Captions and subtitles
[Remark: This course contains manually created/timed captions in English and German. Feel free to use this feature to follow along the course contents. Deaf and hearing impaired people as well as people whose second language is English (or German) can follow this course without any problems.]
You may know the closed caption icon from YouTube or Netflix. Captions are an important tool in video production to make videos and even entire movies or TV shows accessible to a larger – possibly even international – audience. Deaf and hearing impaired people can easily follow and understand your videos through subtitles. You help foreign language learners to learn a new language. Maybe you have even used subtitles in your favorite TV show yourself to improve your foreign language skills – especially if English is not your first language.
In this course I will teach you a lot about subtitles and captions. You will not only learn how to create and edit subtitles with free offline and online editors, but also some theoretical background on formats, guidelines to create great captions, transcriptions and even translations. This video course contains nine sections:
In this section I present the course contents and give you a quick introduction to captions.
This section gives you some nice to have background knowledge on the difference between subtitles, closed captions and open captions as well as an overview on the most important subtitle formats. If you are already at an intermediate or expert level, you may skip this sections. Beginner, however, should definitely take a look at those videos.
This is one of the most important sections. Many courses and videos teach about how to create captions. However, a lot of them fail to explain how to design great captions that are easy to follow and that do not distract from the video content. Captions should support the viewer in his understanding of your video contents. While well designed captions add value to a video, bad captions may even disturb the viewer. I explain some of the most important guidelines to you and even show you a short example of good and bad captions. Please to not skip this section, even if you want to start creating captions right away!
This section deals with transcriptions. Do you think you can create captions directly without a script? Maybe that will work. But maybe it won’t. A transcription of the video can help you later on. Keep in mind that this is not an in-depth course about transcriptions. I just want to introduce you to the topic of transcriptions and show you some tricks, software and hardware to use.
The Offline Way
This section is the one you were all waiting for. In this section I teach you how to use offline tools like Subtitle Edit or Aegisub to create captions for your videos. To benefit the most, I advise you to also download these tools and try them out yourself. Create some captions for your own videos to train your captioning skills!
The Subtitle Track
After you have created your own captions in the last section, this section shows you how to use subtitles offline. I will explain how to embed subtitles into MP4 and MKV video files as a track and how to use captions with the VLC media player. This section is relevant for you, if you want to work with videos and captions offline. If you want to create subtitles for your online videos, take a look at the next section, instead.
The Online Way
This section presents different websites and online editors to create, edit and upload closed captions to your videos. I will explain why different formats are important and show you ways to use captions for your YouTube videos and Udemy courses. You need this section for any online videos, because websites cannot read the subtitle tracks you may have created in the sixth section.
Through captions you can appeal to an international audience and grow your community over time. This section presents processes and tools for an easy and cheap translation of your videos.
In this last video I recap what you have learned in the course. Congratulations on coming this far!
- CREATE closed captions and open captions
- EDIT subtitles and captions with software and online tools
- IMPROVE your captions with respect to many guidelines
- TRANSCRIBE your videos for an easier captioning process
- USE captions online with YouTube and Udemy or offline with the VLC media player
- INTEGRATE captions into your videos as a track
- TRANSLATE your videos using captions