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Netflix Subtitling Standards

09/08/2023

Table of Contents

Netflix Subtitling

Hey there, voiceover enthusiasts! Subtitling content is not as simple as it might seem. It’s not just about directly transcribing what’s heard in the video; various aspects must be considered to create text that’s easy to read and perfectly captures the essence of the original version. With the proliferation of streaming platforms, there’s more original content than ever before, which in turn increases the demand for skilled subtitling professionals. Among all these platforms, Netflix continues to stand out, and as expected, they demand strict quality standards for their subtitles – a trend that extends to other content providers as well. Let’s dive into some points to consider when generating high-quality subtitles that adhere to the standards required by Netflix and other platforms. We’ll learn tricks to ensure no word goes unread and that everything aligns seamlessly with the on-screen action. Let’s get started!

Characters Per Second (CPS)

One of the most crucial aspects of subtitling is maintaining an appropriate reading pace. Subtitles should appear on screen long enough for viewers to comfortably read them. Generally, the Netflix limit for characters per second (CPS) is 20 to 25 CPS, allowing for smooth and unhurried reading.

Line Length

The length of each subtitle is also important. Netflix strives to keep subtitles as short as possible, avoiding excessive screen space usage and enabling quick, distraction-free reading. As a general rule, subtitles shouldn’t exceed two lines with a total of 42 characters per line.

Where to Split

Subtitles must be divided considering natural pauses within dialogues. We need to find suitable moments, such as changes in sentences, breaths, or significant pauses. This is undoubtedly the most complex point, but it’s crucial to pay special attention to ensure comfortable reading.

Of course, words should never be split between two subtitles. Similarly, pronouns, articles, prepositions, etc., need to be considered. For instance, in the sentence “Follow some rules when subtitling,” instead of dividing it like this:

Follow some rules when

subtitling.

This would be a better option:

Follow some rules

when subtitling.

Adaptation to Content Rhythm and Style

Subtitles must synchronize with on-screen action. They should adapt to the rhythm of dialogues and scenes, ensuring that viewers at home don’t miss any crucial words. Subtitles should flow with the content, respecting pauses and moments of action, to ensure a harmonious audiovisual experience.

Localization and Cultural Adaptation

When translating content for corresponding subtitles, it’s crucial to understand that proper subtitling isn’t just about translating words. Localization and considering the cultural nuances of the target country are vital to provide a satisfying experience to the audience. Care must be taken with country-specific idiomatic expressions, ensuring the original meaning of dialogues is preserved and allowing jokes or other culturally specific references to be understood accurately.

Likewise, a verbatim transcription is unnecessary. A readable text that maintains the idea is preferable over word-for-word transcription.

Polishing the Details

Netflix takes pride in the quality of its subtitles. Rigorous review and correction are essential to ensure impeccable spelling, grammar, and coherence. Only then will subtitles be clear, error-free, and avoid unwanted distractions.

Conclusion

By following these guidelines, you can achieve precise and well-synchronized subtitles like those in your favorite series. From characters per second and length to conciseness, adaptation to series rhythm and style, localization, and thorough error control, each aspect must be cared for to provide viewers with a great experience.

At Eriel Studio, we are professionals in subtitling. If you need high-quality subtitles crafted down to the smallest detail, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We have the necessary tools and expertise to offer you a completely professional service. You’ll notice the difference!