If you’ve always wanted to create subtitles for your audiovisual content but weren’t sure to start, you’ve landed on the right page! This quick guide walks you through the “how” and the “why” as well as the basics of subtitling!
Understanding the Basics of Subtitling
Subtitles are pieces of text that originate from a transcript or screenplay of the commentary or dialogue in video content. These texts are usually displayed at the bottom of screens, and more often than not, producers use translated subtitles when the audio of the original video is in a language other than the native language of the viewer.
Understanding the Different Types of Subtitles
In essence, there are three different options when it comes to subtitling. These include captions, subtitles, and SHD captions. But captions are also subdivided into closed and open captions. Here’s what you need to know:
Open captions are embedded into your video file. They cannot be separated from your video, and viewers don’t have the option of turning them on or off. The quality of closed captions are therefore tied to the quality of the video, so if your video pixelates, it’ll apply through the captions too.
With closed captions, viewers can turn the subtitles on or off, and they are not embedded into the video. This means that your subtitles can be edited and adapted according to the preference of your target audience.
Although the terms subtitles and captions are often used interchangeably, they actually vary in terms of definition and purpose. Subtitles serve audiences that can hear the audio but don’t understand the language being used. Captions are made for audiences that understand the language in use but cannot hear the audio in the video. Subtitles are texts that are typically displayed at the bottom of the screen and derive from screenplays or transcripts.
SDH captions are subtitles that combine the best of both worlds from subtitles and captions. This approach assumes that audiences can’t hear the audio and also facilitates translation into foreign languages, which makes the content accessible to deaf and hard-of-hearing viewers that understand various languages.
Getting Started with the Basics of Subtitling
There are a couple of ways you can get started with subtitling. These include computer-generated captions, human-made captions, and translated subtitles.
With this route, AI technologies use advanced speech recognition (ASR) to create subtitles for video content. This is a quick and easy way of producing subtitles for audiovisual content. The only caveat with computer-generated captions is that they only offer an accuracy rate of around 85%. If you’re covering a very specific topic or trying to expand your brand globally, an 85% success rate simply won’t cut it and might actually have a negative effect on your ROI.
Although AI and ASR are quick and easy solutions for captioning and subtitling, professional, manual services always offer a 100% accuracy rate. Accuracy is of extreme importance when it comes to creating detailed content. This option does take longer than machine-generated captions and often costs more, but the delivery is always flawless.
If you want to add subtitles to your audiovisual content in a language other than your video’s original language, translated subtitles are your answer. Translating your subtitles can help you reach a wider audience and improves the accessibility of your content. It’s also a great way to ensure your audience can engage with your content without having to spend a fortune on dubbing or voice-over services.
The Basic Steps to the Subtitling Process
#1 – Transcribe the Content
The very first step in adding subtitles to your video content is transcribing the audio in the footage. Transcribing or transcription is writing/typing out word-for-word what is being said. There’s also the option of using transcription software.
#2 – Use Timestamps
Timestamps are components of subtitling software and are markers or indicators that help the creators know when to add captions or subtitles to the video content. This helps in the process of making sure that the content being shown matches what is being displayed on the screen.
#3 – Focus on Translation
Of course, if the text needs to be in another language, the third step of translating the text into the target language is required. Subtitle translations are critical for helping you reach a wider audience with your subtitling project and making your content more accessible.
#4 – Create a Subtitle File
This is the process stage where the files are coded into files that work on video displays. At this stage, you also get the opportunity to add any new voice recordings that are required before the final output.
#5 – Video Editing
This is the final stage of adding subtitles to your video. At this stage, the video is edited to include all captions and any additional audio that wasn’t part of the original video file. After this step, you’ll be ready to release your final result to the market.
Final Thoughts on the Basics of Subtitling
We hope you learned something new about captions, the basic principle criteria, their differences, and how important it is for accessibility.
Don’t forget that at Day Translations, we love languages. We provide professional AVT services right at your fingertips. Equipped with the best subtitling tools, we can assist, regardless of the source language and target.
Our team of professionals is available to assist 24/7, 365 days a year. Contact us today to get started!
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