All You Need to Know Before Starting Your Career As a Subtitling Services Provider (Part 1)

Posted by Anne Quach on January 20, 2022.

The fast development of the film industry is creating some new terms of the job including Subtitling Services Provider or Subtitler – the promising career that more and more people desire to pursue with full time or freelance positions. If you are looking for opportunities, to begin with, this job or to make a career change, this article will provide you with a useful guide and answer all of your questions.


 Who Is A Subtitler?

First and foremost, let’s approach the definition of Subtitling Services Provider or Subtitler from their work: subtitle. 

Subtitlers - Subtitling Services Providers - 2

Subtitlers can be defined from their work – subtitle

To put it simply, subtitles are defined as translations of a film or television program’s foreign dialogue and normally appear at the bottom of the screen. The people who make subtitles are subtitles. They contribute to almost all stages in fulfilling a complete subtitle of a movie, from listening to the original version to writing captions according to time codes. It’s the subtitler’s duty to make sure a subtitle with the correct content, accurate spelling, easily readable formatted text and punctuality to corresponding speech. That is to say, the subtitler has to perform multi-tasks, not only the translator’s but also the editor’s.


What Are The Differences Between A Subtitler and A Transcriptionist?

It comes as no surprise that a subtitler and a transcriptionist commonly are mistaken because of the similarity in their job tasks. However, these two mentioned occupations are totally different.

All You Need to Know Before Starting Your Career As a Subtitling Services Provider (Part 1)

Subtitler and a Transcriptionist are different

While a transcriptionist is supposed to transcribe letters or other documents from recorded or live audio dictation by listening, the subtitler – as you can see in the above-mentioned definition – is the person who translates subtitles from or into foreign languages. Therefore, translation and language skills are the essential standards for a person to fit into the position of subtitler, which lays the obvious differences in not only linguistic qualifications between transcriptionist and subtitler but also specialized translation performances between transcription and subtitling. In other words, transcription cannot always be subtitling, but subtitling must always be transcription. 

Should you want to make a better understanding of this topic, you can get further information via GTE Localize’s article.


What Are The Responsibilities of A Subtitling Services Provider?

Subtitling services provider or subtitler is a demanding job with so many strict processes that requires the people to not only reach proficiency in professional skills but also fully concentrate on projects for a long time. Here come some of the responsibilities that a Subtitling services provider needs to follow up.

#1. Make sure of the quality of the subtitling services

The high quality of subtitles can be defined as their accuracy and the neat form of text. In fact, you can guarantee these standards as long as you go with the process and double-check your performance. When carrying out the projects in the right order, it will be easier to manage the quality of the translation. Likewise, double-check steps can help to reduce trivial mistakes such as spelling or unsynchronized text fonts as little as possible.

#2. Right words for the right contexts

The responsibility of fitting subtitles into context demands careful consideration of the content to fully understand it and find an appropriate equivalent or explanation. 

How to become a subtitler

To put it more clearly, the subtitler needs to be aware of the content and the cultural-historical-social background in which the content is happening. This problem is very important especially when it comes to the subtitles of movies.

#3. Meet the deadline

Time plays an important role in a subtitling project and the subtitling services provider must be punctual. 

For example, to prepare for a movie released in May, its subtitle must be done at least one month and the trailer is normally the first subtitled part to be on. Therefore, any delay or time-related unexpected can lead to a change in the movie release schedule, which affects its total revenue of it. 


How Much Can You Expect To Earn When Providing Subtitling Services?

 With millions of video content released each day and the increasing need for global cooperation, subtitlers in almost all languages still have many chances to make money. 

According to a report given by Glassdoor, the average salary that a Subtitler in the United Kingdom can reach is about £28,065. 

How Much Does A Subtitler Make - Subtitling Services Provider Make

As subtitlers can work for specialist post-production companies or pursue this career as a freelancer, the salary is unlimited depending on the source and target languages.

For example, Netflix can pay up to $27.50 for a translated Japanese Audio into Icelandic subtitle. The more common language combination may have lower pay. 


What Are The Other Perks Of Being A Subtitler?

Besides attractive income, a subtitling service provider can also gain many perks from this career path.

#1. Flexible – Work Remotely

For those who want to work independently and flexibly, becoming a subtitler provides golden opportunities. Thanks to online platforms and the internet, subtitlers can reach the client anywhere and anytime. Even when being at home or on vacations, geographic distance and time conflict isn’t a problem anymore as long as people can completely deal with the amount of work that they’ve taken up.

Benefits of being a subtitler

#2. Connect with people around the world

Subtitling is also a field of translators and people with language skills. Therefore, you can connect with the global network not only in this field but also in other fields thanks to the widespread application of subtitling services. 

#3. Get access to the latest video content

There is no doubt that a subtitler is the first one to access the latest video content. Despite the fact that subtitlers enjoy these contents as a part of the working process, they still have a chance to widen their knowledge and put their language skill into use regularly.

Read part 2

If you desire to set about your first steps in the subtitling field and pursue a career as a professional subtitler, let GTE Media guide you in your path with our media translation and localization projects from clients around the world. Send your CV to to join our team. 

Become our subtitlers

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