4 Crucial Tips for Subtitle Translators 

Team Pepper
Posted on 18/04/224 min read
4 Crucial Tips for Subtitle Translators 
If you are planning to become a subtitle translator, this blog is all you need. Read to find out more.

Subtitle translation can be referred to as the art of translating the audio of a video into another language, in the form of written text. Subtitles are usually shown on the bottom of the screen. They usually appear as and when a dialog is spoken, in order for people to understand the story and plot. From Amazon Prime Video to Netflix, every OTT platform now requires a subtitle translator, making it a popular career choice. Producers are also giving more importance to the views and streams of their TV shows in foreign countries and defining success at a global level. 


Nowadays, subtitles are being created for all TV shows and movies. With the rise of OTT platforms, people are consuming a lot of global entertainment shows. From English, German and French to Korean and Chinese, TV shows are getting popular in India as well. It is important to note that these shows are originally present in the native language. 

Translating the show into different languages, such as Hindi or English, has removed all language barriers. People are now able to experience different cultures and watch TV shows from different countries in their own language. All this has led to a steep rise in the demand for video subtitle translators. Up until a few years ago, who would never have thought that subtitle translation could become a full time profession for many. But today, there are many avenues subtitle translators can explore. 

4 Handy Tips Subtitle Translators Need to Follow

With so many OTT platforms streaming global TV shows and movies, subtitle translation has become the preferred career choice for many. There are few tips subtitle translators need to follow when translating any video or TV show into another language. They are mentioned below. 

1. Get a hold of the language

The first thing you must consider is to get a good hold over both the source and target languages. To become a subtitle translator, you must be proficient in at least two languages. For example, if you are someone who knows both German and English, you can choose to translate German shows into English or vice versa. 

However, simply knowing the language is not enough. The subtitles must be able to create the same expressions, reactions, and feelings from a foreign audience, as the original language would have from the local audience. Therefore, you should keep in mind the nuances that the audience will understand perfectly. 

2. Learn the rules of subtitling


There are few rules a subtitle translator has to keep in mind when translating. Rather than translating word by word, a subtitle translator is required to get the essence of the dialogue first, and then translate it. The first thing to consider is that the length of subtitles should be in line with the viewer’s reading speed. There should be no more than two lines on the screen at a time, and each line should not exceed 37 characters. This helps increase the readability of the subtitles. 

3. Try freelancing 

The best way to get started as an online subtitle translator is to start freelancing. Network with people from the translation community and create your profile on freelancing communities and websites. Find subtitling jobs and get paid. You can also find agencies and online platforms that provide a constant flow of freelance subtitling work. 

4. Learn how to use subtitle translation software 

Subtitle translation is easier said than done. To make the life of a video subtitle translator easier, there are various tools available in the market. Learning how to operate one or some of these will help you create subtitles easily and efficiently. 

The demand for subtitle translators is increasing by the day, the reason being the increase in the consumption of global entertainment content. You can start subtitle translation as a freelancer or work with a translation service: this decision should depend on your unique goals and requirements. You should also join online communities to build worthwhile connections. Now that you know how to pursue a career in subtitle translation, go ahead and break a leg!


1. What are the skills needed to become an online subtitler?

The translator should understand the purpose of the dialogue first, rather than translating word for word. They must also have knowledge about cinematography, sound mixing, and editing. 

2. Is there any course for subtitle translation?

Although there are not any full-time courses in subtitle translation, you can find a few online courses that teach the art of subtitle translation to upgrade your skills.

3. Which is the best subtitle translation software?

There are many subtitle translation tools available in the market that you can use. Some of them are Gnome Subtitles, Jubler Subtitle Translator, SubMagic, OmegaT etc. 

4. Is it necessary to have a degree for becoming a subtitle translator?

You don’t need to have a degree to become a subtitle translator. You can start subtitling with the right set of knowledge, experiences, and passion for your work.