Frequently Asked Questions - Video translation - Subtitling - Captioning Services, Ectranslator, China

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What’s the difference between soft subtitle and hard subtitle

Soft subtitles (also known as softsubs or closed subtitles) are separate instructions - a specially marked up text with time stamps to be displayed during playback. Softsubs requires player support as there are multiple incompatible (but usually reciprocally convertible) subtitle file formats. Softsubs are relatively easy to create and change, and thus are frequently used for fansubs. Text rendering quality can vary depending on the player, but is generally higher than pre-rendered subtitles. Also, some formats introduce text encoding troubles for the end-user, especially if very different languages are used simultaneously (for example, Latin and Asian scripts).

With hard subtitles (also known as “hardsubs” or “open subtitles”), the subtitle text is irreversibly merged in the original video frames. No special equipment or software is required for playback. With hard subtitles, complex transition effects and animation are permanently implemented, much like what you would see on the screen during karaoke. The lyrics appear along with various background colors and animation. Font sizes and colors can be manipulated and animation effects are added in the form of a bouncing ball so that performers can more easily follow along with the melody of the tune. These subtitles cannot be turned off unless the original video is also included in the distribution.  The effects and animation essentially become part of the original frame, eliminating the possibility of having several variants of subtitling, such as multiple languages.

Should I adopt soft subtitle or hard subtitle in my video clips?

We recommend the use of hard subtitles for several reasons: they tend to be more compatible with a variety of different devices, there is nothing special that needs to be done in order to play back the media, and no subtitle plug-ins are needed. You don’t have to worry about revising the translations or manipulating any hardware. We provide free modification services if you choose to revise the subtitles within one year of having the original hard subtitles done by our company. We can also provide soft subtitles at no additional charge when you secure our hardsub services.

How do I send you the videos for translation / captioning service? 
Just contact a member of the sales team at 0086-(0)21-51036356(China), or email our sales department at and we will get you a username and password to use on our secure web server. You can upload your file and get a free quote. Or if you prefer, you can send us the physical DVD disc via regular mail, but again, we would encourage you to send your media digitally.


Will the quality of my video decline after adding subtitles?

If you choose to use soft subtitles, the original video will not be modified at all and there will be no loss in quality. If you choose to use hard subtitles, we will use our cutting edge technology video editing tools to turn out expert quality media and your video will sustain virtually no loss of quality.

The above is the comparison of video captured before and after hardsubs. It is difficult to distinguish which one is of the better video quality.


My budget is limited, what is your least expensive option for video translation services?

We translate 1000-2000 minutes of video per month. Our expert team includes a mother language transcriber, timeline producer and subtitle translator, all of whom are concerned with ensuring both the quality and speed of subtitling & captioning. Our rates generally run much less than the average video translating rates in our industry. In fact, we have had clients ask us how we can output such high quality video when our rates are so much lower than our competitors’ rates. The answer is simple: economies of scale. Our team handles thousands minutes of video per month, and they are all done within the company.  We don’t outsource. It’s not surprising that our rates are lower. 

What is your process and how quickly can you handle any changes?

We understand that very often video translation is time-sensitive.  You need the video for a show, conference, training session, or for use as an online demo tool for your customers.  As a general rule, we do not leave technical problems to fix themselves. We handle any and all issues immediately. Your time and business are valuable commodities to us and our reputation depends on our ability to consistently provide a high level of service and quality products within a designated amount of time. As such, we work to guard against the need for future modifications. 

Our process is to split the work into the following steps: transcription, translation, subtitling. The transcription is completed by native speakers. For instance, U.S. English videos are by transcribed by Americans. German videos are transcribed by Germans. Once the transcription is completed, the translation process is initiated and the transcribed text is submitted to you for your review. After the translation has been completed, we submit them to you for review as well. While you are reviewing the translations, we start on the subtitling work. Once you have signed off on the revised translation text, we will revise the subtitles to reflect your revisions. You do not have to wait until the final step to watch the subtitles. Once the subtitling process is completed, we will play the video online for your review and you can stream it right from our server.

 As the saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Our mission is to get it right the first time. We focus on quality control and making sure that the entire process is transparent and that you are actively involved in the process so that you can provide much-needed feedback as necessary. This is our way of avoiding mistakes.  In addition, every video clip that we produce comes with a one-year free revision guarantee.  We won’t charge you for the revision. 

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