Webinar Review: Introduction to Subtitle Edit

On February 8th, GLD member Kelly Neudorfer shared her experiences with using a freeware subtitling program called Subtitle Edit with 15 webinar attendees from US locations on both coasts and in the Midwest, as well as the three European DACH countries of Germany, Switzerland, and Austria.

Before introducing Subtitle Edit, which she works with at the University of Hohenheim in Germany, Kelly talked about the added value subtitles provide. One important aspect is that they offer accessibility and inclusiveness, but there are many other reasons subtitles are used. She covered specific use cases for various social media that revealed important aspects from the perspectives of the posters and of the viewers. In addition, Google indexes Insta Reels, TikToks, etc. based on captions, subtitles, and transcripts. Kelly also shared some fascinating statistics, such as this one: “85% of Facebook users and 80% of LinkedIn users scroll on their social media feeds with the sound off.” So, if our clients want people to be able to watch their videos, or to even find them in searches, they certainly can’t afford to ignore the importance of subtitles.

Kelly related an anecdote from her own experiences as proof of this: Someone at BBC found a video she had subtitled for a research project at the university and then contacted the university’s press department about the project, providing quite the good argument for subtitling videos!

Kelly also provided links to several websites with subtitling guidelines for English and German, such as Netflix, German public television, “Barrierefrei” and TED (of TED Talk fame).

She then moved to a hands-on demonstration of Subtitle Edit, a free subtitling program. She used videos from the University of Hohenheim to demonstrate manual subtitling, how to use the audio-to-text options with smaller and larger models and the differences between them, as well as various workflows.

At the beginning of the webinar, Kelly had stressed that the aim of this session was for her to share her experiences as a user of this tool. As both an attendee and the person who talked her into holding this webinar for GLD members, I found it to be interesting, informative, and helpful, and have since downloaded Subtitle Edit and tried it out. This session was great for those who don’t plan to subtitle full-time but want to be in a position to offer an additional service to their clients (“I saw that you have an image video on your website. Did you know that most users watch videos with the sound off? I would be happy to subtitle your video for you….”).

We are always very grateful for members willing to share their skills, talent, and knowledge with the GLD membership. If you have an idea for a webinar, please contact our Digital Coordinators: Katrin Rippel-Galati and Erin Riddle.

Kelly’s slides are available here: Introduction to Subtitle Edit

Thanks, Kelly!