Technology

Netflix Employs Massive Support Staff To Take ‘Chelsea’ Global

Netflix recently launched a global late-night talk show starring Chelsea Handler and now has 200 linguists devoted to helping the American comedienne’s profanity-laced humor land with audiences around the world. The streaming giant has worldwide hopes for its new late-night talk show format based on Handler’s jokes, says Quartz.

Netflix Employs Massive Support Staff To Take 'Chelsea' Global

Big support staff to take Handler’s show worldwide

Translating a joke into Portuguese, German and Arabic is a tall order. In a blog post on Tuesday, the video steaming giant said it has a massive operation that swiftly ensures nothing is lost in translation.

Each episode of Chelsea is taped 34 hours before being released to an audience in 190 countries simultaneously. Because of the tight turnaround, Netflix’s linguists have only 12 hours to translate the show into the 20 languages the show will run in. To accelerate the process, the streaming service creates a live English transcript of the taping by having a person repeat the lines from the show into voice recognition software.

“It’s a bit like someone who speaks perfect Siri, if you will,” says Variety.

Afterward, the streaming service edits and shares the work with its translators.

Netflix also live-streams the tapings to other experts so that they can flag phrases or words that might upset various audiences around the world. They also check “Edumacate Me,” which is a quiz game Handler plays with her guests, grammatically incorrect terms like “anyways,” and mentions of tools like Snapchat, which is only available in some countries.

Netflix has experts flag objectionable content

Netflix vetted a pool of 5,000 linguists to find the translators who were best for the job. They were asked to translate clips from Handler’s Uganda Be Kidding Me stand-up special and Netflix’s original series, including Orange is the New Black and House of Cards, to check how well they interpret slang, vulgarities, and U.S.-centric political terms and idioms into their respective languages.

The video streaming service’s translation processes and underlying encoding technology are pretty fast, and as Variety indicates, the show Chelsea, when it goes around the world, could technically be released in the U.S. 14 hours before midnight Pacific Time.

Netflix has also changed its user interface for Chelsea. Usually, the company lists TV show episodes in chronological order starting from episode one of season one of a show. For Chelsea, the streaming firm shows the latest episode first, but subscribers have the option of binging in both directions.