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How to Get Spanish Subtitles For Videos, TV Shows, and Movies

Austin Canary

Feb 15, 2021

Add Spanish Subtitles to Videos

RevBlogSubtitlesHow to Get Spanish Subtitles For Videos, TV Shows, and Movies

If your goal when creating video content is to properly inform your existing audience and to reach an even broader audience, you need to carefully strategize. Knowing when to take advantage of opportunities is essential in this process. For example, did you know that more than 580 million people around the world speak Spanish? 

If your content is delivered in any other language, your business may benefit from considering how to best cater to the needs of Spanish speakers. Let’s look at how to get you started. 

Why you should choose to use subtitles?

To begin understanding how to take advantage of viewers familiar with a language different from the one you are using for your content, it’s best to define the differences between captions and subtitles. 

The two terms are used without much discrimination. They are, however, applied to different things. You will use Spanish subtitles in order to translate the words spoken by someone in a different language such as English. 

On the other hand, Spanish captions are used to make the video more accessible by notating the Spanish dialogue spoken by the characters, as well as any other noises and information that may be useful to understand the context. 

In a nutshell, subtitles are used to translate a foreign language, while captions are used as a visual aid to represent whatever language is being spoken in a video.

It may also help to know that captions can also be divided into open and closed. Open captions represent the text that is always in view and that cannot be turned off. The closed captions, however, may be turned on and off by the viewer from the video player’s settings. 

The importance of using Spanish subtitles

If you are creating video content designed to go on the internet, it is most likely that your goals are to attract a large audience and/or to sell a product. You would not be alone in this. At least 91% of U.S. businesses use social media for marketing purposes. 

As for the content itself, the vast majority of it will be in video form. Studies suggest that the viewers are likely to retain 95% of a message displayed in video form, while only 10% will be remembered if delivered in written form. 

And, if you think that this is a new trend, think again. The same study shows that more than 80% of online content is in video form, and the trend is likely to continue in the following years. These are, without a doubt, figures that should convince you to create video content. 

Now, similarly, powerful stats should help persuade you to cater your information to the large Spanish speaking global audience. For starters, nearly 8% of the world’s population speaks Spanish. 

YouTube is the most popular video-sharing platform in the world. More than 2 million users are logged in to the platform on a monthly basis. But, did you know that, in 2019, only around 28% of YouTube videos were posted in English solely? In fact, the most active channels on the platform, tend to post in English and another language. This is particularly noteworthy considering that Hispanics watch internet videos, more than they watch any other television network. Almost 28% of these watch videos in English and Spanish equally as much. 

To get your message heard you must first understand your audience and cater to their needs. Hopefully, these statistics will help persuade of the importance of tailoring your information for a Spanish-speaking audience. 

How to get the Spanish subtitles right

Spanish subtitles can prove very important for the success of your production. However, there is an art to adding them in the right way which is one of the reasons why it’s recommendable that you work with industry professionals such as Rev.com.

The most important thing to note is that since Spanish is spoken across the world, in numerous different countries, different dialects of the language exist. Failing to understand these cultural differences can prove a costly mistake. 

This was precisely the issue that Netflix had to contend with when streaming their self-produced, Oscar-award winning movie Rome. The story of the film is set in Mexico City during the 1970s. The characters speak a mixture of Mexican Spanish and the indigenous Mixtec. However, the streaming service took the decision to use Iberian-Spanish (or Castilian) subtitles.

This came under a lot of examination when the movie’s director, Alfonso Cuarón, called the decision “offensive”. Why is it such a big deal? Many observers felt that Netflix misunderstood the cultural context here. On the one hand, it is expected that all Spanish speakers will be able to make out the different dialects. Secondly, non-European Spanish dialects have a history of being judged unfavorably to Castilian Spanish. 

Essentially, translating the text from the North American dialects to the European version could be deemed offensive by some. This is one of the things that you may need to consider when adding your own subtitles, and one of the reasons why asking for the help of experienced personnel can prove invaluable. 

Should you opt for burned-in or open subtitles?

Now, that you’ve taken the wise decision to create movies with Spanish subtitles added to your video project, the question is how to best present them to the public. The main decision has to be made between open and closed subtitles. 

The open or burned-in subtitles are those that get hard-coded into your video file. They cannot be turned on and off. This can prove helpful when trying to reach a global audience. These types of subtitles are a great way to ensure that the distribution of the message to more people. 

Closed subtitles are those that can be turned on and off, as well as edited from the video player’s settings. Normally, these include not only the dialogue but important non-speech sounds and can be of immense help for those that are deaf and hard of hearing.

Adding foreign language text may seem like a daunting task, but getting the right subtitles is a piece of cake when using Rev.com. Simply log into your account, place an order for foreign subtitles, and upload your video. After you’ve chosen the type of subtitles that you want, Rev will send you a download link in up to 7 days. The service guarantees at least 99% accuracy, as well as quickness and convenience. 

What’s the ideal way to ensure the quality of your videos’ subtitles?

Hopefully, all the information we’ve presented has helped make a strong case towards the use of Spanish subtitles. These can be a massive aid to your viewers and can open your content up to a global audience. 

Many video streaming services will include an option that allows you to enter and edit subtitles or captions. However, especially if you are not a native Spanish speaker, it can prove difficult to get this spot on. 

This is, once more, the reason why we advocate opting for the industry’s top professionals. For example, Rev.com can take away the worries of opting for the right kind of dialect or getting the subtitles ready quickly.

Spanish is the second most widely-spoken language in the world with nearly 400 million native speakers. It’s time to learn to cater to this audience and help your message reach more people.