Speech is one of the ways people communicate and as Günter Grass says, “translation is that which transforms everything so that nothing changes.”
This duopoly between speech and translation is played on a big screen when you watch content via major OTT streaming platforms like Netflix, Disney+, Prime Video, and others. One of the best examples of this is Netflix’s popular Spanish show called La casa de Papel. While the world recognises this show today as Money Heist, it is the Spanish language show that made “The Professor”, “Berlin”, “Tokyo” part of our daily conversation.
The connection between La casa de Papel and people was possible thanks to subtitles and closed captions. As Shark Tank India kept gaining popularity in India, a section of viewers were finding it hard to join this viewing party. The platform carrying the show did not offer closed captions for nearly a day after the episode was first aired.
This made it difficult for someone who is deaf or hard of hearing to watch the show on the day it came out. This could have been resolved with the help of closed captions SDH Subtitles, which combines the information of both captions and subtitles. SDH subtitles are subtitles for the deaf or hard-of-hearing.
As made clear by NCIS, a popular show on CBS, these major platforms often rely on experienced partners for their subtitles and closed captions work. One such partner is Circle Translations, a Lithuanian translation agency offering quality translations at a competitive price. The first step in understanding translation services is to understand the key difference between various services.
Subtitles, SDH Subtitles and Captions: what’s the difference?
People often use the terms subtitles and captions interchangeably, but there are differences that make them useful for a specific need or use case.
- Subtitles: These are texts derived from either a transcript or screenplay or conversation between people. When an original audio is in a different language from the mother language of the viewer, a translated subtitle is used.
- Captions: These are on-screen text or descriptions that display either a dialogue or identify speakers, and even describe relevant sounds that are otherwise inaccessible to people who are deaf or hard of hearing. The captions are synchronised with the video image and are either open or closed. Open captions are always in view and cannot be turned off by the viewer whereas closed captions can be turned on and off by the viewer.
- SDH Subtitles: These are subtitles that combine the information from both captions and subtitles. The normal subtitles are written assuming that the viewer can hear the audio but doesn’t speak the language. With SDH subtitles, it assumes that the viewer cannot hear the video and it tries to then emulate closed captions on media that does not support it.
Should your company set a marketing budget for subtitling services?
The answer is yes. Video and audio formats are eating the world as the next major content format. With attention span decreasing across the board and smart devices almost all around us now, these formats are always available to consumers.
The video content, as well as audio content, are most effective when they can reach a large number of people, even those who cannot consume these formats directly. This change in consumer behaviour has led to an explosion in the prevalence of video marketing. In order to reach the greatest number of people, it is important to add subtitles to your videos or transcript to your audio.
This makes your video inclusive and accessible to people who are deaf or hard of hearing. Through the added step of translation, you can also reach a more diverse audience. It makes business sense to invest in a good translation service because it helps companies and marketers increase market share.
Subtitles are also a cost-effective add-on to your already expensive or expansive video production setup. By adding subtitles, you can build credibility for your organisation and make it a truly global company appealing to people speaking different languages. By adding subtitles or closed captions, you also increase engagement of your video and increase visibility online.
Advantages of adding subtitles to videos and transcripts to audio content?
The biggest advantage of adding subtitles to videos means that your video can be consumed by more audiences and thus becomes relatable. Imagine you are watching an unboxing video of a product. A simple video just unboxing the product and showing a flat lay image would not appeal as much as a video with subtitles mentioning each and every product shown in the video.
In fact, a video with subtitles for the product being mentioned by the host along with a checklist on the video itself would appeal more to viewers. The addition of subtitles enhance your content in one way – they make them convenient to watch. Similarly, adding a transcript to a podcast makes it easy to listen and follow the narration.
Data shows that videos with subtitles result in a 40 per cent increase in watch time on YouTube. If you move over to Facebook, one of the dominant video consumption platforms, 85 per cent of videos are watched with the sound turned off. This means a video with captions will perform better on Facebook than the ones with subtitles. The view time also goes up by 12 times with the addition of subtitles or closed captions.
By adding closed captions, you bring the viewer not only closer to the video but also closer to the narrative. While subtitles might do fine on YouTube, adding closed captions will actually bring viewers closer to the content on Facebook. As a result, it is recommended to incorporate both into your digital video strategy.
When it comes to digital marketing, Neil Patel suggests using every tactic available to your advantage. Patel says marketers should consider adding subtitles if “your video has dialogue”. “It overcomes the sound-off barrier and assures that your message isn’t lost,” he adds.
The addition of subtitles has also been found to make videos more engaging and effective. The addition of captions has been found to improve information retention by researchers. Lastly, subtitles help videos with greater SEO value. Adding subtitles is believed to boost the SEO ranking of video content.
This again borrows from Patel’s playbook where the addition of subtitles help videos with keyword density and thus make it easier to be discovered by search engines.
All the above-mentioned reasons strongly imply the need for subtitles and captions to enhance the reach of your marketing videos, and all the time, cost, energy, and effort involved in creating those videos don’t go to waste.
In case you are ready to take the leap and decide to add subtitles to your marketing videos, you can check out the professional translation and subtitling services offered by Circle Translations.
Professional translation in 120+ languages
Circle Translations makes translation easy, local and delivers content that appeals “to mass audiences”. The company offers professional translation in over 120 languages, making it one of the few multilingual translation platforms. It also offers a full package that includes everything, from translation, editing, proofreading to DTP.
The company also localises content by making it culturally appropriate, so it resonates well with the target country, region and language. Circle Translations also creates content for clients by offering solutions that are not limited to voice over, dubbing, transcription, subtitling, closed captioning and editing. As video and audio content gain popularity, these solutions play a vital role for marketers to reach their target audience.
Established in 2017, Circle Translations counts Amazon, Binance, Electronic Arts, National Film Board of Canada, TENT, Sunrise Medical, among its customers. The company is now one of the leading localisation agencies in baltic states. With over 70 million words translated each year, the company is building a translation platform with diversity at its roots.