Subtitles vs. Closed Captions: What’s the difference?

The general misconception among the viewers is that ‘Subtitles and Captions’ are the same. In reality, both are similar, but not quite the same. While both display text on a screen – Subtitles are a translation of the dialogues, while captions are transcription. Both subtitle and captions serve unique purposes and are used in different situations. Sounds confusing? Let us take a closer look at them.

Subtitles vs. Captions: A Quick Breakdown

There are two forms of captions – Open and Closed. While open captions are actually embedded into the video file and cannot be turned off, closed captions (CC) can be easily turned off by the user, just with the click of a button.

Captions are particularly intended for viewers who cannot hear the audio (deaf or hard of hearing). Keeping them in mind, captions include all audio sounds such as sound effects, speaker IDs, background noises, other relevant elements translated from sound to text.

Unlike closed captions, subtitles do not include any sound effects. Subtitles are created for viewers who can hear the audio but do not understand the medium.

Viewers can normally select subtitles/closed captioning by clicking the same ‘CC icon.’

More on Subtitles

Online streaming services like Netflix has expanded its reach around the world and has increased the demand for subtitles globally. Currently, Netflix provides subtitles in over 25 different languages.
In 2018, Netflix launched an Indian original series, Sacred Games based on a novel by Vikram Chandra. The show was dubbed in four languages but subtitles in 24. “Two out of every three Sacred Games viewers were from outside India,” a Netflix spokesperson told ET Magazine in an interview.
Subtitles not only help you understand a foreign film in your native language, but they are also advantageous for those who are trying to learn a new language.

More on Closed Captions

The idea of closed captions basically originated to provide an equivalent viewing experience for individuals who are d/deaf or hard of hearing. According to the guidelines of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities in public accommodations, employment, transportation, state and local government services, and telecommunications must be there as everyone else.
Apart from this, captioning videos has its own benefits. It provides better user engagement and experience along with a better watching experience. They are also quite beneficial when you want to watch videos in sound-sensitive environments, like offices and libraries.

To Sum-up

Adding subtitles to your video is not hard at all – all it takes is a little practice. Captioning your videos can have a big impact on how successful they are. It applies to all types of videos – movies, TV shows, social media videos, e-learning videos, and any other video content that you might want to share.
Adding subtitles to videos increases accessibility, proffers better user engagement, and even improves your search engine optimization (SEO).

There is really nothing to lose (except the potential for gaining more viewers). It is time to start subtitling!

DUBnSUB is your one-stop solution for all your dubbing and subtitling requirements. We specialize in Dubbing, Voice-over, Subtitling & Closed Captioning in around 100 languages for a variety of visual content across various industries such as entertainment (movies, TV-series, animation, and documentaries), e-learning, gaming, advertising, and many more.

For any such requirement, reach us [email protected]

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