This Is the Biz

Choosing Subtitles And Captions For Your Videos

One of the matters you have to deal with when creating a business video is whether or not to add captions or subtitles to your video. If the video is going to be broadcast on air (or online, as if it were going on air), then it needs captioning in the language of the video. Where the requirements get shaky is for corporate videos that will be used internally and that aren't meant for public release. However, even if you don't think captions are needed, you should add them — and even better, add subtitles, too.

The Difference Between the Two

Captions and subtitles are not the same. Captions are meant to allow people who are deaf or hard of hearing to understand not only what was said, but also what sound effects occurred during the video. Captioning is done in the same language as is spoken in the video. So, you might have captioning with dialogue and then notes such as "[sound of door slamming shut]" too.

Subtitles are in languages other than what the speakers in the video use, and sound effects are not included. The assumption with subtitles is that the viewers can hear everything and don't need sound effects transcribed.

Why Add Subtitles or Captions on a Video Meant for a Business Only?

For videos that do not need actual translation, captions are still optimal because you don't know who will watch the video in the future. It might be meant for internal business use only, but chances are your company will hire more people in the future. If any of those people are hard of hearing or deaf, they'll need the captions. You may as well add the captions now during production instead of trying to find a production company to add subtitles years after the video was made.

As for subtitles, are you sure your video will be seen only by those employees who don't need a translation? What if your company opens a branch or office in an area where another language is in use? A company in Alberta may one day open an office in Quebec, for example, or vice versa. It doesn't take much to add optional subtitles in languages that you think your company might need later on.

Can You Do It Yourself?

While some DIY subtitling and captioning programs exist, it's best to have a video production company add them. That way, there will be better matching between what's being said and what's being written in the caption or subtitle (i.e., no delays), and the visual quality will be a lot better.

As you decide on what you want in your video, remember subtitling and captions. It's much easier to add them now while the video goes through production and post-production, rather than trying to add them after a lot of time has gone by. Contact a video production company to learn more.