Subtitling services

2M’s dedicated Subtitling Services unit provides captions and subtitle services into 200+ languages.

In a typical subtitled video, the audience hears the original language, and written translations appear at the bottom of the screen. The existing audio stays untouched and viewers get to hear the original tone and inflections of the narrator, interviewees and actors. This provides them with a more authentic experience of the original film.

Uses and limitations of subtitles

Subtitles are typically kept to a maximum of two lines’ length and appear on the screen in synch with the audio and long enough for the viewer to be able to read them whilst they still take in the picture. For a positive viewing experience, translations have to be kept concise to suit the audience’s reading speed. Subtitle services are particularly suited for videos that don’t already have a lot of text in the picture; otherwise the video could become too text-heavy and the provided information too much for the viewer to process.

Advantages of subtitling services

One key advantage of subtitling over voiceovers is the lower production cost, as no voice talents, audio studio or recording engineer are required. Furthermore, our subtitling services are a great way to offer translated video content online and in a variety of language options through popular video sharing platforms like YouTube and Vimeo.

Subtitles, open captions, closed captions – what’s what?

The usage of these terms is not quite consistent across Anglophone countries, and often we find that “captions” and “subtitles” are used interchangeably. As far as usage in Australia is concerned, we often differentiate by referring to “captions” when these are in the same language as the audio/dialogue, and to “subtitles”, when translation into another language is involved.

Captioning is primarily done to give the deaf and hard-of-hearing access to video content. You may also have come across captions on TVs in noisy environments like airports, or in hospital waiting rooms where the volume is kept down. In this context, captions not only reflect the spoken dialogue but may also include descriptions of sounds, e.g. a slamming door in the background, or voices in the off, or lyrics and music, particularly when these are very relevant to the storyline. In the U.S., captions for the hard-of-hearing are referred to as “SDH” (subtitles for the deaf or hard-of-hearing).

“Open” captions or subtitles are always in view on the screen, they cannot be turned off. They are also referred to as “hard-coded” or “burned-in” subtitles. “Closed” means that the captions/subtitles are optional for the viewer, i.e. they can be turned on or off as desired. That’s what the little CC button is for that you see on sharing platforms like YouTube and Vimeo.

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2M provides subtitles in a range of file formats (e.g. SRT, WebVTT, PAC, STL etc.), also suitable for upload as closed captions, or a finished video file with the subtitles permanently burned in.

By subtitling your videos, you make your product visible to overseas markets and increase visibility to multicultural communities domestically.

Check out our subtitling case studies.

Related blog posts:

Voice-over or subtitling, which is best ?

Video translation and preparing for attractive messaging

How to translate Youtube videos?