The Subtitling Process

We have designed and implemented a proven 8-step process to ensure delivery of the highest quality subtitling services.

Subtitling Process | |

Quality Control Inspection and Preparation

Each video we receive is logged in by our traffic department and reviewed for each of the following:

  • Completeness
  • Sequential Time Code
  • Audio Quality
  • Video Quality

As the review is being conducted, the program is digitized and/or transcoded to one of our production servers. Any problems with the video, or any discrepancies between the video and the client’s original description of the project, are noted and communicated to the client.

Subtitle Formatting and Timing

Using one of our state-of-the-art subtitle workstations, a subtitle editor accesses the digitized program and carefully transcribes and formats the native-language dialogue and any forced narratives (text burned onto, or otherwise displayed in, the video). All unfamiliar terms are diligently researched for proper spelling. The editor then times the text to appear with the related program audio and video, sometimes referred to as ‘spotting’.

Preliminary Reviews

Upon completion of the subtitle formatting and timing, the subtitle editor performs an initial review, comparing the native-language subtitling against the source video to confirm the accuracy of the text and timing. A senior subtitle editor then performs a second review and makes any necessary changes to the subtitle file.

Generation of Translation Template

An MS Word-compatible translation template is generated and sent to the translation team, together with a low resolution reference version of the source video. The translation template includes the formatted text of the source language and provides a designated space for the translators to place the target language translation. The template also locks in the chosen font and type size, and the number of lines available to the translators for the translation. The reference video provides the translation team with the full context of the dialogue, ensuring a more accurate translation.


Using culturally relevant idioms, the primary translator completes the translation template — paraphrasing as necessary to provide the essential meaning of the dialog within approximately the same number of lines as the source language. This permits the subtitles to be displayed at a comfortable reading rate for the viewer.

Translation Review

A separate proofreading translator fully reviews the primary translator’s translation and makes any necessary changes to the translation template. Any such changes are discussed with the primary translator and, if necessary, a third translator is consulted. At this stage, we offer clients the option to review the completed translation template and make any final changes.

Subtitle Placement

The approved translation template is returned to the subtitle editor for final formatting. Using the style choices specified by the client, the subtitle editor generates target language subtitles and sets screen placement to ensure that graphics and other important video features are avoided. A senior subtitle editor then performs a final review and makes any necessary changes to the subtitle file. That file is then archived for future reformats or transcripts.

File Output

The final step is the output of the appropriate files needed to create the final deliverables.

We can render your subtitles onto your master video so that they’re always visible, or embed them into the video so that they’re visible only when selected in the player (sometimes referred to as ‘hard subtitles’ versus ‘soft subtitles’. As one of the leading subtitling agencies, our experienced technicians create video subtitles using state of the art equipment and can transcode your master video to any specifications required.

We can also provide subtitle files for the web, Streaming VOD, DCP or IMF packages, DVD or Blu-ray Authoring, as well as for most non-linear editing systems. We also offer professional DVD and Blu-ray Authoring services, from basic autoplay to complex multi-feature projects.

Learn more about our Subtitling Services.