Subtitling process & rates

Working with partners

This page is intended to give a quick overview of the rates and process Voquent adopts when working in partnership with external agencies to produce translations for video content, particularly closed captions or open captions and subtitles.

Any figures stated here should be used as a reference only. The material and project specification should always be provided to a Voquent representative for a formal quote.


1. Project Specification

Project specification

Getting our ducks in a row

The project specification stage includes:

  • the collection of all project source material:
    • video files
    • audio files
    • fonts
    • any other necessary documentation
  • documenting the materials:
    • the number of files
    • file format(s)
    • duration(s)
    • language(s) spoken
  • establishing the customer requirements:
    • the languages required for subtitles
    • the format of delivery
    • any style guidelines:
      • specific fonts
      • font colour
      • background colour and transparency

2. Quotation


Fair pricing

A Voquent producer will:

  • review the project specification and requirements and then request additional information if required.
  • issue a quote to the requesting party, normally within 24 hours and in accordance with our standard terms.

3. Transcription


Production begins

On receipt of your written order to proceed, we will confirm:

  • the quote is accepted and we are in receipt of all the necessary material
  • schedule the project in accordance with the quoted timescales
  • review / encode video material for use in the studio
  • create the time-stamped transcripts and condense for subtitle use

4. Translation


Translation start

The translation of the subtitles will be undertaken following standard subtitle guidelines, paying close attention to:

  • character restrictions on each subtitle line so the subtitles stay within the screen-safe area
  • condensing translations to fit within character restrictions to ensure the subtitles fit well within the screen boundary, particularly important for TV
  • grammar and punctuation e.g. no commas at the end of a subtitle if the line continues onto the next.

5. Video Editing

Video Editing

Engineering work

When the translations are received back the video editing work is booked:

  • the translated subtitles are inserted to the video (synced) and then burnt-in (encoded) to the file format set out in the specification
  • we can implement any style options required
  • OR if no burn-in is needed, the subtitles can be encoded in a variety of subtitle document formats, including SRT, STL, SBV etc.
  • MP4 file with burnt-in subtitles for customer review / approval

6. Review


Check and approval

We provide the subtitles in .XLS format for review

  • If the translated subtitles still need to be approved it is recommended this is done first before any client review.
  • The client should be made aware of any linguistic changes yet to be made and then make their own additional amends as required.
  • The final subtitle translation documents should be updated and sent to Voquent.

7. Completion & Delivery

Completion & Delivery


Voquent will implement any amends prior to final delivery, including:

  • redoing the subtitles using the updated subtitle translations
  • encoding the video files or subtitle documents in accordance with the customers specification
  • delivery will be made digitally via download link or FTP as required.

Ready to get started?

Transcription Rates

  • Transcription of English speech, time-stamping and creation of subtitle lines.
    • 5 (70) per minute
  • Transcription of Foreign speech - time-stamping and creation of subtitle lines.
    • 7 (70) per minute
  • Transcription of English On-Screen Text - time-stamping and creation of word doc.
    • 2 (30) per minute
  • Transcription of Foreign On-Screen Text - transcription of non-English on-screen text, time-stamping and creation of word doc.
    • 3 (30) per minute

Translation Rates

  • Translation from English, translation of subtitles from English source, including condensing.
    • 9 (80) per minute
  • Transcription from Foreign speech - translation of subtitles from non-English, including condensing.
    • 7 (70) per minute
  • Review / Quality Check - review & proof-reading of subtitles or on-screen text.
    • 5 (70) per minute

Video Editing Rates

  • Video Editing - Subtitles, insertion of subtitles and burn-in to video file.
    • 15 (50) per video
  • Video Editing - On-Screen Text, insertion of on-screen text translations to video source files.
    • POA* (50)

Rates are in Great British Pounds (GBP). We can prepare a quote in your preferred currency, please contact us using the form below.

Minimum rates are in brackets e.g. (50) is a minimum rate of £50.

* a review of the video source files, i.e. the files used to create the video such as: Adobe Premier, Adobe After Effects or similar, must be completed to determine the studio time / budget required.

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Approximately 60 minutes of English transcription can be created per day, per transcriptionist or translator.

Rates above assume the use of ONE transcriptionist / translator. Additional transcriptionists can be deployed at an increased budget (typically +20-30% to allocate additional project management time).

The turnaround time for video editing and encoding work is dependent on the specification. Web video formats such as MP4 will be encoded more quickly than uncompressed formats such as Apple Pro Res.

If editing / translating any on-screen text, the rendering time may cause a delay, with some videos having to be left to encode overnight or over a weekend.

This means a seemingly small edit, could take 1-2 days to complete due to machine encoding time.

Subtitle Guidelines for Translators

The character limit per line, depends on the subtitling style adopted. The most widely adopted style is for 2 lines of subtitles, Arial Narrow font, 36 - 50 font size.

1 line of subtitles is typically only used in internet videos, viewed on a monitor. This is because the font size is much smaller, around 18 - 20 font size.

Roman languages:

  • 2 lines of subtitles = 40 characters per line
  • 1 line = 80 characters per line

Asian Languages:

  • 2 lines of subtitles = 15 characters per line
  • 1 line = 30 characters per line)

Cyrillic languages:

  • 2 lines of subtitles = 40 characters per line
  • 1 line = 80 characters per line

Punctuation Standards

Note these standards are industry recommendations only and are by no means definitive.

  • standard punctuation should be used in most cases.
  • subtitle lines should end at natural pauses in speech, ideally at clause or phrase boundaries.
  • interrupted speech should be shown as double hyphens or a single long dash.
  • multiple speakers: when a new person speaks a dash should be used on the bottom subtitle line to differentiate between speakers.
  • use an ellipsis (...) when there is a significant pause within a caption. However, do not use an ellipsis to indicate that the sentence continues into the next caption.
  • don’t use commas at the end of a subtitle line

Ready to get started?

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