Spanish Subtitles: The Importance of Adding Spanish Subtitles to Videos

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You can create added value for your audience by making proper use of Spanish subtitles.

Those who aren’t in the business of creating videos might think that Spanish subtitles and closed captions are the same. However, they’re quite different. Captions are a transcription of dialogue while subtitles are a translation, usually of English captions. Nevertheless, many people use these terms interchangeably, which can cause confusion if you’re a creative. That confusion, unfortunately, can cost you dearly when it comes time to add features to your video.

Why It’s Important to Add Spanish Subtitles to Videos

In the United States, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requires content producers to include Spanish closed captions for videos produced in Spanish. Even if you only release your video in the United States, nearly anyone in the world can access it via the internet. Furthermore, Spanish captions can help you grow your video content enterprise.

Benefits of Spanish Subtitles

Statistics show why it’s important to incorporate video features that cater to the Latinx audience. Over 30 percent of Latinx students attend a college or university. Research shows that they spend 66 percent more time watching videos on their phone compared to other U.S. viewers. As you can see, it pays to cater to the needs of this rapidly expanding demographic.

Viewers in Mexico rank among the top 10 YouTube watchers, and 72 percent of the group uses social media. Also, 75 percent of Latinx individuals speak Spanish in their household.

Latinx consumers are 20 percent more likely to buy a mobile device compared to other groups. While most Spanish speakers watch videos in English, it’s still highly beneficial to add Spanish subtitles to your video.

Spanish subtitles are an exceptional language learning tool for English as a second language (ESL) learners. More importantly, if you’re creating commercials, approximately 50 percent of Latinx viewers prefer to watch ads that contain facets of Hispanic culture, and language is most definitely a primary cultural identifier.

Understanding the Difference Between Spanish Subtitles and Spanish Captions

Spanish subtitles do not include features such as noises and sound effects. They do, however, display Spanish dialogue for content spoken in other languages like English. The subtitles help Spanish speaking viewers understand the actors, subjects or characters in your video.

The FCC does not mandate that you include Spanish subtitles in your videos. Therefore, if you make a video with English dialogue, you’re required to include English captions but not Spanish subtitles.

On the other hand, closed captions display Spanish text. Also, they display nonessential sounds, for example, in Spanish language videos.

The SEC mandates that you include closed captioning for all Spanish programming in the United States. Again, you’re not required to include English subtitles and captions for Spanish content. However, if you want to cater to the Latinx audience, it’s a good idea to create Spanish subtitles.

Why You Must Get It Right

In Mexico, a wrong decision caused an uproar among fans of Alfonso Cuaron’s production Roma. The acclaimed director has won coveted awards at events such as the Venice Film Festival and the Golden Globes.

On its release in Spain, theaters, as well as Netflix in the same region, received a version of the film that was subtitled in Castilian Spanish language—the most common version of the language there. However, the drama is recorded nearly entirely in the native Spanish dialect of Mexico.

Roma, as well as his fans, questioned the thought behind this adaptation. In an interview, Roma lamented that he found the adaptation offensive.

Adding Spanish Subtitles to Your Video

Now that you understand the difference between Spanish subtitles and captions, you’re ready to add one or both of the advanced features to your YouTube, Facebook, Instagram or Adobe Premiere Pro video. First, you need to partner with a top-notch subtitling service. For instance, Rev is a leading subtitling service that specializes in Spanish subtitle translations.

The first thing you need to do is upload your pre-recorded video to the foreign subtitles page. Alternatively, you can share your public URL with the service. Leading subtitling services like Rev enable you to link directly to your content accounts, such as YouTube or Vimeo.

Note: Rev currently only offers English to Spanish translations of videos (also called “foreign subtitles”, commonly seen as Spanish text at the bottom of an English video). Rev does not currently offer closed captioning of Spanish language videos, but we plan to in the near future.

Spanish Subtitles, in Summary

Don’t miss out on reaching the massive Latinx audience because you failed to add Spanish subtitles or captions. These features are great for providing additional or interpretive information about your video. They can also help you to produce improved SEO results.

Closed captions and subtitles can help you expand your audience, your reach and your revenue. Today, consumer markets are becoming increasingly global. Adding Spanish captions and subtitles is a cost-effective way to expand the market potential of your next production.

Stick with human translators, like the ones provided by Machines don’t know when they make mistakes. Audiences, however, notice even the smallest mistakes in movies. Viewers are much more forgiving if they can tell that you’re passionate about your video and took the time to perfect as many details as possible.