning process really enjoyable. I wholeheartedly recommend the course to anyone who is interested in subtitling.'

Adrienne Träger, March 2015, Germany
I have done several correspondence courses over the years, but this one was by far the best. The course is extremely well organised and has a hands-on approach. The material is very clear, straight to the point and the exercises draw on a great variety of sources that give you a realistic impression of what to expect from actual clients later on. The easy-to-understand material, the practical focus of this course and the constructive feedback you receive from Bartho and other students enable you to learn subtitling quickly. In addition, Bartho has managed to establish a great infrastructure for his virtual learning environment which helps you get in touch with the other students, exchange ideas and comment on each other's work so you never feel alone and stay motivated. I recommend this course to everyone who wants to get into subtitling and wants to learn the ropes from someone who is not just well experienced in subtitling but also a great instructor.

Nandini Karky, November 2012, Chennai, India
'Three months ago, wanting to professionally qualify as a subtitler, I searched for a course that would help me learn this art, from the comfort of my home and in my own time. I consider myself fortunate to have found this thoughtfully conceived course. With the click of a mouse, I was ready to start learning. The clear instructions and organized structure made possible the easy and seamless absorption of the many rules of subtitling. I was encouraged to share my files with old students of the course, connected by group emailing. Students in this group made the learning interactive and fun, by commenting on my work and participating in discussions. This gave me a feeling of sitting in an international classroom and bouncing ideas with diverse people. I wish even more students join in these discussions, as it was noted to be a learning experience for all involved. The video files that were chosen for this course had a lot of variety from old-fashioned drama to fast-paced thrillers and everything in between. It was always interesting to see what challenges, the next video would bring. The best thing about the course was that Bartho lets the students evolve on their own, without too much interference. At the same time, being a great teacher, he finds who you are, from your work, and provides constructive criticism towards making you a natural and efficient subtitler. Although I know there’s a lot more to learn, I consider this, an excellent starting point and a well-laid foundation for my career in subtitling.'
Nandini Karky, November 2012, Chennai, India

Sonali Hedge, January 2012, Bangalore, India
'I started the course way back in July 2010. But I had to take a long maternity leave. I had almost given up hope of finishing the course because I didn’t think that anyone would give a student a one and a half year break. But Bartho did. He asked me to just go ahead and take the break and finish the course when I am ready. And I am proud to say that I finally finished it in January 2012. Since the last couple of years subtitles have become an inherent part of the television world. Some subtitles are really pathetic. Some appear way too early, others seconds after the speaker finishes speaking. It is really an eyesore. Before this course, I used to think to myself, ‘it can’t be as hard as that. Why can’t they get the timing right? ’ The truth is, as easy as it seems, subtitling is a discipline that needs to be learned. It’s not just something that you can ‘pick up on the job’. I learnt it the hard way when Bartho gave me a scathing feedback on my mediocre module 2 work. Initially I was very upset, thinking that he is simply targeting me (that by the way is a very Indian trait. We take everything personally;)). But once I sat down and went through my work, analysing my subtitles carefully, I realised that my subtitles were no different from the badly-subtitled movies on TV. One thing about correspondence courses is that it is hard to remain motivated. But Bartho really helps his students right till the end. Send him an email asking a doubt, within 24 hours you will have your reply.'
Sonali Hedge, January 2012, Bangalore, India

Barbara Carrara, 2011, Garessio, Italy
'Bartho Kriek is extremely knowledgeable of his craft and of Spot, and exceedingly focused. He is always ready to help, and he does it with firm grace. His return comments to my subtitling attempts and (many) questions were always prompt, to the point and very clear. He is never pushy, and lets his students take their time, getting to grips with the software and the subtitling environment at their own pace. Which is very refreshing.
The exercise videos are extremely varied, offering a good spectrum of the different ranges (rhythm, density, register…) that can be found on film and documentary materials. Also, they are both educational and entertaining, making working on them as challenging an exercise as it is rewarding when the best-fitting translation is found.
The joined qualities of the instructor, the components (reference texts and software) and the video materials are the ingredients that make of a self-paced course a good one. And they are all to be found in Bartho Kriek’s Comprehensive Course. Happy subtitling everyone!'
Barbara Carrara, 2011, Garessio, Italy

German student - Spring/Summer 2010
'I started the comprehensive course at the end of March 2010 after reading about it on the internet. There is no such course in Germany at this point in time so I decided to go with this online course. It was the right decision. The material was send to me right away and I could start the course about three days after transfering the money. And the material was all I could have hoped for. The tutorial videos showed exactly how to use the subtitling program, the e-book descriptions were easy to understand, remember and use. The example videos and exercises helped to improve the understanding of the basics and later more complicated matters. The whole course of three modules took four months but it was well worth it. I had previous timing experience and books and such, but the course gave me a solid understanding while not being boring or anything. On the contrary, the videos to practice subtitling with were always different. Some easier or more difficult than others but each one interesting and challenging. And while during my course time the activity in the accompanying GoogleGroup was rather low, feedback by Bartho was always fast and very helpful with explanations and suggestions for improvement. Thank you for the great course!
German student - Spring/Summer 2010

Edina Kozma, Hungary, April 2009
'I started the Comprehensive Course in January 2009 and I enjoyed every moment I spent practising. The course is built up in a very professional way. You go ahead step by step, so you don’t get frustrated with the workload but still get the feeling of making progress all the time. Also, the tasks and movies are manifold and exciting. My absolute favourite is in module 3, it’s the incredible music video of an Indian pop star dressed in red plastic, with the funniest subtitles I have ever seen. Two things were even above my expectations. First the demo videos, which explain where to click on your screen when you make your settings, connected and unconnected subtitles. It feels like having a real teacher right next to you explaining all the things you need to know, while showing you what to do on your computer. It makes everything clear and very easy to understand. Incredibly well done. The other thing which is way above average is Bartho’s attitude to students. You can ask him as many questions as you like, you will still get the same patience and attention. I always had the feeling that he didn’t want me to just finish the course somehow but to finish it by reaching the highest possible level in the end. He is a great teacher and he made a great course. Thanks for everything.'
Edina Kozma, Hungary, April 2009

Alphonsius Ategha, Cameroon - March 2009
'I strongly recommend the Comprehensive course to subtitlers-to-be on account of the fact that it is well designed and practical. When I graduated in 1996 from the Advanced School of Translators and Interpreters (ASTI) of the University of Buea, I embarked on the search for an Institute where I could learn Subtitling. It is in 2005 that I got in contact for the first time with Bartho Kriek thanks to the ‘magic’ of the World Wide Web. I could not start the Compact Course, now termed ‘Comprehensive Course’, at the time because my computer did not meet the required specifications. A couple of years later I was set and enrolled. I wrestled with the understanding of 'incues', 'outcues', 'trails', 'frames' and a host of other aspects of subtitling. Besides, I was ‘dancing faster than music’ because I wanted to grasp all at a time. I nearly got frustrated until I shifted back to the step-by-step scheme, kept practising and practising and never hesitating to ‘trouble’ Bartho with questions. I strongly recommend the Comprehensive course to subtitlers-to-be on account of the fact that it is well designed and practical. And for all those undertaking the course, I wish to say: the royal road to proficiency is practice, consistency, and humility. Subtitling is now fun for me...even though it remains a challenging exercise. I keep practising. I am now establishing partnerships with subtitlers and film producers in Cameroon, Nigeria especially, and the rest of the world.'
Alphonsius Ategha, Cameroon - March 2009

PM, Portugal - February 2008
'After years of working as a translator I decided to take the Compact Course in order to expand my professional skills. Since professional commitments made it impossible for me to attend the courses available at a certain time and place, I decided to take a compact course. The Compact Course proved to be the ideal solution as it was compact and flexible enough to take while maintaining professional activity and comprehensive enough for me to develop and put to practice the set of skills good subtitling implies in its full extent.'
PM, Portugal - February 2008

A Thai student - Fall 2007
'As a pioneer of English Subtitles for TV broadcast in Thailand, I found your course to be simple and concise, yet deep and efficient. The principles are basic but take years to master. I look forward to any further updates in the course material. Keep up the good work.'
A Thai student - Fall 2007

Brazilian student Sandra Xavier Teixeira, October 2005/April 2006
'A full weekly account of the course at that time.
WEEK 1 and 2
I spent most of the first week trying to get the hang of the software: reading the Help files, trying it out, reading the available material for the Subtitling Course on the internet, taking over al the Spot settings from the Yahoo Group Files.
In the second week, I started to time the subtitles and this is so far one of the biggest difficulties for me : getting used to all the procedures in the spotting process, i.e. defining in and out cues, distinguishing the what-to-do steps for continuous and not continuous subtitles and the one-second-rule.
WEEK 3
I still couldn't achieve a certain regularity in my timing (especially in my incues) but I realize I start to get more aware of it, this way I notice when the subtitles are late or simply early.
In the first weeks, my greatest worries were in relation to the technical details involved in the subtitling process. This week, though I began translating as well (EN-Br). While translating as well I began to realize how difficult this is, because it's not only finding the most appropriate matches in the target language, but also a matter of 'squeezing' (compressing), truncating, in order to accommodate the translation within some requirements as character numbers and reading time without compromising much of the sense. WEEK 4
I began to correct my own mistakes not only in relation to the timing but in the translation, sentences division, etc. In fact, I think I'm getting used to a new sort of grammar, in this case the software, its codes as well as the rules that guide the subtitle-making process, so I think ( at least, I hope...) that it's just a matter of time till I can feel more at ease and can show more regularity in the whole process, which I think will come via a lot of work. WEEK 5
I carried on the same routine: spotting, translation, Master Recut, review. This week I worked with the Onedin video file of the Compact Course. Unfortunately, it's not clear to me yet which procedure has to be used when you have to set the incue and outcue for continuous and not continuous subtitles. Because of this the whole week's work was not that precise.
What is frustrating is that you can have the impression that you advanced a lot in one week and then sometimes revert to the beginning in another. On the other hand, in regard to the translation I got more chances to exercise in aspects like truncating the text, thinking about possible solutions that satisfy criteria like number of characters, reading time, not making the text too poor by means of the truncating.
WEEK 6
This week I worked on the file Ricki, where there are many people speaking at the same time. This brings extra difficulties because you have to decide and select what's more important to be in the subtitle and what you have to dispose of, because you cannot keep all, and so I hesitated a lot about the incues and the outcues.
Working on another file, I noticed that I'm having less difficulties than before in linking the subtitles and that I'm getting more precise about setting the incues. The subtitles now instead of being late are slightly earlier which means I start to get more confident on my reaction speed while timing.
WEEK 7
This week, I worked on the file 'Geluk van Nederland' (NL-Br) which I already started last week. What became clear is that I'm not totally confident yet in my reaction speed. Before some subtitles were either late or early, now most of them are earlier. I believe there's no magical formula to correct that besides practice and exercise. The desire to do and make all timings perfect might even be the reason why they are not so regular. I was told that from the moment I get more relaxed and continue doing the timing in a natural way, the trust in my reaction speed will get stronger. Maybe that's why some files are better than others. As for making outcues and keeping the intervals between the subtitles, I've managed a reasonable regularity. But when looking into problems relating to the translation, I have to admit that most of my attention still goes to the technical aspects of the process.
WEEKS 8 and 9
After having been away for three months, I'm back and busy completing the Compact Course. I can say that in these two weeks and after such a long break my worries were focused on recovering part of the work routine I had before leaving. In the beginning I thought it would be very hard and it was, but not less than I expected it to be. In fact, I was surprised at the speed my memories came back: setting incues, outcues, the one second rule, distinguishing the difference between the intervals of continuous and non-continuous subtitles, doing the Master Recut. Some subtitles still come in earlier than others and I realized that I still have problems with dividing the sentences over the two lines the best way, omitting important elements while truncating, and with typing mistakes, which I justify by the fact that I tend to concentrate myself too much on the technical aspects. In general, though, I am satisfied with the results of these two weeks, and with some more continuous practice I guess I will be able to achieve the so desired regularity.

IN CONCLUSION
It’s been quite a while since I updated this report, but since the last update I’ve been continuing with my practice and I even have some good news. I’ve already done a free-lance job for a French subtitling company and I’ve started applying to other subtitling companies. I was very happy to see how useful this course was. I guess from now on, I'll continue practicing and applying, and see what comes out of it!'
PM, Portugal - February 2008