Subtitle Translation

How do you convey meaning in another language with limited space and timing requirements? Our experienced team of in-country partners and subtitle translation specialists localize your video for the market you need to reach.

Whether it’s neutral translation to cover a region or precise localization for a specific audience, we have the experienced professionals to meet your needs.

man with bike on a mountain

Choose the Experts

With more than 35 years of experience in English and 20 years in additional languages, you can trust VITAC to ensure your project is handled with the care and attention to detail it deserves.

Our multi-language professionals are experts at translating subtitles. We’ve created subtitles in more than 50 languages for all industries. Video programmers and producers turn to us for accurate subtitle translation, flawless timing, and quick turnaround.

Our highly skilled multi-language team includes:

  • EML Experts: Skilled English captioners who create the original English Master List (EML)
  • Translators: Native speakers, also fluent in English, who populate the timed EML file with their translations
  • QC Experts: Native speakers, fluent in English and skilled at timing subtitles
  • Reviewers: Native language subtitle experts who review and render final files

Our expertise spans a wide range of subjects, including corporate rebranding, online training videos, the latest movie releases, and internationally distributed TV networks.

Contact Us

Let our team help you localize your video, webinar, or announcement for an international audience.

Contact Us

Elements of Accurate Subtitle Translation

Whereas captions and same-language subtitles focus solely on conveying the audio in text, translation requires an additional level of care. Our translators take the time to understand the meaning of the spoken word, interpreting what is said and conveying the meaning in the target language. The following elements must be addressed to ensure an accurate and effective translation.


Common examples of idiomatic expressions include:

  • “The early bird gets the worm”
  • “How about them apples”
  • “Bite the bullet”
  • “A dime a dozen”

All of these popular English idioms, and many more, contain a vastly different meaning than is conveyed by the actual order of the words. Translators must take the time and energy to first define the true meaning of an idiom, and then convey that in the target language.

Line Length

There is only so much space on the screen for subtitles. In TV, it can be limited to 30 characters per line; in digital and online formats, that count is extended, but still limited. Our translators must preserve the meaning of the audio, but keep sentences as short as possible to fit them to the screen and ensure the subtitles aren’t presented too fast. This applies to English to some extent, but is even more important in languages that use different alphabets, from Arabic to Cyrillic and Korean to Japanese.

On-Screen Text

Video translation includes not only audio, but on-screen text. Imagine if the famous crawl at the start of every “Star Wars” movie was presented in a language you didn’t understand, or if a love letter presented by a main character was only shown in pictures. It is the job of the translator to translate this text to ensure the viewer understands the meaning behind it.

Other examples of on-screen text we translate include:

  • Road signs
  • Menus
  • Labels

Why Not AI?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Automated Speech Recognition (ASR) are tools to help people work faster, but they are no replacement for human subtitle experts and translators. Though our trusted partners bring the latest technology to the table to speed processes and deliver on time, we rely on human hands to ensure that we deliver the highest level of quality.

We’re Here for You

We take the time to understand your needs and deliver. Contact us to speak with our experienced sales and client success team.

Contact Us