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Subtitle and Captioning FAQ’s

Subtitle and Captioning FAQ’s

In a rapidly evolving digital landscape where diversity and inclusion, user experience, and search engine visibility are key priorities, subtitles and captions have emerged as unsung heroes of content delivery. Whether you’re producing video content for social media, educational courses, or a marketing campaign, the addition of clear, well-timed text elements can be the difference between reaching a wider audience and falling short. This blog post will serve as your comprehensive guide to understanding the ins and outs of subtitles and captions. For content creators, marketers, and small business owners, this content is your blueprint for enhancing your video content and propelling your online presence.

Whether you’re looking to translate and subtitle your videos to reach a global audience, to make your media accessible for the hard of hearing, or you simply want to make foreign subtitles for your next giant blockbuster movie, there are some questions that you may have about the process, and what you can expect. Here are some FAQs when it comes to subtitling and translation services, and what Transcription City can offer you.

Captioning services, foreign language subtitling services, translation services, transcription services, video transcription services
Captioning and subtitling services.

Can you create subtitles files that I can add to my videos?

Yes. At Transcription City, we can produce accurate and well written subtitles in a variety of formats depending on your needs. We can write English subtitles or translate subtitles with file extensions which include .srt, .ssa, .vtt and more. Just give us a call and we can arrange for you to receive your subtitle files in format which best suits your needs.

Can you create a variety of different foreign language subtitles?

Yes. We have a team of foreign language subtitles, linguists and translators, all working with different languages and within different specialist areas. Our most requested languages for subtitles are current English to French translation, English to Spanish translation, English to German translation and more. We employ linguists which specialise in medical, financial, property and legal translations and more, and will match your linguist to best suit your requirements.

What is the difference between subtitles and captions?

Subtitles include only words spoken in your videos, whereas captions includes all sounds relevant for viewers. If your goal is to reach foreign speakers and a global audience with your videos, you may think that subtitles are best for you, but if your video contains a lot of sound effects then you may look to adding captions in order to make your media accessible for the deaf or hard of hearing.

What is open captioning?

Open captions are subtitles or captions that are burnt on, and part of your video, with no option to turn them on or off. They can be used for titling sections of your video as well as for very small sections of translations. For instance, a video or film that is produced in English but features only a few minutes of French speech would likely have open captioning to allow the British audience to understand what was said. Open captions are also brilliant for made-up’ languages, such as Elvish translation when watching the Lord of the Rings!

What is closed captioning?

Unlike open captions, closed captions can be turned on or off by the viewer of your videos, as needed. This is particularly useful as it gives viewers the option of switching captions on or off. Closed captioning can offer viewers the option of switch captions on or off in multiple languages.

Can you add styling to my subtitles?

Yes. We can burn on your subtitles or captions and/or offer certain types of subtitle files that include styling such as text size, font style, font colour and text positioning to best suit your video. If you do wish to have styling on your subtitles, however, you may be restricted on which subtitle or caption formats are available to you as some formats do not offer this option, such as .srt.

Why Subtitles and Captions Matter

Accessibility and Inclusivity

The first lauded aspect of including subtitles and captions is that it makes your content accessible to a broader audience. Approximately 15% of the world’s population live with some form of hearing loss, making captions a vital tool for delivering content to this demographic. Additionally, captions benefit individuals who speak a different language or those with learning disabilities who may find processing visual and audio content challenging. By adding captions, you ensure that you’re not leaving anyone out, further underlining your dedication to inclusivity.

Engagement and Retention

Engagement metrics don’t lie. Studies have consistently shown that videos with subtitles and captions enjoy higher viewer engagement. It boils down to simple logic – when viewers can understand the content without having to turn the audio up in a quiet environment or struggle amidst background noise, they’re more likely to stick around and watch for longer periods.

SEO Benefits

Search engines can’t watch or listen to your videos; instead, they rely on text elements to understand and rank your content. Subtitles and captions provide context and relevant keywords that contribute to better search engine optimization (SEO). This inclusion increases the likelihood of your videos being discovered and ranked higher, ultimately boosting your brand’s online visibility.

More FAQs on Subtitles and Captioning

What are the differences between subtitles and captions?

Subtitles are translations or transcriptions of dialogue in a video that appear in another language. Captions, on the other hand, typically include all audio content, such as music or sound effects, and are intended for an audience that can hear but might not be able to understand the language spoken. Both serve their purposes in making content more accessible and reaching a wider global audience.

How do subtitles and captions improve user experience?

Subtitles can eliminate language barriers, making content accessible to non-native speakers or those who prefer reading. Captions also help in noisy environments, which is common online and offline. Humorously named ‘the scroll-stopper’, captions keep viewers engaged during daily multitasking.

What tools can help create subtitles and captions efficiently?

There’s an array of captioning tools available, ranging from free to subscription-based. Software like ‘Rev,’ ‘Descript,’ and ‘Adobe Premiere Pro’ offer features to transcribe spoken words automatically or input by hand for precision. Some specialize in YouTube videos, while others cater to various video formats.

Are there legal requirements for adding subtitles and captions?

Until recently, legality in requiring captions mostly centered around TV broadcasting, demanding adherence to captions that were clear and accurate. However, as digital content grows in importance and reach, legal expectations are following suit, especially concerning online accessibility for the deaf community.

How to optimize subtitles and captions for SEO?

When crafting subtitles and captions, focus on including relevant keywords naturally. Prioritize clear language that makes sense as standalone text and reflects the full audio and visual context. Ensure the timing is precise, as search engines consider the length text stays on the screen as a factor in displaying results.

Best Practices for Subtitling and Captioning

When adding subtitles and captions to your videos, there are several best practices that you should adhere to for maximum impact. These include but are not limited to:

  • Timing is Everything: Subtitles should keep pace with the video, appearing and disappearing precisely as the audio is uttered, creating a seamless viewing experience.
  • Accuracy Over Speed: While tools can aid in quick transcription, it’s crucial to review and edit to ensure proper grammar, spelling, and, most importantly, that the captions correctly convey the original message.
  • Consistency in Design: Captions should be formatted consistently to avoid visual clutter. Use the same font, color, and size throughout your videos for a professional look.

Case Studies

Examples of Successful Use of Subtitles and Captions in Content Marketing

‘Cooking Up a Storm’

A major food blogger, in their transition from written recipes to video tutorial content, saw a spike in viewership and engagement when they implemented subtitles. It wasn’t just a matter of providing accessible content; the move transformed an auditory-heavy experience into a visual and text-based carnival, capturing and retaining the audience’s attention.

‘Travel the World by Watching’

A travel influencer started adding captions to their video blogs, resulting in a surge of views and audience retention, mostly attributable to the flexibility that subtitles offered to jump between visuals and written content during different points of the day or activities.

Contact Us

Subtitles and captions are no longer mere add-ons but integral components of your content strategy. Their contributions to accessibility, user experience, and SEO are invaluable. By putting this comprehensive guide into practice and continuously optimizing your methods, you’re not only enriching your content but also making a profound statement about your brand’s values and accessibility to all. Take the leap into a subtitled future and watch your content soar to new heights.

Well, that’s it, our most frequently asked questions on our subtitle translation, captioning and transcription services. If you have a video in French, German, Italian, Dutch or indeed, any other language, that you are considering having subtitled to appeal to a wider audience, please don’t hesitate to contact us at

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Transcriptionist and Virtual Assistant. View all posts by Samantha