Subtitling and Captioning
We can extract the text by transcribing the words being spoken. We then encode using mostly SRT, STL (or other codes) and embed the subtitles. We can process any language or alphabet (right-to-left or left-to-right) from any codified language in the world. Latin-based, Cyrillic languages, Hindi, Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, Thai, Hebrew and even pictograms.
We set up different formats so that our clients, LSPs or third-party companies can follow up, monitor and control the process, like drafting a two column editing page on .doc with a clear visual appearance of source and target languages.
If you want the on-screen texts translated and replaced, please click here to know how we do it.
Our unique in-house system provides error-free subtitling, as well as a cost-free quality check, QA, before delivery.
We can provide universal subtitling with standard or customized typography and layout.
We are specialists in open and closed captioning:
Open captions (oc) will be burned into the video itself, so they always appear on screen and can’t be switched off.
Closed captions (cc) on a separate track could be turned on or off by just pushing a button on your video player or remote.
A typical project:
We transcribe the text
or use your transcript and
apply SRT codes.
The copy is translated
into one or multiple
We embed, burn it in the
translation (oc) or put it on the subtitling track (cc)
We adjust the subtitling on the screen to the target language, customizing the lines to fit the words
We encode and process these subtitling formats:
We can use the client’s online platform and ensure a variety of customized onscreen presentations.
We can modulate at will: text color, background effects, positioning, font, or style deviations such as italic, bold, underlining etc.
We process any foreign characters and avoid any compatibility issues. For subtitles we also handle many encoding variables, the main one being UTF-8. We even convert from other codecs to UTF-8 as default.
UTF-8 with BOM
UTF-8 without BOM
874: Thai (Windows)
932: Japanese (Shift-JIS)
936: Simplified Chinese (GB2312)
950: Traditional Chinese (Big-Endian)
1201: Unicode (Big-Endian)
1250: Central European (Windows)
1251: Cyrillic (Windows)
1252: Western European (Windows)
1253: Greek (Windows)
1254: Turkish (Windows)
1255: Hebrew (Windows)
1256: Arabic (Windows)
1257: Baltic (Windows)
1258: Vietnamese (Windows)
1261: Korean (Johab)
10000: Western Europe (Mac)
10001: Japanese (Mac)
10002: Traditional Chinese (Mac)
10003: Korean (Mac)
10004: Arabic (Mac)
10005: Hebrew (Mac)
10006: Greek (Mac)
10007: Cyrillic (Mac)
10008: Simplified Chinese (Mac)
The subtitling technique is used when the video is in a language that the viewer cannot understand, either because the viewer does not know the source language or because of a hearing disability. Through this process, content is brought closer to an otherwise inaccessible audience.
Subtitling consists of translating and adapting the information broadcast on the video and displaying it synchronously at the bottom of the screen while the original version of the audio is displayed.
The captioning process can be divided into several tasks that can be requested individually
Embedding the subtitles
in the video
Embedding the subtitles
in the video
Frequently Asked Questions
Subtitling is adding written text to a video, film, or television program to convey the dialogue or other audible content in a different language or for viewers who are deaf or hard of hearing. Subtitles are typically displayed at the bottom of the screen and synchronized with the program’s audio content.
The subtitling process involves transcribing the spoken dialogue or other audible content and translating it into the target language. The translated text is then timed to appear on the screen at the appropriate time, considering factors such as reading speed and the duration of the audio content.
Subtitling can be used for various purposes, including making foreign-language films or television programs accessible to viewers who do not speak the language, providing accessibility for viewers who are deaf or hard of hearing, and improving comprehension of spoken content in noisy or distracting environments. It is also commonly used in e-learning and training videos to provide on-screen text for learners.
Subtitling can be done manually by a professional subtitler or through automated software that generates subtitles using speech recognition technology. Manual subtitling is generally more accurate and produces higher-quality results, but it can be more time-consuming and expensive than automatic subtitling.
There are several different types of subtitling, which vary depending on the specific use case and intended audience. Here are a few of the most common types of subtitling:
Interlingual subtitling: This type involves translating a video’s dialogue or other audible content from one language into another. It is commonly used for foreign-language films and television programs.
Intra-lingual subtitling: This type of subtitling is used to provide captions or subtitles for viewers who are deaf or hard of hearing or to provide text translations for viewers who have difficulty understanding the spoken content. It is commonly used in educational videos, documentaries, and news programs.
Forced subtitling: This kind of subtitling displays translations for specific phrases or words spoken in a different language within an otherwise untranslated video. It is commonly used in films or television programs with various languages spoken.
SDH (Subtitles for the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing): SDH subtitling is similar to intra-lingual subtitling, but it includes additional information, such as speaker identification, sound effects, and other non-speech elements, to help viewers who are deaf or hard of hearing to understand the content better.
Captioning: Captioning is a type of subtitling used to provide text descriptions of all audible content in a video, including dialogue, music, and sound effects. It is commonly used in educational videos, documentaries, and news programs and for accessibility.
Teletext subtitling: This type of subtitling uses the Teletext system to provide subtitles for television programs, allowing viewers to turn subtitles on or off using their television remote.
At Prime Group, we will provide the type of subtitling that better matches your specific requirements and challenges. We would use the subtitling method, which better suits the target audience’s needs and the content’s intended use.
The effectiveness of subtitling versus voice-over or dubbing depends on various factors, including the specific use case, target audience, and personal preferences. Here are some potential advantages and disadvantages of each method:
- Less expensive than voice-over or dubbing
- Preserves the original audio content and performances
- Allows viewers to hear the original language and intonation while reading a translation in their language
- Does not require synchronizing the translated audio with the original video content
- It may be difficult for viewers who have difficulty reading or who have visual impairments
- It may be distracting or difficult to follow in fast-paced or action-packed videos
- It may not accurately convey the meaning of idiomatic expressions or other cultural references
- Provides a more immersive experience for viewers who prefer to hear the dialogue in their language
- It can be easier to follow for viewers who have difficulty reading or who have visual impairments
- Can accurately convey the meaning of idiomatic expressions or other cultural references
- More expensive than subtitling
- It may not accurately convey the original audio content’s original performances or nuances.
- It can be distracting or difficult to follow if the audio synchronizes correctly with the video content.
- It can be difficult to find high-quality voice-over or dubbing talent in some languages.
Ultimately, the choice between subtitling and voice-over or dubbing will depend on a variety of factors, including the specific content being translated, the target audience, and the goals of the localization project. In some cases, subtitling and voice-over or dubbing may be the most effective solution to provide both accessibility and immersion for viewers.
The process of subtitling can vary depending on the specific project and the language being translated, but here are some general steps that are commonly involved:
Transcription: The first step is to transcribe the audio content of the video or audio file. This involves creating a written transcript of all the dialogue, narration, and other audible content, including any non-speech sounds that may be important for the viewer to understand.
Translation: Once the transcript is complete, the next step is translating it into the target language. The translation should be accurate and clear, and convey the same meaning as the original content.
Timecoding: The translated text must be timecoded to synchronize with the video or audio content. This involves determining the start and end times for each subtitle or caption so that they appear on the screen at the appropriate time.
Subtitle creation: Using specialized software, the timecoded translation is then formatted into subtitle files that can be played back on a video player. This involves adding formattings such as font, size, color, and placement of the subtitles, as well as adjusting the timing and duration of each subtitle to ensure that they are easy to read and appear at the right time.
Quality control: Once the subtitles are created, they must be checked for accuracy, readability, and synchronization with the video or audio content. This involves reviewing the subtitles for any errors or issues and making any necessary adjustments to ensure that the subtitles are clear and easy to understand.
Delivery: The final step is to deliver the subtitled content to the client in the desired format. This may involve providing the subtitle files separately or embedding the subtitles directly into the video or audio content.
Subtitling can be complex and time-consuming, especially for longer or more complex videos. However, with the right tools and expertise, it is possible to create high-quality subtitles that are accurate, clear, and effective in conveying the intended message to the target audience.
There are several formats for subtitling, each with its own features and benefits. The most common subtitling formats are:
SubRip is a widely used subtitle format containing each subtitle’s timing and text information. It is a simple, text-based format supported by most video players and editing software.
WebVTT is a subtitle format designed for web videos, and it supports features such as styling, positioning, and cue settings. It is used for HTML5 video players and can be embedded directly into a web page.
Scenarist Closed Caption (.scc)
Scenarist Closed Caption is a professional subtitle format commonly used for broadcast television. It supports closed captioning, pop-on and roll-up captions, and formatting options.
Advanced Substation Alpha (.ass)
Advanced Substation Alpha is a subtitle format that supports advanced features such as karaoke effects, font styles, and positioning. It is commonly used for anime and other multimedia content.
Teletext Subtitle Format (.ttml)
Teletext Subtitle Format is a subtitle format used for digital television broadcasting. It supports features such as multiple languages, closed captioning, and text styling.
At Prime Group, we are experienced in creating and processing subtitles using any of the above formats and more. When choosing a subtitle format, let us know the specific needs of your project. We can advise you on the format’s compatibility with your video player or broadcasting platform. Contact Prime Group today for a quote and learn how our team of experts can provide accurate and high-quality subtitles in any format for your videos.
Both machine and human subtitling have advantages and disadvantages. The choice depends on several factors, such as the budget, the level of accuracy required, and the nature of the content.
Machine subtitling uses automated software to generate subtitles based on speech recognition technology. It can be less expensive and faster than human subtitling and is suitable for videos with clear audio, simple language, and straightforward content. However, machine subtitling can be less accurate and require significant editing to correct errors. This need of human intervention to improve subtitling might result in higher costs. It may also struggle with accents, background noise, and complex language. On the other hand, this technology works mainly in English and presents many areas for improvement in other languages. So if you want to subtitle a video in French, Chinese, or Spanish, at Prime Group, we recommend outsourcing both the transcription and the subtitling to human native editors.
Human subtitling involves a skilled subtitler manually transcribing and timing the audio to create accurate and high-quality subtitles. Human subtitling can be more expensive and time-consuming than machine subtitling, but it can provide a more nuanced and accurate interpretation of the content. It is essential for videos in foreign languages, complex jargon, sensitive subject matter, or a specific target audience.
At Prime Group, we offer a turnkey service of subtitling where native and professional editors are involved in all steps: from checking the machine transcription to correcting and applying the final subtitles onscreen, respecting the pace of the pictures, and ensuring an easy reading. We recommend human transcription and subtitling as a better option for high-quality, professional results. Contact Prime Group today for a quote and learn how our team of native and professional editors can provide accurate and high-quality subtitles for your videos.
Here are some key elements that can help ensure high-quality subtitles:
The subtitles must be accurate and reflect the audio or video content. Therefore, they imply a flawless transcription, the first and necessary step for subtitling. Subtitles should convey the intended meaning of the spoken words as closely as possible without omitting or adding any information.
The subtitles should be timed correctly, with each line appearing and disappearing immediately. This is done with the specific encoding of the lines at the stage of transcription using, for example, SRT, which is a time code indicating minutes, seconds, and frames. This timing ensures that the subtitles are easy to read and do not interfere with the viewer’s ability to watch the video.
The subtitles should be formatted in a clear and easy-to-read way, with legible fonts and appropriate size and color. The formatting should also be consistent throughout the video.
If the video is intended for an international audience, the subtitles should be localized to the target language and culture, considering the different alphabets and writings. This includes adapting idioms, cultural references, and other elements that may not make sense in the target language.
The subtitles should be written clearly and concisely, with correct grammar and spelling. The subtitles should also match the video’s profound, humorous, or informative tone.
The subtitles should consider the context of the video and the target audience. For example, if the video is a technical presentation, the subtitles should use appropriate terminology and avoid overly simplified language.
Overall, at Prime Group our benchmark is to enhance the viewer’s experience of the video by providing accurate, easy-to-read, and well-crafted subtitles that complement the content of the video.