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3 tips to create subtitles like a pro

That’s it, the script, shooting and editing of your video is done, your masterpiece is almost ready to be broadcast....

March 22, 2020
3 tips to create subtitles like a pro

That’s it, the script, shooting and editing of your video is done, your masterpiece is almost ready to be broadcast. But there’s one last step, and not the least important: captioning and subtitling. In this article we give you 3 tips to create your subtitles like a pro. 

Indeed, this step is very important even though it is often minimized and relayed as a last minute finishing touch. And yet, subtitles are a key asset for reaching a wider audience because they are an indispensable referencing element for the visibility of your video. Just take a look at Tumblr and you’ll quickly see for yourself.

Subtitling is now the standard in internet video.

You’ve noticed that for more than ten years now, video has been exploding as a digital medium, and it’s not about to stop: it is expected that by 2020, video will account for 82% of the world’s internet traffic! A video without subtitles is therefore completely invisible at the international level but not only. Its content is also less well referenced by search engines and therefore much less accessible by Internet users.

Have you noticed that subtitling of videos circulating on social networks, especially Facebook, is becoming more and more widespread? The reason for this is that videos are launched by default without sound. As a result, 85% of videos on Facebook would be watched without sound.

In addition, subtitles would increase the video viewing time by 12% according to Facebook. This is why it is essential to consider the subtitle content almost as important as the content of the video itself.

In order not to start this project lightly and to add real added value to your video, several elements must be taken into consideration to make your subtitling project a reality.

When to start the subtitling project? What form should you choose for your subtitles? Where to find help if you are not a subtitling expert? In this article, you will find out the three essential things you need to know before you start your project.

1. Start the subtitling project only when the video editing is complete.

It may seem logical, but it is always good to remember the importance of timing.

You don’t want to start your subtitling work and, along the way, realise that the video editing needs to be edited. That would mean reworking all the subtitles that have already been produced. Knowing that the transcription work is already long and tedious, it would be a significant waste of time and energy. So avoid it!

2. For unique and personalized content: define the desired subtitle style.

The form of the subtitle is important. In order for subtitling to be readable, a few rules must be followed.

First of all, it is important to define the size of the letters and the type of font, bearing in mind that “Arial” and “Helvetica” are often preferred because they are fairly legible. Then, you will have to determine the length of the subtitles per line, per number of words, or their spacing. Once the style has been defined, it is advisable to maintain continuity throughout the video to make it more enjoyable to watch.

Note that the colour of the subtitles is also important. You will have to take into account the lightness of the image or, on the contrary, its darkness in order to put the subtitles in a more or less dark colour to make them easier to read.

3. Allow sufficient time for the subtitling.

When a video project reaches its goal, time constraints are often pressing, particularly because of the potential for delay. Nevertheless, it is essential to take the time to do the subtitling.

First of all because, as we mentioned earlier, subtitles play a vital role in the visibility of your video and should therefore not be neglected. Secondly because the risk of making mistakes increases when you want to go too fast, and in the end you will lose even more time correcting everything.

Only one watchword: proofreading! Don’t hesitate to read and have the subtitles proofread by an outside eye if possible. Keep in mind that the more hasty the subtitling work is, the longer the proofreading will take.

For guaranteed quality, you can entrust the production of your subtitles to professionals.

As we saw earlier, there is a risk of serving your own video with poor subtitling. So, if you are short of time or your language skills are limited, there are now services available to make your subtitles, and allow you to broadcast your video with complete peace of mind. Checksub is one of them.

You will be able to get quality subtitles in record time thanks to a team of language professionals and innovative tools.  In addition, you will be able to find offers adapted according to the need for translation or not, the length of your video, or even the language chosen.

For example, for subtitling in the original language, Checksub allows a maximum of one day if the video does not exceed 20 minutes, and about three days if your video is longer than an hour. The proofreading stage is included in this time frame.

In the case of foreign language subtitling, translation work is added and the proposed turnaround time is a maximum of two days if the video is no longer than 20 minutes and six days for videos longer than one hour.

Need to be convinced? Here is an example of subtitling created by Checksub.

Thanks to these tips, you are ready to launch your project and let the world discover your perfectly subtitled video!

Do you have any other tips that you think are essential? Feel free to comment if you do. Now you’re able to create subtitles like a pro 👌

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