ประวัติซับไตเติ้ล (1) by ซับนรก
It was not long after the invention of film that efforts were first made to convey the dialogue of the actors to the audience. They started with what we now call intertitles: texts, drawn or printed on paper, filmed and placed between sequences of the film. They were first seen in 1903 as epic, descriptive titles in Edwin S. Porter’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin. (The technique may have been invented by cartoonist and filmmaker J. Stuart Blackton.) The titles were from 1909 on called sub-titles, as they were used in the same way as subtitles in for instance a newspaper. Early, but rarely, the subtitles were placed in the moving image, for instance as in Porter’s College Chums (1907) or the French films Judex (1916) or Mireille (1922). (College Chums was sometimes shown with live actors speaking the dialogue behind the projection screen!)
In the era of intertitles, it was easy to solve the translation problem. The original titles were removed, translated, filmed and re-inserted. Or a speaker was used to give a simultaneous interpretation of the intertitles, the French bonimenteur or the Japanese benshi.
In fact, the very first “subtitles” ” ซับนรก ” in the modern sense saw the light of day already during the silent film era. In 1909 M. N. Topp registered a patent for a “device for the rapid showing of titles for moving pictures other than those on the film strip”. With this method the projectionist, using a sciopticon (a kind of slide projector), showed the subtitles on the screen below the intertitles. However, this was never much more than a curiosity, although similar techniques, with the titles on a film strip instead of slides, have been used from time to time up to the present day (Brant, p. 30).
From intertitles to subtitles ” ซับนรก “
From the year 1927 on, with the invention of sound film, the audience could hear the actors, so the titles inserted between scenes disappeared and the problem assumed new dimensions. Of course, one could make several language versions, or have the film post-synchronized (dubbed, ซับนรก) in another language. However, some film producers and distributors found this technique complex and expensive.
Why not use titles as before, inserting them in the picture? They thus became what we now call subtitles, and since this technique is comparatively cheap (subtitling only costs between a tenth and a twentieth of a dubbing), it became the preferred method in the smaller language areas, such as the Netherlands and the Scandinavian countries.
In the early days of film subtitling the main problem was to place the subtitles on the distribution copies, as the negative was usually in safe keeping in the country of origin. Norway, Sweden, Hungary and France quickly took the lead in developing techniques for subtitling films. However, “the first attested showing of a sound film with subtitles was when The Jazz Singer (originally released in the US in October 1927) opened in Paris, on January 26, 1929, with subtitles in French. Later that year, Italy followed suit, and on August 17, 1929, another Al Jolson film, The Singing Fool, opened in Copenhagen, fitted with Danish subtitles.” (Gottlieb, p. 216)