7 May /19

How Subtitles for Videos Are Created

How Subtitles for Videos Are Created - EVS Translations
How Subtitles for Videos Are Created – EVS Translations

If you have any kind of video content, be it for marketing campaigns or internal corporate communications, you may be considering a vital tool for delivering greater international reach: those perfectly timed little subtitles at the bottom of the video. Here’s is a guide on how they are made, so your team understands the process and how best to prepare for the project.


At first, the video has to be transcribed, which means that through our latest technology and the skill of our translation engineers, all words spoken on screen are accounted for. For this, there is a general ratio of about 1 to 10: for every minute of video, it takes about 10 minutes of transcription. During this process, the translation engineers also tag the text with rough time stamps and names to give an approximate idea of when the text corresponds with the words. This can be the most labor-intensive part of the process. Once it’s done it can be proofread by a native speaker to catch any final issues that could possibly skew the narrator’s message or dialogue.

EVS Translations utilizes client-specific style guides for capitalization, number formats and so on during the process. This ensures that the content remains consistent with all your company’s marketing assets or corporate communications in terms of style, tone and terminology.

Generating subtitles

Many clients then require the transcription to be translated, though this isn’t always the case. If the client asked for subtitling of the original language only, then, in a subtitling software, words and text are matched as accurately as possible, down to the millisecond. This ensures that the subtitles don’t start until the speaker’s mouth is actually moving. To make the subtitles also visually appealing and easy to read, the translation engineering team makes sure to break sentences at natural points, while a waveform generated by the software also helps the team gain precise control over when a subtitle will appear on screen. Now the final subtitles are proofread.

Open captions or closed captions?

Depending on what the client wants, the translation engineers can either return the video with closed captions, meaning the subtitles are returned as a separate *.SRT file that can be added to the video if so desired, or with open captions, which means the subtitles are burned into the video and won’t be editable anymore. Both of these approaches have different advantages, depending on what you might be looking for. If the video is returned with open captions, for example, the subtitles are guaranteed to look the same, no matter where they are presented (website, live seminar, etc.), while the closed captions leave the client open to edit the subtitles in case they reshoot parts of the video and need to adapt the subtitles or make other edits.

Now the file is ready to be returned to your creative or communications team, ready for launch across markets! If you are interested in our professional subtitling services for international video campaigns or corporate communications, contact us now through phone or our contact form.

EVS Translations UK
+44 (0)115 964 4288

EVS Translations USA
+1 404-523-5560