Subtitle FAQ

Subtitle Basics

What are Subtitles?

Subtitles are foreign-language timed-text that display on screen so the viewer can read along with the video.

Subtitles are meant for video where the viewer can hear the audio, but can't understand the language being spoken. They translate the spoken language into a language the viewer understands.

Video producers, marketers, educators, etc. often use subtitles to expand their potential audience to new people and geographies.

What is the difference between Subtitles and Captions?

Captions are meant for video when the viewer is able to see the video but not hear it (often intended for deaf or hard-of-hearing). They communicate the video's spoken content and "atmospherics", which are sound effects that are part of the story. Rev's English Caption service is $1.50 per video minute. Learn more about captions.

Subtitles are intended for viewers who can hear the audio, but can't understand the language spoken. They translate the video's spoken and written language into the viewer's language. Rev's Subtitle service starts at $3.00 per video minute per language. For a limited time, you will receive a complimentary English Caption file with any language.

Both captions and subtitles use the same file formats, such as .srt and .scc. Read more about file formats.

What kind of Subtitles does Rev produce?

We produce timed-text, "sidecar" subtitle files (a separate file from the video) in a wide array of formats. Our subtitles are all "pop on" (each section appears at once) for pre-recorded video files.

We also provide "burned-in" (permanently on the video) subtitles. If you're interested in this option, please select the "Burned-in Video Subtitles" add-on when you place a Subtitles order. There is an incremental cost of $0.25 per minute.

We do not yet offer "roll up" (each word as it is spoken) subtitles. We also do not offer live subtitles.

Rev Subtitle Service

What languages can you create Subtitles in?

English videos (with or without English subtitle files) can be translated to Arabic, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, Czech, Dutch, French, German, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil), Russian, Spanish (Latin), Spanish (Spain), and Turkish.

Need other languages? Let us know

What languages can the original video be in?

At this time, source videos must be in English. We have experimented with foreign language video captions and subtitles and periodically test with a select group of beta customers. If you are interested in being considered for videos in other languages, let us know

What is the price of subtitles?

$3.00 to $7.00 per video minute per language. We believe this to be an incredible price on top of the industry leading turnaround and provided quality. We round up to the nearest minute.


  • For a 10 minute video in Spanish: $30.00

  • For a 1 minute video in Spanish, German, and French: $13.00

  • For a 2 minute video in Korean and Japanese: $24.00

Do you offer a discount for high volume?

Yes, we offer volume discounts for qualifying customers. Contact our sales team to learn more.

How do I pay for my subtitles?

The online order form will charge your credit card, debit card, or PayPal account at the time of ordering. You can securely save your preferred payment information in your account for future orders.

How long will subtitles take?

Video files under 20 minutes long are typically delivered within 24 hours, often much faster. For longer recordings or recordings with poor audio quality, it may take up to 96 hours.

The turnaround estimate is based on an individual video's length, not the total order size. For example, large orders with short videos will still be processed quickly.

How do you check quality of Subtitles?

We have built a proprietary tool to perform the work that preserves and makes it easy to adjust timing. We also test our workers and periodically check their work to ensure they are above our high standards.

If you experience otherwise, we want to know! We guarantee the work, so we are happy to provide corrections to issues created by any of our workforce.

Can spoken words and on-screen text be captured at the same time?

Our system conducts automatic quality checks that prevent overlapping caption groups, as many editor programs reject overlapping captions. If text appears on screen and has not been spoken and captured in captions and it carries significant meaning it will be provided with your subtitle. If words are spoken at the same time on-screen text appears and the on-screen text does not match the spoken words, only the spoken words will be captured.

How does Rev produce Subtitles so quickly?

We have a team of fantastic English subtitlers and subtitle translators that work around the clock. We build custom tools to make the process easier and reduce errors.

To produce a Subtitle file, we:

  1. Accept your video, screen the file quality, and load it into our proprietary tool

  2. Add timed English captions to the file (our captions team)

  3. Convert the text into a new language (our language translation teams)

  4. Run our checks and post processing algorithms

  5. Spot check the accuracy of the translations

  6. Deliver it to the customer

Who is working on my video?

Rev currently works with thousands of contractors vetted by rigorous testing and continually monitored for quality. These contractors use their experience as well as typing and language talents to provide high-quality work.

For your security, our contractors all sign our strict confidentiality agreement and agree to be monitored while working on our platform.

What You Get

What do I get back from Rev?

Timed, language-specific subtitle files in all the languages and formats ordered.

We produce text-based subtitle files, timed to appear on screen as your video plays. We first transcribe the English audio of your video and time it (a.k.a. a subtitle file). Next, we have our translators convert the text into another language and return the file-format you requested at checkout. You can find and download examples from our list of file formats we can provide.

The subtitle file is a separate sidecar file from your video. What you do next depends on how you intend to publish your video:

  • If you are publishing your video online (e.g. through YouTube or Kaltura) or submitting to a VoD service (e.g. iTunes or Hulu), then you can simply submit the subtitle files as-is.

  • If you would like the subtitles encoded or burned into your video, you can select the "Burned-In Subtitles" option in checkout for an additional fee to receive your video files back with permanent subtitles.

What caption and subtitle file formats can you provide?
How do I get my finished subtitle files?

We'll email them to you as soon as they're ready. Once completed, you can also download them from your order history page (and copies in any other of our main subtitle formats).

How to Order

How can we get our videos to Rev?

Most customers use our online order form. The order form supports a few options:

  • Upload a video file directly from your computer. Each file must be less than 5 GB in size when ordered through a URL/web interface. Up to 20GB for direct upload. The direct upload must be publicly accessible and cannot require login, passwords, term acceptance or registration.

  • Paste in a link to an online video, such as Youtube or Vimeo.

  • Connect to videos already stored in an FTP server, Dropbox, Box, or Google Drive. In the order form, click Upload File then select the cloud service on the left.

We also offer a number of alternative ways to order, depending on your needs:

Email us for more info about these options.

What video file formats can you accept?

We can accept all common digital video formats, such as MOV, AVI, MP4, VOB, Ogg and more. You can also paste a link to an online hosted video or use one of our integration partners.

Do you need full-resolution, master video files?

No - we actually prefer lower-resolution versions of your video for our subtitling work. A smaller file is quicker to upload, which allows us to start work even faster.

We recommend reducing the video resolution to 640 x 480 and using the MP4 format with H.264 encoding. A 30 minute video should be less than 600 MB.

What closed caption file formats can you accept?

It is optional to provide English Closed Caption files for our translators to reference as they create your foreign language subtitle files. However, including English Closed Caption files makes the subtitling process move faster.

Your caption file must be submitted in .srt format.

If you have other formats, please try our caption converter or email us to see whether your format can be converted to .srt.

Can I give you a transcript or vocabulary list for my video?

No. We do not accept transcripts for our translated subtitle service.

Handling Finished Subtitles

How can I view and edit the subtitle file?

If you simply want to view the subtitles, you can upload your video to YouTube as a private video and upload the subtitle file in an appropriate section of the video manager.

We recommend the following software for editing subtitles:

Can I download my video with the captions or subtitles permanently visible?

Yes, you can receive your video back with the subtitles burned in or permanently embedded. Just choose the "Burned-in Subtitles" add on when you're placing your next captions order.

Security and Confidentiality

How do you keep information confidential?
  • Rev has a strict customer confidentiality policy. Your files are private and protected from unauthorized access.

  • All of our professionals have signed NDAs and strict confidentiality agreements. Rev professionals only complete work on our secure platform.

How do you protect my files?
  • We encrypt all data - both in transit and where it is stored on our protected AWS servers. Your files are securely stored and transmitted using TLS 1.2 encryption, bank-level security. To deconstruct this jargon, it would take a supercomputer 13.75 billion years to break this encryption and compromise our security.

  • If you'd ever like us to permanently delete your files, just contact us.

How do you protect my payment information?
  • We never store credit card information - we simply pass it securely to our bank for safe-keeping. Rev maintains a PCI certification for payment processing.

  • We work with PayPal to ensure that all payments that go through PayPal are secure and encrypted.

Where can I find more information on Rev's security and privacy policy?

Visit our dedicated Security and Privacy page for more information.

For additional details on our security and privacy programs, contact us.

Will Rev sign a non-disclosure agreement?

Rev has a strict customer confidentiality policy. However, we understand that some customers require additional documentation via a non-disclosure agreement (NDA).