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I need to synchronize an audio track and a video track (that is, cut the video so that it matches perfectly a voice-over), except that the audio track is in chinese and I don't speak chinese, so I don't understand what is being said and I can't synchronize it with the image!

What I would need is a way to "tag" the audio track or to add subtitles to the audio track, so that I know that at time 1'02, the word "hello" is pronounced, at time 1'13 the word "mister" is pronounced, and so on. Then I would import this file in Adobe premiere to be able to edit my video.

So basically I have:

  • one audio file, a voice-over in chinese
  • one text file, the text spoken by the voice-over but in english

And I need to create "something" that will match the two files and will help me synchronize my video and audio track afterwards in Adobe Premiere (a chinese speaker will make the match, but he won't be able to edit in Premiere). How would you do that?

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I'm not perfectly clear on your process, but it seems you could approach this in the same way you would captioning (subtitling). The thing that ties the two together is time code: in your text file, each phrase is preceded by an "appear" time code, set apart (in brackets, etc) to indicate that it's not part of the spoken text.

[01:02:03:04] These words are being spoken now.
[01:02:09:10] And this is the next spoken phrase

There are established formats for this, some very elaborate, using XML for example (see Universal Subtitle Format), and very simple ones as laid out above. Since it's for your eyes and not a machine's, simpler is better.

There are utilities (sorry, no links) that can capture the current running time in a readable form and insert it into the text, making the process reasonably efficient for the Chinese translator to accomplish.

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