Film & Video Subtitling Services

Subtitling is at its best an art-form. It is not just direct transcription from one language to another, its much more than that. subtitling entertainment movies in particular need to capture the context of the spoken words and all the nuances of the actors words and actions taken together. As a general rule subtitling an entertainment movie would require about 20% less written words than are spoken. Also jargon, jokes, old-wives sayings in one language may not be understood in another language, therefore a local substitute might be required.

We specialize in Offline Captioning as apposed to Live Captioning. We further specialize in four styles of Offline Captioning

Pop-on positioned.

As we’ve seen, these types of captions are phrased into 2-line titles which display sequentially, each one individually timed, with on-screen events synchronized to the actual frame of the film edits. Each caption should form a unit of meaning and should be phrased to make it easy to read and understand. Speaker IDs may be used, but generally, positioned captioning means that captioning is placed on the screen to indicate who is speaking and where sounds are coming from. This is our elite-level service and should always be used for dramas, comedies, shows with lots of speakers, and for TV or DVD.

Pop-on unpositioned.

Here the 2-line captions are phrased and timed as above, but are centre-positioned and centre-justified into 2-line titles which display sequentially. Each line should be individually timed, but not to the exact frame, although this difference should not be jarring. Speaker IDs are not used in this format; a dash is used to indicate when a speaker changes but it is up to the viewer to figure out who the new speaker is. This service is slightly less labour-intensive, so slightly less costly, and could be used for reality programming or documentaries, as well as for the web, where positioned captioning may not be possible.

Roll-up Captioning.

This is used when time is tight to broadcast, and when there are few changes of speaker. The captions are not phrased for clarity, and normally the viewer has to figure out from the picture who is talking. Rollups are the least labour intensive method of captioning, and should therefore be the least expensive…but the transcript should still be perfect.

Subtitling for the deaf and hard of hearing.

This is pop-on unpositioned captioning with the addition of speaker IDs and a heavier use of italics to indicate off-screen speakers. It conveys the same information as pop-on positioned captioning, but compensates for delivery on formats that don’t support caption positioning, and is suitable for all genres, including comedy and dramas.

We provide a full range of subtitling services as follows:

We use a range of standards for subtitling


 PDF Files to download


Further Reading






iTunes Software