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Subtitling Prices - Voquent

Subtitling Prices

What does it cost for industry-leading subtitling services? Not as much as you think.

Get a quick quote Subtitling Services

A complete guide to subtitling prices

Type subtitling services or subtitling companies in Google, and you'll find hundreds of online vendors touting cheap per-minute rates. If you want top-quality work, though, the cheapest subtitles won't cut it. 

Here's why quality matters

Exceptional subtitles amplify your content's entertainment value, broaden its potential reach, and ultimately, make a significant return on investment. Foreign businesses spend $90 billion annually trying to reach global audiences, and with 4.3 billion people not understanding English, subtitles can be a significant boon for your bottom line.

Crowdsourced subtitling and cheap localization services are both time-consuming to manage and frequently of poor quality. In contrast, professional subtitlers and localization experts charge extra for their services, but the additional costs will enhance the content and attract more customers from other countries.

Even if you still have a cheap subtitling service in mind, our detailed pricing breakdown below will show you how and where they cut corners to keep costs low. There are four steps involved in creating professional foreign-language subtitles: Transcription, Spotting, Translation and Encoding. Let's take a look at each of these processes and the individual rates.

Voquent Subtitling Styles

from $3 per minute

Transcription is the process of watching/listening to the video content and writing out all the speech. Significant sound effects and music content is also transcribed if SDH (subtitles for deaf and hard of hearing) are needed.

Voquent Subtitling Styles

from $2 per minute

Spotting involves splitting the transcript into separate lines with the in and out timestamps. These timestamps record the hours:minutes:seconds:frames and tell the video software when to display/remove the subtitle. Most modern transcription tools allow subtitlers to do the spotting task simultaneously as they create the transcript. 

Voquent Subtitling Styles

from $13 per minute

Audiovisual translation for subtitling is a technical and creative task best completed by qualified translators. Subtitling translators will accurately convey colloquialisms, humour or technical subject matter to non-native audiences. This task may also require condensing the translation to match subtitling guidelines.

Voquent Subtitling Styles

from $15 per file

The final subtitles languages are provided in a timed-text file format. Standard formats include SRT, WebVTT and STL. After choosing the subtitling style for open captions, the subtitles are synced to the video track in Adobe Premiere Pro and burnt into the video file.

Voquent Subtitling Styles

from $18 per minute

The full service, to include all the above steps, typically costs as follows:

  • Films / TV series/animation:
    • from $18 per minute to $26 per minute for costlier languages.
  • Corporate video/presentations/web videos:
    • from $33 per minute to $52 per minute for costlier languages.

Frequently Asked Questions

I can get subtitles for $1-2 per minute. Why should I pay more?

You don't get a lot for $1-2 per minute subtitles. Typically this relies on one unskilled non-native English speaker to do all the work. They will use an automatic transcription tool to create machine-generated subtitles (think YouTube's automatic captions, in terms of quality). Then they will do a cursory edit and provide an SRT (SubRip) or similar timed-text formatted file type. 

This level of service may be acceptable if you're a YouTuber or just looking for a quick fix. However, if you're like many of our customers, entertainment companies, or global brands, this quality level will not suffice. At best, the unskilled subtitler will not follow industry-standard subtitling guidelines making the subtitles difficult for viewers to read. At worst, the subtitles will contain frequent inaccuracies, typos and poor quality translations.

What does subtitling a film cost?

An English film with a timed-text transcript will cost from about $12 (£9) per minute to translate into a foreign language. The cost depends on the amount of dialogue, the subject matter and the number of reviews. Additional fees for adding the subtitles to the video (open captions) depend on the style needed. Please get in touch for a quick quote.

What does it cost to subtitle a corporate video?

In contrast to films and TV series, corporate videos contain double the word count on average. The content may frequently use industry jargon, technical or medical terms too. Most corporate projects require all four steps (transcription, spotting, translation, encoding), and the price is around $33 (£24) per minute.

What does it cost to translate subtitles?

Most translators charge per word, not per minute, so the per-minute costs you find online are for entertainment content. Entertainment content is roughly 75 words per minute, and business content around 150 words per minute. The price for translating the subtitles for a film or TV series starts from around $12 (£9) per minute and approximately $25 (£18) per minute for business. This price assumes we're delivered with a timed-text file and no video work is needed. Remember to contact us for a fixed quote.

How much does it cost for RTL subtitles?

Right-to-left subtitling (RTL) services to create open captions for languages like Arabic and Hebrew cost more than average. Most traditional subtitling and video editing software does not support RTL languages. To produce RTL subtitles, our team has to use alternative software, slowing down the work. Pricing for RTL subtitles starts at around $30/£24 per minute, including transcription, translation, spotting and burn-in to video.

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