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Crafting quality subtitles that meet accessibility guidelines requires audiovisual linguists with years of experience. Each step breaks down the subtitling prices here, but it's best to get in touch for a fixed, all-inclusive quote.
Transcriptionists watch and listen intently to the video content. They write out the speech and describe significant sound effects and music where subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing are desired.
Spotting involves splitting the transcript into separate lines with the in and out timestamps. These timestamps record the hours, minutes, seconds and 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.
Audiovisual translations for subtitles are a technical and creative task best completed by qualified linguists. Subtitling translators will accurately convey colloquialisms, humour or technical subject matter to non-native audiences. This task may also require condensing translations and adding descriptions to meet subtitling guidelines.
The final subtitles are always provided in a timed-text file format like SRT, WebVTT or STL. For open captions, once the subtitling style is agreed upon, they are synced to the video track and hard coded (burnt-in) to the video files.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.