Subtitling, if proper can help people understand every part of the scene. There are some basic rules of subtitling that I have mentioned below:
- Subtitles should be visible on the screen at exactly the same time, when the words are being emitted by the characters ( not after or before). It should vanish from the screen as soon as the character/characters have stopped speaking the same.
- A subtitle must be there to aid the understanding of the scene and shouldn't obstruct what is being shown. So, it must be placed at the bottom of the screen where it doesn't affect viewership.
- A subtitle must be center- aligned, not left or right-aligned.
- A subtitle must not be more than 2 lines and 40 characters. While dividing a subtitle, you shouldn't divide semantically linked and grammatically linked units. The higher subtitle line must be shorter than the lower subtitle line. A subtitle must not be present on the screen for more than 6 seconds and less than 1.5 seconds( 6 seconds rule).
- When the speech of the characters in the scene goes inaudible due to background noise or sound on the screen, put a small note explaining it like ‘factory siren’. These captions should be in lowercase italics enclosed in brackets.
- Between two subtitles, there should be a small gap of a fraction of a second
( Gap rule)
7. To denote music or lyrics, use the musical note sign before and after the caption.
8. When there is a pause after a caption, probably any of the characters stunned or thinking, use ellipses ( …….)
Well, there are many other rules which must be properly learned so that you can create excellent subtitles for your videos and movies.