So what is Hermes? Hermes is a system devised by Netflix to test the capabilities of prospective freelance translators wanting to work remotely for them. Netflix is hoping to solve the problem of generating high-quality subtitles and translations by creating Hermes. Hermes was also likely created because other vendors weren’t paying their translators well enough for high quality. The Hermes project is all about high quality. Netflix doesn’t want to waste their time for incorrect or bad subtitles or translation.
Anyone with multi-language capability can become a translator for subtitling, but your quality has to be nearly perfect in order to be considered. So the first thing you will need to do is pass the test. It can be difficult depending on your language ability and how good your typing skills are. Translating can be a tough job unless you are absolutely fluent in the language you are translating for. It might be a good time to mention here that you don’t need to be bilingual to get a subtitle job with Netflix. There will always be a need to have subtitles in your own language, such as English, for those who are deaf and rely on subtitles to understand a movie. But, those types of subtitle jobs will be harder to get because many people can transcribe, which is simply writing down what you hear in that language using the same language. Timing becomes a huge factor as well. You don’t want to input subtitles too early or too late when the dialog is spoken. Can it be a tough job? Yes, but again it depends on your abilities.
So what is the process to get started? The first thing you need to do is register with the site here: https://tests.hermes.nflx.io/
Once you have completed the application forms, you will be sent a text message with what is called your unique H-number and a unique URL. Make sure you don’t lose this number because you are going to need it to log into Hermes platform. You will perform the test on your computer. You want to be sure you have a good broadband connection because you’re going to be streaming video content, and when you are writing subtitles, this is important. They recommend no less than a 20Mbit speed. Start by opening the link on your computer and login with the phone number, and your H number. You will then be taken to the Hermes admission test. This is what you will see:
There are 5 different tests or phases as they are called. It will take you about 90 minutes to complete all 5 phases.
Phase 1 gives you a time limit of 10 minutes and this test starts out by testing your understanding of English phrases. It has 15 multiple choice questions, and you need to select the correct word to complete a sentence, select the correct meaning of a word or a phrase, or choose the sentence with the correct grammatical structure.
Phase 2 has a 10-minute time limit and also has 15 multiple choice questions as in the first phase. The only difference in this phase is that you are asked to select the correct answer from a list of options. This is done in the target testing language.
Phase 3 has a 15-minute time limit. You will be asked 10 different questions based on 10 short video clips. Choices for answers will be in the target language you applied for. Each clip can be replayed as many times as you need but keep in mind your time limit.
Phase 4 is a technical phase moving away from the translation part of the job and focuses on technical aspects of subtitling. It also has 10 video clips as the previous phase. This part of the phase tests your working knowledge of timing, punctuation, and line breaks.
Phase 5 The last phase has a 40-minute time limit per clip in which there are two clips provided. You are asked to watch the clips and translate the dialogue into your target language. So if the clip is in English, and your target language is German, you will translate English into German. The original language subtitles will be provided on the left side of the dashboard. This will help with your translation that you will enter on the right hand side.
Once the 5 phases are completed, the phases will disappear, and a banner will show the status as completed. This is the same place the results will show up and you may have to wait 10 business days to get the results. The phases are graded by an actual administrator, so it can take some time to get the results.
There are some things to take into consideration before doing this test. There are some languages that are more in demand that others. For example, as I previously mentioned, English subtitling from English source will be more difficult to get than if you speak two languages. If you are not proficient in the target language you choose, you will not likely pass some of the phases. The languages that are more in demand than others are Korean, Arabic, Japanese, Swedish, and Danish languages. Keep in mind that there is likely higher score thresholds for languages such as English, Spanish, or Portuguese. The type of pay can range anywhere from $1 per minute to in some cases $6 per minute if you are proficient and the language you are targeting is a more desired language.
Having a bad internet connection is going to work against you. So make sure you check your speed and make sure you can get at least 20Mbit download speed. You may also need to invest in subtitling software as I have read its required for this job. So you are going to have some other out of pocket expenses.
In closing, doing subtitling or translation can be profitable through Netflix. But if you are applying for this type of job, you should probably already have some experience, and the correct software needed for this type of job. If you already have experience and everything that is required, then you will likely find that Hermes is a good fit for you.