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In short:
Control chars – ()[]\*\* –: fewer are better
Content: if applicable word for word

These guidelines are the result of long discussions that included a sign language interpreter who also does subtitles and also a deaf person using subtitles. Also, I used this (german):,untertitelstandards102.html

The following was our common result:

In dialogs the person speaking has to be indicated

Full names are only useful when first using them. After that please use a form of abbreviation. If you use first names or family names is up to you (different might be appropriate from talk to talk), but the prinpipal is always: the shorter the better!

Constanze Kurz: welcome!


Kurz: nice to have you here!

Frank Rieger: also a warm welcome from me, too!

Rieger: …
example: (only first/nick names are known)
Laura: Hi Alice! Hi Bob!

B: Hi Laura, how're you?

A: Hi!

L: I'm fine, thanks!

No parenthesis around names!

dialog between only two people can be further simplified

- Hey, everything's fine?

- yes, how about you?

- all done and dusted

- then we'll see each other tomorrow!

cuttings are allowed, but should be avoided

“Ehm”s, stumbling or words that were said twice can be omitted, but not if they're important (e.g. for a joke)

Subtitles are in direct speech, but no quotation marks, except there's really a quote

numbers should be written in digits, because that's shorter. If readability is affected, you can write numbers in words (mostly only with numbers from one to twelve)

Sounds are marked with "*".

Unfortunately there is a bug in amara which uses the * for italic. Just ignore it we will fix that with a script in the textfiles.



*loud laughing*



*phone ringing*

explicit linebreaks in amara can be created with [Shift]+[Return]

Well, yes, thank you very much for your talk (linebreak)
*standing ovation*


in the Q&A part you can do it like that. Name at first appearence the Angel with “Angel:” or “XY Angel” if you want to specify the type of angel, questions with “Question:”, answers as “Answer:”. Later abbreviate to eather only the type of angel, e.g. “Audio:”, “Signal:”, “Herald:” or “Angel:” and abbreviate question and answer to “Q:” and “A:” for shortness.

Herald Angel: We welcome to this talk Linus Torvalds, Richard Stallman,

*raging applause*

Herald: … Bill Gates and Steve Jobs.

*cautios applause*

Herald: And now have fun with the talk: “How does good software look like?”

Torvalds: Good evening


Stallmann: Evening


Gates: Good evening


Jobs: Evening


Stallman: Software must be free. That's the highest principle!

Gates: And how does the programmer make a living of it? Air and love?

Torvalds: My software is used on a huge bunch of devices and programmers are paid to develop that software, when it should be used on new devices.

Jobs: And what about the UI design? Only if it looks good software is also used!

Stallman: I want to use the CLI!

Gates: To send users back to the hell of text, after they got to know graphical user interfaces …

Jobs: … which YOU stole from US! There's still a court decision pending!

Stallman: Good concepts are always copied and further developed, just like with the code.

Torvalds: That reminds me of a specific line of code that was actually copied from Linux to Windows: “if OPEN BRACKET …

If you have a talk which is totally mixed in two or more languages, then use the language "Klingon" in amara (seriously)

Afterwards there can be a whole translation to english and german and whatever.

en/styleguide.1452206158.txt.gz · Last modified: 2020/09/19 22:03 (external edit)