Subtitling Services -What You Should Know

    Danilo Coviello

    One crucial point for all businesses is to make sales and reach larger audiences. If you can do that affordably with the content that you already own, you would reduce your expenses while recording even more profits. The good news is that you can, with subtitling services.

    Regardless of your aim, be it reaching more audiences on YouTube, launching a product, or even starting a learning construct, subtitling services help you reach global audiences outside your base area. Even better, subtitles help you improve your chances of ranking higher on the result pages of search engines.

    However, note that just any kind of subtitle wouldn’t suffice. The casual, auto-generated subtitles for video content on platforms like Vimeo and YouTube (and other social media outlets) are not top-grade.

    Indeed, such aids fit entertainment purposes. For businesses, on the other hand, you need quality subtitling services and translation services. And this article will provide more insights about the benefits of these.

    But before we delve into the details, how do subtitles work? Perhaps you have been confusing it with similar terms; what should you know?

    Understanding How Subtitle Works

    What Is A Subtitle?

    Subtitles translations are the translation of conversations or dialogues from video into text, that typically appear towards the bottom of a screen to help viewers grasp the content of audio or video content.

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    They may be in the original language of the film or video, or they may be translated into foreign languages so that a non-native audience can enjoy the content even if they don’t understand the original audio.

    Now, we understand that the definition can be somewhat confused with captioning. However, the two terms are different formats.

    What Is Captioning?

    Captions, unlike subtitles, are verbatim transcriptions of dialogues of a video, and they do not necessarily follow the pace or the action of the said video. They primarily help the physically impaired get more information from what they see on screen and online.

    In particular, closed captions help the deaf or hard-of-hearing get more access and understanding of a video. They might even add audio information such as noises and inaudible gestures.

    Another thing is that video captions appear at the bottom of the screen like subtitles, but they are white texts on black backgrounds.

    Regardless, we are not saying subtitles are not useful to the physically impaired. Specific subtitles like “Subtitles for the Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing” (SDH) include inaudible information and differentiations just like video captions files.

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    Read Also: How To Subtitle a Video

    How Do Subtitles Work?

    Subtitles are generally video transcripts that aim to improve the experience of viewers. In the case of a business, they help to engage your audience to commit to your offering. The best part: subtitle translation can help to bridge language barriers and get international clients if translated into foreign languages.

    Language barriers aside, even natives use video subtitling or captioning, and for different reasons. One of such is to increase the accessibility for people with learning difficulties like dyslexia.

    Above all that, the reason subtitles work is because of their visual engagement. People are more likely to watch, like, and share content with subtitles than those without it. In our opinion, that is what you should be targeting for your business or SEO goals.

    What Subtitle Services Should You Use?

    Knowing how captioning and subtitling services work won’t do you or your business any good if you don’t appropriate the knowledge to your aims. So, how do you go about it?

    Should you add subtitles to your videos yourself? Well, you can if it were a casual video among friends for the fun of it.

    How about using a friend or software for subtitling? That should work too! However, note that subtitles can have different styles, pace, and be targeted to different audiences, so these aspects should be taken into consideration.

    The chances are that the software or your friend only has a rigid style. Besides, what are the chances that you will get quality? Is your friend a professional subtitler? Are you using the typical auto-subtitler software from YouTube?

    The slightest informality or error when subtitling or captioning can render your product useless or ruin your SEO efforts. Your audiences won’t tolerate poorly done subtitling, particularly foreign transcription and translation.

    So, it’s best not to hurt your sales conversion chances. In that case, you should seek a professional subtitler, one who understands translation and subtitling services and how to fine-tune the delivery to meet target language and audiences across diverse economies and age groups.

    But, how do you know you are dealing with a professional subtitler?

    When you are looking for subtitling services, it’s important that the service provider discusses with you the type of subtitle translation you require, whether that’s video subtitles for film, time coded captions or other kinds of subtitling into different languages. They should also ask you whether your subtitles will be used for film, in videos, online, or another project type.

    Read Also: What is Transcribing? Everything You Need To Know

    5 Elements That Make Quality Subtitling And Translation Services

    The last thing you want is to waste money on amateurs that will ruin your ads and product development. To prevent such occurrences, you need an expert who understands the difference between a YouTube video and a subtle pitch to attract customers.

    That said, here are the elements that will guide you to choosing the right subtitling services for your objectives:

    Transcription Background

    Often, subtitling services begin with a transcription process of converting audio or video dialogues into transcripts. Without the transcription background, the chances are that the subtitles won’t come out right.

    The case might even be worse when there are several sound interceptions and background noises in your video or low-quality audio. That’s why you should seek an expert with a deep understanding of transcription and its methods.

    Low-quality videos or sound media will need to be transcribed more accurately to ensure they correspond to the original audio. This is particularly important if you plan to translate the transcription later on.


    After background knowledge, check for how accurately a subtitler can deliver your video transcriptions. In this case, don’t settle for less than 100%, and that should be for all the processes, including video transcription, subtitling and translation.


    Just like accuracy, readability is crucial to the quality of a subtitle service. The language and styling should be visible in terms of text, alignment, and colour.

    Also, you should consider the pace. Depending on your target market, the right subtitler should know how to appropriate the pace of dialogues to meet reading speed. This is particularly important in film or videos.


    The goal of subtitles is to engage your customers and make them consider your video. If the content is not clear, or the target language is incomprehensible, the results will be null.

    In that case, a subtitle must be as simple and straightforward as possible. The same principle applies to the fonts; there is no need for complex designs or colouring.

    Flexible Formats

    After you must have appropriated a smooth transcribing, translation, and subtitling / captions process, you need to have flexible project deliverables. The reason for that is because you will be submitting the subtitles to different platforms with varying data requirements.

    So, the right subtitler should know how to convert the subtitle file into different file formats or sound types. That way, you can share your ads, videos or film across multiple international platforms allowing you to reach a wider pool of clients.

    Overall, it is best to engage a company that offers all ranges of translation services. That’s because there might be cases where you might require all the services of translators, transcriptionists, linguists, captions and even proofreaders as part of your projects.

    If you employed said experts separately, you might accrue a lot of expenses. To save cost, you had better engage a one-step translation company. This is where we can help you!

    Espresso Translations Is Your Go-to Company For All Types Of Subtitling Services

    With us, you will be getting a team of technical professionals that span transcription, translation, linguistics, and proofreading. With such aid, rest assured that we will appropriate your subtitles to professional standards and get you to your transcription goals.

    At Espresso, we understand the different components of subtitle services, including captioning. In other words, we can handle your subtitling needs regardless of your audience, industry, language needs, or budget.

    Contact our team either by sending an email, a message on our website or giving us a call, and a dedicated Project Manager will be in touch with a quote within the hour. To speed up the process, it helps if you already send your videos or broadcast using the file upload and confirm the delivery date you require.

    Also, more specific details about your project such as the tone of voice, style, and any other technical details such as file delivery format etc. are very helpful. Also knowing the viewers you intend to broadcast to will help, so we know whether you’re targetting online, if you need to translate for a foreign audience or if you need a format that’s geared towards the hard of hearing.