Subtitling: All You Should Know About Subtitles

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Subtitles are a great option to localize your video materials introducing your content in international markets. Subtitles allow you to reach larger audiences, including foreign audiences who doesn’t understand your language, but might be interested in your video material. Subtitles are also a very important tool in that they enable the deaf and the hearing impaired to access the content of videos as well. 

The success of a product more often than not depends on how the product is introduced in market area, and the world of localization easily allows you to cross that border.

Currently, there are 2 widespread ways to localize your video materials: voice-overs or subtitles. Dubbing (or voiceovers) is considered the best way to localize videos, films, commercials, promos, because listening to the content allows viewers to comprehend the message of the video more readily than reading the material. Voice-overs are popular among multinational companies. It’s more expensive than subtitles, though. The greatest benefits of subtitles are price, ease, and speed.

 Video 1: Accent Network: What Are Subtitles?

There are also certain circumstances where voice over is preferred, and other cases where the preferred choice is subtitling. It all depends on the content, target language, and audience. For example, it’d be better to voice over a video with a lot of text and on-screen information. There is also a high amount of English-speaking people in some countries, so if you want to save costs, there is no need to voice over your material into Dutch, Danish, German or Swedish; subtitles can work perfectly well. But in countries such as Spain, Italy, France, Russia, and China, if you want people to perceive the information in the most efficient way, it’d be better to voice over your material.

Check out our Subtitles Portfolio. We collected several videos from previous projects, and want to show you what you can expect from Accent Network.

 Video 2: Accent Network’s Subtitles Portfolio

Do you want to localize your video, presentation or game into foreign languages? We can help you!

Request a Quick Free Quote and receive rates and ETA today.

Quick Free Quote


Any questions? Call us now at     +1 (512) 593-5001.

Subtitling Services: How We Work

Use TranslatingBox to translate subtitles or order full-process subtitling services, which include transcription, timecode creation, translation and proofreading, SRT-creation (or any other subtitling format) and burning subtitles into the video.

Picture 1. How We Work: Full Subtiting Process, From Creation to Translation and Burning-in.


Subtitles Translation: The Best Way To Translate Subtitles

How to Localize Projects in Several Languages at the Same Time?

Localizing your project into 10 or even 20 or more languages at the same time can be a real headache, but  there’s a magic solution!:

Welcome to – a unique app to translate your subtitles.

Picture 2: Translating Box


Professionals love this tool because it’s easy to use, it allows users to order in SRT files and to review and leave comments inside the app without compromising the source file.

Saves time

Thanks to its intuitive design and ability to translate into several languages at once, it halves the time taken in comparison to subtitles.

Delivers high-quality

Our professionals translate subtitles line by line. They pay attention to each phrase and sentence. Plus, it provides access for a reviewer who can check the translation and leave comments.

Saves money

TranslatingBox is a simple subtitle translation tool. It reduces time, guarantees high-quality and therefore saves you money.

Provides privacy

Every client has unique, individual access. Only you and your team can see your subtitle translation process.

Guarantees order

Having limited space to translate subtitles, translators think twice about how to translate each line more compactly and precisely.


        Intuitive design

         Guaranteed order in SRT files

        Privacy for you and your client

         No need to install

         Translate into 20 languages at once

         Easy reviewing

TranslatingBox is a fantastic solution for:

- Huge multilingual projects because you save costs and time;

- and small subtitling projects because you have everything under control.

In other words, TranslatingBox provides a flexible solution for everyone to localize videos into 3-5 languages using subtitles, or  to localize the video material simultaneously into 20 languages or even more; the size of your projects doesn’t matter!

Take advantage of Translating Box - try it now! Request an access and send us your SRT file or video/audio - and we get in touch with you ASAP.

Try Translating Box Now!

More information about subtitling: types, formats, transcription, embedding, examples, etc.

Types of subtitles

Subtitles are usually delivered in 2 ways: as closed or open captions.

Open captions are subtitles that are burned into the video, and are not available separately without the video. They are always in view and can’t be turned off from the video.

Closed captions are subtitles delivered separately from the video in text format. It’s possible to turn them on or turn them off when they are not required for people to understand the content of a video.

So What Are the Main Features of Subtitling and Where Is Its Magic?

-          Cost-saving method of localizing your video/audio materials;

-          Efficient and fast;

-          Original voice features are heard;

-          Good tools to learn languages;

-          The only way for the deaf and hard-of-hearing to understand the dialogue.

What Are the Typical Subtitle File Formats?

The different formats include: .srt, .sbv or .sub, .lrc, .ass, etc., but the most popular nowadays is .srt which can be opened on your computer with the help of the built-in Notepad text reader. You can check your .srt file by playing the video and enabling subtitles in your video player. Name your .srt file using the same name of your video, and most players will play the video automatically with the subtitles on the screen.

What Is the SRT File?

It is a simple text document whose main content basically includes: a number that identifies which subtitle is in the sequence, timing (time the subtitle should appear and disappear on the screen in hours: minutes: seconds: milliseconds), the synchronized subtitle lines (they can be one line or two lines long), and a blank line after which the next subtitle will start. There are also certain character and style considerations to bear in mind, i.e.: there are restrictions as to the quantity of characters and the fonts that should be used. However, the SRT file doesn't contain information about font size and style, or color, but we can change it all while embedding them into the video.

Here you can find an example of two subtitle lines with timecode:


00:00:14,720 --> 00:00:16,640

Me gusta mucho

el trabajo que hago;

Burning Subtitles into Videos (SRT Embedding)

Embedding subtitles into videos, designing its shape, color, and position on the screen is a popular option. It’s a great feature because of the kind of effects available: fade-in/fade out, or effects to make them appear on the screen, black backgrounds to make them more readable, etc. When embedding subtitles onto the screen, there is a safe area that should be considered, too.

Picture 3: Safe area


Picture 4:  Black rectangle as background.

black rectangle

A Little Bit More about Subtitles


Subtitles are usually placed in the bottom-center of the screen. However, depending on the video itself (for example, if there are titles on the screen with names, jobs, or any other information) subtitles could be placed in different ways: bottom-left or bottom-right part of the screen.


Picture 5: One-line subtitle in the middle of the screen: standard position.subtitles example 1 line

Picture 6: Two-line subtitle: standard position on the screen.

 subtitles 2 lines

Picture 7: Non-standard subtitle position on the screen.

 subtitles placement


Subtitle Lines and Number of Characters

Subtitles are usually composed of 1 or 2 lines, but 2-line subtitles are more widespread, because it’s more comfortable for viewers to read them. Concerning the number of lines, it must be always be limited to two. The first line should preferably be a little bit shorter than the second. Each subtitle line should contain no more than 42 characters for European languages, and 15 characters for some Asian languages (with hieroglyphs).


If the speaking pace is too fast, it will be difficult for viewers to read subtitles. So, professionals recommend making small changes to the text (reducing it, but keeping the same sense).

Example of reduction:

I wonder if you can really find the car.    =>       Can you find the car?

If you use reduction, remember to keep the original sense.


Use the most widespread fonts for your subtitles, for example, Times New Roman or Arial. White color for subtitles is the standard. If you think subtitles are hardly seen on the screen because of a lack of contrast between the subtitles and the video itself, you can add shadows or outlines.

Picture 8: Shadows


What is Onscreen Text and Titles?

‘Onscreen text’ refers to the brief explanation or notes on the screen (it doesn’t show what the speaker says, for example, but who this speaker is and where he is from). Titles can also include onscreen additional information, and these two concepts shouldn’t be confused with actual subtitles.

Picture 9: Onscreen text



Who Can Create Timing and How?

Timing can be created by a SL professional and subtitling specialist. In order to create subtitles, you also need a transcription – all spoken text written in the document.

YouTube Subtitles:

It’s very easy to insert your SRT file to your YouTube videos.

To start with, you should be the owner of the video on YouTube.

Go to your Video Manager by clicking your account in the top right > Creator Studio > Video Manager > Videos. Next to the video you want to add captions or subtitles to, click the drop-down menu next to the Edit button. Click the Add new subtitles or CC button. Choose how you want to add/edit subtitles to your video.

To upload a new subtitles file, you need to choose language, select the Actions menu, select Upload the file (and choose the type of the file) and then Choose file > Upload and Publish.

Subtitles are an effective solution for many companies that target foreign markets. Subtitles are used in explanation videos, promotional videos, presentations, etc. Subtitles are the fastest and most profitable way to localize any video.

Remember, one line can change everything.

Do you want to localize your video, presentation or game into foreign languages? We can

help you! Request a Quick Free Quote and receive rates and ETA today.

Quick Free Quote

Have questions? Call us now at +1 (512) 593-5001. 

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