Subtitling for a Better Understanding and a Gain in Visibility

Whether you are a TV series fan or want to improve your language skills, subtitled videos are in the spotlight. This is a technique for presenting the contents of a video on screen.

It consists of translating the film’s dialogues into writing and displaying them at the bottom of the image.

The Rules of Subtitling

To better understand and follow the flow of an audiovisual program or video, specific criteria must be considered, particularly the duration and length of the writing when subtitling. Given the speed of the dialogue for each character, the subtitle must appear for one to six seconds on the screen. It must be synchronized with the character’s speech. To be well followed by the readers, the display should not be cumbersome. It should also be clear and concise. Therefore, it should contain an average of about 30 characters, including spaces.

To be explicit, color standards such as white, magenta, yellow are used. Among other things, according to the rule of exposure sequences, the subtitle must follow the standard ratio that indicates the number of characters per exposure time. In the meantime, there must be a 140-millisecond gap between the two successive subtitles. In addition, in the case of instantaneous dialogues of several characters, the translator must only consider the dominant one. In the case of redundant speech, the message should not be repeated several times.

The Subtitling Method

To achieve subtitling, three steps must be respected: identification, synchronization, simulation, and correction.


Tracking, as its name suggests, consists of tracking each dialogue’s start and end points to be translated using a timecode.


Synchronization consists of bringing the speech into line with the message. It takes a little longer because the display time must be carefully managed. The quality of the subtitling depends on this step. Imagine that you are watching a film with subtitles, and the subtitle comes after the dialogue. It’s a bit annoying, especially if you, due to lack of language skills, intend to follow the translation of the movie through subtitling. Therefore, the standards mentioned above should be emphasized. It is about respect of the number of characters per line and its duration.

The Simulation

The simulation is the last step of the subtitling process. It is a verification of the relevance of this type of work. In the presence of the proofreaders, the translators, the film director, and the designer or graphic artist if necessary, the subtitled video is launched and it is checked that no mistakes have been made and that nothing has been forgotten. The video must be well synchronized with the subtitles.

The Realization of the Subtitling

To perform a subtitling job, several software programs are currently available. On the Internet, you can find Subtitle workshops, etc. It is always recommended to call upon an audiovisual company for professional subtitling. They are seasoned in audiovisual media with many years of experience. Activities such as video editing, dubbing, audio description, mixing, etc., are offered.

The Advantages of Subtitling

Subtitling offers multiple advantages. First of all, it interests a good number of people. Games, TV series, and songs with subtitles are trendy in entertainment. We can target the general public beyond the international level.

Secondly, in the field of education, subtitled videos are viral. Foreign language learners, for example, are urged to watch this type of video through films and documentaries. Indeed, they allow assimilating learning faster.

The same is true for companies. Faced with competitiveness, the company needs to stand out at all costs. The production of videos and the creation of audiovisual advertisements constitute communication support. Added to the quality of the images, the subtitling brings a particular asset to attract people’s attention. Thus your video will be perfect, and your company will gain visibility. Besides, learning with videos is always fun and brings more pleasure. Also, subtitling is easy to do and does not require much material compared to dubbing.

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