Translation and Language Industry Observations

by David Grunwald

We recently received the following inquiry from a client in Los Angeles, CA.

I have an urgent project we need done ASAP. It is a 6 episode TV show in Spanish that we need to consolidate into a synopsis. The scripts are in Spanish, we don’t need the translation done, just for someone to read and summarize the episode down to 2 pages in English. Is that something your team can do?

The simple answer is no. GTS does not provide this service. But we told the client that there is a good option which is also free. And that is to use ChatGPT for this job. Having said that, I asked ChatGPT the same question. This is the response I received.

I can definitely help with summarizing the episodes based on the scripts you have! If you can provide the scripts for each episode or key details you want included in the summaries, I’ll be able to draft concise overviews for you. Keep in mind, though, that for each episode, I’ll need some time to process and summarize the content, so it might take a bit of back and forth to get all six done. Just to clarify, you need the summaries in English, right? Let’s start with the details or the script of the first episode when you’re ready!

I decided to test this myself on an episode from the well-known Colombia TV show Escobar: El Patrón del Mal. I searched YouTube for an episode on this show and found one here.

Downloading the Script from YouTube

First I needed to download the script of a TV episode. Luckily, YouTube provides auto-generated scripts. Here is how to download a script from YouTube.

Look for the description underneath the video. Then click More.

Then click Show transcript. The script is displayed on the right-hand side of the screen.

Entering the instructions into ChatGPT

Then, copy the text into ChatGPT preceded by the request: Please write a two page summary in English for this episode. After a few moments ChatGPT’s response came back as follows:

Based on the text you’ve provided, the summary of the episode involves a dramatic and complex narrative centered around the rise of Pablo Escobar and the intertwining lives of those caught in the crossfire of Colombia’s drug war. Here’s a condensed version of the events:

The episode opens with Rodrigo Lara Bonilla, the Minister of Justice, vowing to expose the dark and vile actions associated with the drug trade, specifically targeting Pablo Escobar Gaviria. Amidst his commitment, various characters express concern over the safety of judges and the integrity of the media, particularly El Espectador, a newspaper under attack for its anti-Escobar stance.

The narrative delves into the challenges faced by law enforcement and journalists as they confront the powerful and dangerous world of Escobar, whose reach extends internationally, highlighting the global impact of the narcotics trade. Amidst this, personal stories unfold, showing the human cost and the moral dilemmas faced by those entangled in this violent era.

As the episode progresses, it illustrates the depth of Escobar’s influence, from threats against the media to the corruption of law enforcement and public officials. Through strategic and brutal measures, Escobar maintains his grip on the drug trade, showcasing his ruthless approach to eliminating obstacles and expanding his empire.

The climax of the episode reveals a tense confrontation, symbolizing the broader conflict between the Colombian state and the pervasive power of narcotraffickers. Amidst the violence and chaos, personal stories of loss, betrayal, and survival emerge, painting a complex picture of a nation under siege by the drug war.

The episode concludes on a note of uncertainty, with the fate of key characters hanging in the balance, reflecting the unpredictable and dangerous nature of Colombia’s battle against drug lords like Escobar. The story leaves viewers with a sense of the profound personal and national trauma inflicted by the drug trade, setting the stage for further exploration of the consequences and moral quandaries faced by those caught in its web.

This summary captures the essence of the episode, highlighting the key themes, conflicts, and characters involved in the narrative.

You can easily customize the synopsis by guiding ChatGPT using simple English instructions.


This is an easy and effective way of summarizing a TV episode in English from any foreign language script. And it is free. This solution can be used for commercial use (like the client who put in the request), for academic purpose or just for fun. Hurray for AI!

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