How To Subtitle: Tips and Tricks

For years I never bothered about subtitling. I just thought it was too time-consuming to be bothered with, and I had no idea what an SRT file was anyway. However, after attending a the Community Contributor Summit with Top Contributors from around the world, I began to understand how important subtitling is to opening up content to new audiences. For example, one YouTuber at the conference showed us a graph showing that her audience totally changed from majority English-speaking to a complete mix of people from around the world once she introduced subtitling.

So here’s the tips and tricks I’ve learned about subtitling that I wish I knew from the start.

  1. You can just edit the automatic subtitles.
    If you add the automatic English subtitles to your video, you can then just skip through and fix the mistakes. This is a much quicker way to do it than starting from scratch or trying to make a SRT file yourself.
  2. You can drag into place. 
    Drag the edges of each box to where the subtitle starts and ends, similar to the annotation tool. Click the ‘+’ button on an annotation to add one in the free space after it. (Must have free space to add it).
  3. You can ask your fans to add subtitles in different languages. 
    Once you’ve added the English subtitles, ask your fans to add subtitles in other languages. Then, once they’ve submitted, all you have to do is check them and approve.
  4. You can translate submitted subtitles to check they’re OK.¬†
    There is a feature (which uses Google Translate) in the approval window where you can see what the submitted subtitles say in the language that you speak. Then you can approve and they appear on your video in the language they were submitted in.
  5. You can download the SRT file 
    Once you have fixed the mistakes in the automatic English subtitles, you can download the SRT file (or that for any of the submitted languages). This means you can then upload this file to Facebook in order to subtitle your video over there with minimum effort.

There’s my top five tips and tricks around subtitling!


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