Last updated on July, 23

🏆 Best Subtitling Services for August 2021

Do you want to reach a global audience? Subtitling services are here to help. It specializes in translating English captions into other languages for foreign-language films and its goal is to make the world's content more accessible so that everyone can enjoy it.

What are subtitling services? 

When watching a movie, do you sometimes have difficulty understanding what someone is saying? Subtitling services create and display timed text or transcription of the on-screen dialogue of any content. Now you can add an accurate written translation of your video in your required language and access a wider audience!

Why do you need subtitling services?

Though you can listen intently to a movie’s dialogue, sometimes it may be hard to understand what the characters are saying. If you want to watch foreign media or enjoy a clear understanding of certain content, subtitling services can help you have a smoother viewing experience; you’ll hardly notice that you’re reading while watching!

Provide Clarity

The goal of subtitles is to let the audience understand your content better, possibly in different languages or situations where they cannot hear the audio. Names, technical terminology, and slang words can be conveyed and appreciated by your audience more quickly with subtitles.

Provide Access to Different Cultures

If you want to learn a new language or be exposed to a new culture, part of your learning experience can be watching movies and videos in that language. By putting subtitles to your content, even if your viewers cannot visit that country, you can provide them with an idea of how customs and traditions are in different places through your screen.

Have Your Viewers Watch Silently

The majority of social media users watch promotional content without sounds every day. By using subtitling services, your videos can be made to auto-play on social media sites and applications. That way, you can reach your audiences, even without audio. Your target audience will still understand your content and get your point while scrolling.

Reach People With Disability

Millions of people worldwide have disabling hearing loss, and they’re a potential market of viewers that cannot be ignored and shouldn't be left out. With the use of subtitles, you can reach these audiences and let them enjoy more movies and videos. Subtitles and transcriptions have also been proven to be helpful to people with learning disabilities.

Increase Viewing Time

When scrolling on social media, people tend to have a limited attention span. Everyone browses their phones on the elevator, buses, or sound-sensitive environments. However, if your video auto-plays with subtitles, you have a chance of capturing your audience’s interest. You can have them view your content, even if they did not click on it or play it with audio. 

Comprehend Strong Accents

Sometimes movie characters have heavy accents. Even if they are speaking a language you know, it may be hard to understand. If anyone is mumbling, or if there are any background noises that you did not pick up, subtitles can bring that to your viewers’ attention.

Make Your Videos Discoverable

Adding subtitles to your videos can allow search engines to pick up specific keywords and improve your videos’ visibility to your audience. You can boost your global reach online and get more clicks on your videos or visits to your website through your subtitles.

Have a More Accurate Translation

Hiring a trusted subtitling service will make sure that the message of your video and other content is not lost in translation. Rather than using machines to auto-translate your videos, most video translation, and subtitling services make use of humans so they can accurately check the context of the video and put in precise transcriptions.

Save Money

Dubbing means swapping the original audio with a recording of the same content but in a different language. However, this option is much more expensive than subtitling since you need to hire a native speaking voice talent. The average rate for subtitling services can be up to fifteen times less than dubbing. So, you can save a lot of bucks with subtitling instead.

Core features of subtitling services

Subtitling is an increasingly important element in delivering content in today’s digital age. Some people even refuse to watch movies without one. You will want to make sure that the subtitles accompanying your videos give your viewers the best viewing experience with all these features.

Accurate Transcriptions

Above all, you want to make sure that your content’s message is 100% accurate and complete. You wouldn’t want anything to be missed by your viewers or anything to get lost in translation. Multimedia experts, translators, and proofreaders all work together to ensure error-free subtitles for your videos.

Readable Subtitles

Aside from accuracy, timing is also an essential factor in subtitling. You want to know what the character is saying the moment they say it. Subtitles should not be too long or exhausting to read. No one wants to read too many sentences at once. The best subtitles make it feel like you’re not even reading at all, so you can still pay attention to the video.

Human Transcription

Machine learning and AI technology have certainly come a long way. Some can even auto-translate speech to text. However, these technologies are still far from perfect. Making use of humans when listening to audio and transcribing it into text is much more accurate. That’s because humans are aware of slang or cultural context that a machine may not pick up.

Multiple Language Availability

To reach a global audience, you may have to provide subtitles in different languages.  If you’re from the UK, you can hire subtitling services in London to translate your videos into another language. This will help you reach more viewers. Many subtitling services have hardworking translators who know multiple languages to provide subtitles in any of your desired languages.

Multiple File Format Availability

Your subtitles need to be available in any format you need for your medium and whatever platforms you intend to publish your videos. Whether you need SRT files for your subtitles or if you need them embedded in the videos, subtitling translation services accept a variety of audio and video formats to provide the necessary subtitles in whatever format you require.

On-Time Delivery

If you’re a content creator with a regular upload schedule, you would not want to disappoint your avid viewers for the lack of content simply because your videos do not have subtitles yet. You might lose a large number of viewers. Subtitling services are prompt, and make sure that you have accurate subtitles ready to be viewed as soon as possible.

Data Security

Subtitling services have security policies that ensure your data’s security so you can be confident that your videos do not get leaked to the public or viewed by anyone before you release them. Your files are kept confidential and secure to avoid any risks. 

Fair Pricing

Subtitling services prices vary depending on content length and language. The cost of subtitling services may be per minute or line. Many services provide a cost calculator with the subtitling services prices to help you have a rough estimate of what you might have to pay.

Optimization for Any Platform

Your video can be optimized for the big screen or social media sites. Subtitling and captioning services can help ensure that your subtitles are in the correct file format, font, and style for whatever platform you intend. If you are uploading your content on multiple platforms, the size ratio and subtitle length can also be adjusted.

Receive Ready to Use Videos

Send your video, wait a few days, and receive your subtitled content, ready to use! It’s that simple and hassle-free. You can send in names of places, people, and other jargon to assist the transcriptionists and receive more accurate subtitled videos faster.

Types of subtitling services 

Most people love watching movies and television shows with subtitles without stopping to think about the work that goes into them. The field of subtitling is an industry that requires different skills to optimize your viewing experience. These are the different types of subtitling services.

Subtitling for Cinema and Television

Through the use of many streaming platforms, you can watch any movie or television series you want on-demand. Before these shows are available on the platform, however, a lot of work goes into putting in subtitles in different languages. This is to make sure that a large number of viewers will be able to enjoy it.

Pro #1: Reach a Wider Audience

Movies and television shows are a powerful story-telling tool. Foreign viewers and deaf and hard of hearing people can enjoy and appreciate your films and television shows. You can introduce a whole range of ideas, stories, and cultures through television and film subtitling services.

Pro #2: Preferred by Viewers

With subtitles, you can easily read the captions while listening to the original audio track. Many viewers prefer the original actors’ voice compared to dubbers since their feelings can be different from dubbing. Plus, with subtitles, viewers can also get accustomed to hearing a foreign language and may even learn from it. 

Con #1: May Be Distracting

Having to pay attention to what’s going on in the video while reading subtitles and processing the information may be a bit distracting. When you’re reading subtitles, it can be challenging to look into the speakers’ eyes or take in the video’s scenes.  

Multilingual Subtitling

Say you made a video about life in New York. Perhaps someone from the other side of the world would like to know about it as well. For instance, you can employ subtitling services in New York to translate your work into Chinese, Japanese, or whatever language you require. That way, you can easily share your story with people worldwide—that’s what multilingual subtitling is for. 

Pro #1: Have Accurate Translations

Languages often do not have direct translations of certain words. However, subtitling services make sure that the ultimate message and feel of the video are still conveyed. That way, foreign viewers can still understand your video’s context.  

Pro #2: Choose From Different Languages

Whether you have one video or many, you can get an all-inclusive and hassle-free subtitling service in as many languages as possible. From movies, corporate presentations, and even educational videos, you can ensure that your point is not lost in translation.

Con #1: Time Consuming

A film may be an hour or two long, but it takes much more time than that to put in subtitles. From transcribing to translating into different languages to inputting the text and making sure that it is timed well—all of these takes a lot of time and effort. 

Closed Captioning

When you watch a movie, you usually do not pay attention to the background noise in the scenes, such as the sound of a door closing or footsteps approaching. Many of those who offer subtitling services also provide closed captioning where it is assumed that the viewer cannot hear the audio and need a text description of what they would otherwise be hearing.

Pro #1: Have Detailed Descriptions

One significant advantage of captioning is that background sounds, quiet or loud, are given a clear description. Even if you do not have hearing disabilities, you may not always pick up on these sounds. It's these little things that could make all the difference in conveying the story or message of the video.

Pro #2: Give Access to People Who Cannot Hear

Society is evolving to be more inclusive and sensitive to the needs of people with disabilities. Closed captioning allows deaf or hard of hearing people to have a full viewing experience of media and enjoy and learn without being left behind.

Con #1: Longer to Read

Since closed captions require detailed descriptions of audio noises, this would require more lines, and the timing of these captions should also be well-coordinated. The captions cannot be too long, but also cannot be too short and uninformative. Otherwise, it would be difficult to read and understand.

Real-Time Subtitling

Now you can watch a live broadcast, even in a foreign language, and not get left out!  Live captioning, live signing, and live subtitling can be available, depending on your budget and needs. A stenographer in real-time can transcribe everything going on in a live show or broadcast and convey it to the viewers.

Pro #1: Get Instant Translations

Even if you are hard of hearing or cannot understand the language, you can keep up with what you’re watching instantly! There’s no need to wait a few days for the subtitles to come out; you can watch live without any language barrier.

Pro #2: Reach More Viewers

Broadcast television and video on demand viewers regularly use subtitles or captions. This is especially helpful for foreign viewers and deaf people since the names of places, people, and other slang can be understood more easily and quickly.

Con #1: Subject to Errors

Since the subtitling is being done by a stenographer live, without any time to edit or proofread the text, it may be subject to mistakes and misunderstandings. When multiple people talk on the live show, it may be hard to keep up with all the voices and sounds, so there may be some subtitling error.

Who needs subtitling services?

Content Creators

It is easy for you to film something with your phone in the digital age and share it with the world. The world wide web is accessed by all sorts of people across the globe. So, content creators online have a massive audience and can reach even more people using subtitles. Once you upload, thousands of people can enjoy your content at the same time. 

Deaf and Hearing Impaired

For the deaf and hearing impaired, most immediately leave a page or stop watching a video if they cannot access it because of the lack of subtitles or captions. Government bodies, media outlets, and content creators can provide accessible content for everyone, including those with disabilities. 

Movie and Film Producers

If you’re a local film producer, attending international film festivals is not an impossibility. You can use your native language and still share your movie and your story with global critics and audiences. Subtitles can give international recognition to the brilliant and underappreciated movie and film producers.

International Business Organizations

From marketing content to corporate videos, subtitles can help expand your business internationally. You can also improve your search engine optimization and find more potential customers who will engage with your content.

International Fanbases 

Are you a fan of foreign actors or singers? Even celebrities nowadays make use of uploading video content and doing live broadcasts to interact with their fans. However, if you do not speak the same language, then keeping up may be difficult. This is why many international fanbases employ subtitling services to give international fans access to their favorite celebrity’s content.

Step-by-step guide on how to employ subtitling services

Step 1: Choose a subtitling service provider. 

The first step is to choose the right subtitling service provider. If you’re from the UK, then you can look for subtitling services near you. Not every subtitling service offers closed captioning or multilingual subtitling. If you want your video translated to Russian, make sure that those subtitling services are available from your provider.

Step 2: Get a quote.

Some subtitling services have a fixed rate per video minute. Others will ask for more information before giving a quote. Send your information to your service provider, and indicate your video’s duration and what language you want the subtitles to be in. Don’t forget to include your contact information so they can quickly get in touch with you.

Step 3: Negotiate the terms.

Once you’ve received your quote, look over the terms of your agreement. For instance, if you want to avail yourself of Spanish subtitling services, ask about their translators’ qualifications. Arrange the details of the font style, file format, and delivery date. If you are in a rush, inform your provider so they can speed up their subtitling process.

Step 4: Send in your video.

With some subtitling services, you can send your video directly through their website. Others will require you to send it through email or other means. Do not forget to include additional details that could make the subtitling process easier for your provider. Give the names of characters, places, and explanations of jargon. 

Step 5: Wait for the output.

After sending in your video, simply wait until your subtitling service provider contacts you. Once your subtitles are complete, you will be notified via email or other means. Your subtitling service provider may send you a link to download the completed file. View the output, and if changes are necessary, simply inform your service provider.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Video subtitling services are typically intended for people who cannot understand the language being spoken. It allows you to watch foreign films and content in other languages. Even if it is in a language, subtitles can also be used to understand the dialogue better.

Closed captioning includes the transcription of the dialogue and the text description of non-speech elements, such as sound effects and background noises. This is typically for those who cannot hear the audio. That way, they can have a better context of what is going on in the video.

For subtitling services, the difference of definition of subtitling and dubbing lies mainly on the audio used and availability of captions on the screen. Subtitling puts a written translation of spoken dialogue on screen. On the other hand, dubbing replaces the spoken dialogue with a simultaneous spoken translation.

Subtitling is a stylistic preference and is usually the cheaper option. It also helps preserve the integrity of the original audio. A native speaker is usually hired for dubbing to allow viewers to pay attention to the speakers’ expressions and emotions.

It depends on the duration of the video that you want to be subtitled. On average, it takes about 5 to10 times the duration of the video to put in subtitles. A trained subtitler takes about 4 to 5 hours to transcribe an hour-long video and insert the subtitles. If your video needs translation in a complicated language, it usually takes a much longer time.

Depending on your needs, your subtitles may be embedded in your video. With this, the subtitles cannot be removed or turned off by the viewers. This is also known as hardcoded subtitles. There is also the option where viewers can turn the subtitles on or off, and they’re usually given in an SRT format file.

Typically, subtitling services can range up to $2 to $15 per video minute. Some do not have a fixed rate and instead ask you to send in your file to get a quote. That way, they can assess the difficulty level of your subtitling needs. If you need to rush services, then it could also cost you extra.

The text format, turnaround time, audio quality, and timestamping requirements would also affect the price. If there are multiple speakers with heavy accents, the service providers may again charge extra.

No. The complexity of the language also affects the rates. Suppose you need to employ translation and subtitling services in London Leicester Square, and you need subtitles in different languages. The English and Arabic subtitling rates could differ significantly since there are not as many Arabic translators in London.

German, Arabic, Chinese, Welsh, and English are typically the most difficult languages to subtitle. These languages have more complicated structures and syntax, and translator availability may also be limited.

Yes. Subtitle styles may differ depending on where they appear, and while usually, they appear on the bottom, some may prefer to have it appear on the side of the person speaking or above the screen. Font styles and the way the captions are presented also differ and have varying styles. The color of the letters and if there is a background to the text are considered, too.

Real-Time or live captioning is done at the same time a broadcast is required. A stenographer types out the dialogue in the language available as they are spoken. This may not capture all the dialogue, especially if multiple speakers are talking fast. It is also subject to errors and misunderstandings.

A recorded video is saved for offline captioning and subtitling, and subtitles are added and meticulously edited. This takes a much longer time to do but is usually accurate and precise.

Multiple people will work on your video to ensure that it meets quality standards. A transcriptionist will type out the spoken dialogue; then, a translator will interpret and express this in your desired language. Proofreaders and editors will make sure that everything is perfectly timed and accurate.

Subtitling and translation companies also know what the best format and the best styles for your subtitles are. They will adjust and suggest these according to your preference and for your intended platform.

Most sites accept major credit cards and debit cards, bank and wire transfers if you’re availing of subtitling services online. Most websites also accept payments through online payment gateways, so you can conveniently pay for their services, as well.

You can check the instructions posted on the subtitling services websites and see if they allow you to upload your media directly through the site. You can also send it in through email, or if the file is too big, you can share a public URL.

Typically, the subtitling service provider will update you on how your documents are coming along and how much time is needed to complete them. When done, they will email you the files, and you can download them directly.

What is the difference between subtitling and transcription?

Typically, subtitling and transcription service companies require freelancers to have at least two years of experience with subtitling, transcribing, or closed captioning. They are given tests and exams to gauge their abilities. Proofreaders and editors also regularly check their work.

The US has many companies that offer subtitling services, many of which are in New York or Miami. If you plan to produce a Hollywood film, you will also be able to find several subtitling services in Los Angeles. Influencers and content creators avail of these services for their videos and programs. 

Timestamps are often provided for every new paragraph at your option. This typically costs some extra money. It will be convenient for you since the transcript or subtitle text is synced with the audio per word so that you can click on any word, and the audio will start playing from there.

Subtitling service companies make use of advanced subtitling software, tools, and professionals. If you are in a rush, they can work to get your project quickly in a small amount of time. This is why the delivery process is a reasonable turnaround for quality work.

Subtitling service companies have a non-disclosure agreement and strict company policies that adhere to ISO-Certified Security standards. High-level encryption and security measures are taken to ensure that your files are kept confidential to others to prevent any video leaks.