Subtitles Or Closed Captions: Understand The Difference


Find out the difference between subtitles and closed captions to help you understand which tool your business needs to use if you want to successfully reach a wide audience.

Closed caption and subtitles are common tools used by businesses and companies who want to boost the communication of their video content. Video is rated by over half of marketing professionals worldwide as the content type with the best return on investment. With this in mind, it makes sense any enterprise wanting to further their video effectiveness and reach would want to use video subtitling.

If you’re a business looking to use a subtitle service for professional video translation and closed captions, it’s important to understand the difference between the two. Both of course take the audio from the screen and translate it into readable text. However, the purpose for using each tool is quite different. Let’s take a look at the differences between closed caption and subtitling:

What Are Closed Captions?

Captions are the written description of the audio presented on a video. They are in the same language as the video usually, and they can be open or closed. Open captions are displayed on the video without any option to turn them off. Closed captions afford more choice for the viewer and are usually turned on or off via a button. Closed captions offer more value to the viewer than just the text because they describe elements like atmosphere, and describe sound effects and other non-spoken audio cues.

What Are Subtitles?

Subtitles are translations of the text spoken on the screen. The text is translated into another language helping the company video reach bilingual employees, and branches of the enterprise in other countries. A standard subtitle assumes that the person viewing can hear the video.

Key Differences Between Closed Captions & Subtitles

As you can see, the two tools are similar, but also different. Subtitles are in a different language, directly translating the spoken words on the video. Closed captions are (usually) the same language in text as they are spoken on screen, and offer detailed descriptions of additional audio cues.

Why A Successful Enterprise Needs Closed Captions & Subtitles

Whether you choose closed captions or subtitles for your video, the fact remains that you will grow your audience, expand your reach and boost employee training efficiency with these tools.

Captions help bilingual and hard of hearing viewers to understand your content fully. Foreign language subtitles enable bilingual viewers, and global company and customer wide viewers to access your content. This boosts your brand strength, and the communicative value of your video content.

The bottom line is that subtitles and closed captions are an invaluable tool for businesses who want their video content to be as effective as possible. Why not reach out to a professional subtitling company today? It could be exactly what your business needs to get a boost in video quality, efficiency and reach.