FAQ on Youtube Subtitles and Captions 2020
Updated: Oct 4
We decided to compile a list of most frequently asked questions that people have when it comes to subtitles and captions on Youtube. This will be a post that concentrates on written text, not auto-generated, since there are no benefits to the stuff that Youtube's algorithm executes, in terms of SEO, content discoverability and accessibility.
Can subtitles be added to Youtube?
Yes, you can add subtitles to both existing and newly uploaded videos. It is done via Creator Studio on Youtube, where you have to navigate to the Subtitles section in the left hand vertical menu and then follow the simple steps of adding an SRT subtitles file if you have one.
If not, you can also add written subtitles or do captioning within the Creator Studio.
Should I add translated subtitles to my Youtube content?
This fully depends on what you are trying to achieve by doing so. If you are looking to open your channel to wider audience and make it more discoverable thanks to the additional subtitles indexing that Youtube does, then the answer is YES. In fact, a simple act of adding translated subtitles to your videos, opens up your content to a new audience base that originally would never alternatively come across it. Think of it as a hidden content, before you add translated subtitles.
We have recently made quite an extensive blog post that answers why subtitles are important for youtube content from all possible perspectives and ideologies. It can be found by clicking on the question or by following this link:
Are subtitles available on Youtube?
By default Youtube adds automatic captions to all uploaded videos. Nevertheless, due to algorithmic decoding, they cannot communicate what is being said in precise detail. This is why content creators often choose to use services like SUBTLY.CC to do captioning for the content they produce.
How do subtitles work?
Subtitles usually come in form of an SRT file that contains text and time codes. The latter basically tells Youtube when to show each and every text line so that the text follows exactly what is being said on the screen.
What is the difference between captions and subtitles?
Unlike subtitles, captions include information on everything that happens in a video. For example when music starts playing, it will be outlined in captions by [Music] or a specific type of music e.g. [Upbeat Music]. Same goes for all other sounds that are either added to the video or created by people that are in it.
How are subtitles created?
Subtitles are created in specialised captioning software and in a number of video editing products like Adobe Premiere Pro and Apple's renowned Final Cut. A typical way of creating subtitles is for a translator or a transcriber to go through video content, subtitling it as the content evolves. Once all video conversations are put in text, a video producer time-codes the text, synchronising it with what is being said in the film.
Who subtitles movies?
Film subtitles are created by professional studios like SUBTLY.CC. The subtitling teams usually consist of professional linguists and video producers who work in tandem to create the text base version of the content in question.