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Subtiles and Closed Captions

Written by Traduality

Traduality helps organizations protect and get closer to its customers, employees, and partners in their native language.

January 21, 2022

The Difference Between Subtitles and Closed Captions


It’s no secret that audiovisual content is everywhere nowadays. Whether it’s for fun, educational purposes, or a small company is showcasing its products or services. Videos are such an easy, quick, and effective way to introduce your clients or audience to what you do. In addition to this, there are higher chances that viewers will learn more quickly about your company in that way for they will pay attention to what is shown on screen, and even more once you’ve added subtitles or closed captions.


Closed Captions vs Subtitles

If you feel confused, don’t worry. It might sound like synonyms, but there is quite a big difference between them in regards of the process. Both represent the speech between characters on screen and the viewer can simply open them through viewing. Nevertheless, the difference is clear: Captions are a transcription of the dialogue, while subtitles are a translation of such. If you also wonder what is the difference between dubbing and voice-over, you can learn about it here.


Closed Captions

Captions are excellent for hard of hearing people since even background sounds or actions that are done at every scene will be shown on screen. For instance, if the main character enters into a party where music is playing, [♫MUSIC PLAYING♫] will be displayed on screen. This option is excellent if you know that your audience will benefit from closed captions. However, closed captions are not necessarily translated. If your video is on English, and your native English-speaking audience will benefit from closed captions, you can definitely go for it.



On the other hand, subtitles do not include background sound or sound going around of the video. Subtitles are a translation from the source language of the video to a target language according to the audience. This task requires a lot more of details that the translator must take into account in order to provide an excellent audiovisual translation.


In order to decide which one suits you best, you must ask yourself: What are the needs of my audience? Am I seeking to reach an international audience to watch my content? Once you’ve understood the difference and answered these questions, you will be able to know what will be the best fit for you. In Traduality Language Solutions, you will find a team of professional translators experienced on Subtitling and Closed Captions who will be glad to help you.

Contact us to get a quote now!

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