How to create subtitles/closed captions for films and videos


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Written by Documentary.net staff
Published on November 16, 2011

Summary:
In order to really reach a global audience it is very important to offer subtitles. We show you how to do so and what apps to use. So you have [...]


In order to really reach a global audience it is very important to offer subtitles. We show you how to do so and what apps to use.

So you have a film in german or spanish language? Then chances are low that your film will get a worldwide awareness. If you have shot your movie in any language other than English, you at least should offer English subtitles. (Other languages like Spanish, French, German etc. should be also added.) Of course there a always budget limits, but there are some free or cheap solutions for generating the translations and the subtitle files.

1) Before uploading your film to a videohosting site, you should check if they support subtitles. Best choice would be YouTube: You can upload seperate language files in many formats like SubViewer (*.SUB) and SubRip (*.SRT).

2) First thing: you need a transcript of your finished film. This can be a lot of work but it is essential.

3) Next you need to generate a subtitle file. This is a file that contains all the text in the film AND the timecodes when the text appears (and ends) in the film.

Example:
0:01:06.300,0:01:08.800
Is it a good thing or a bad thing

0:01:08.800,0:01:11.300
that it’s becoming harder maybe

0:01:11.300,0:01:13.300
impossible to encapsulate

0:01:13.300,0:01:16.300
information in discrete
units and sell them?

4) To merge your transcript with the correct timecodes you can just define the codes by yourself or you can take advantage of an application. This is recommended for any films longer than some minutes.

Note: Subtitle files on YouTube are not yet supported on iOS Youtube app. So if you want to be 100% sure people see the subtitles with the film, still the best option is to put the subtitles directly in the video file.

Please share your own experiences!

 

Further links:

Caption it yourself – Guidelines

CaptureTube: Create subtitles for YouTube videos

Universal Subtitles: Translation Platform

Software

Subtitle Workshop (Windows)

Movie Captioner (Mac) 

Belle Nuit Subtitler (Mac/Windows) 


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