Expand your Global Reach with WebVTT Translation

by Stefanie Brockway

Video content matters. In this age, everyone from small businesses and multinational companies, to charitable organizations and eLearning providers, are incorporating more video. In fact, some estimate that more video content is created in one month than was previously created for television in decades.

If audiences, clients, customers, and learners are demanding video, what happens when your audience speaks multiple languages? WebVTT translation is a versatile and a cost-effective way to make video content accessible and engaging for viewers.

What is Web Video Text Tracks (WebVTT)?

This format was created in 2010, based on the SRT format. However, WebVTT was designed to be a more robust subtitling and captioning option. The most noteworthy difference between the two is the fact that WebVTT can operate HTML5 code functionalities. As a result, subtitling and captioning done in WebVTT give creators more options when it comes to text format, color, font, and even placement.

WebVTT files can also contain metadata. Whereas SRT files are for display purposes only, this metadata in WebVTT files can include information about titles, authors, dates, instructions, and other additional content. Because WebVTT is designed with HTML5, this subtitle file type has become very popular with eLearning platforms and courses since they are typically also HTML5-based.

What are the advantages of WebVTT translation?

Whether it is video for your website or an eLearning course, it is likely that as your company or organization grows, so will your target market audience. Adding WebVTT subtitles is a cost-effective way to share your video content with global audiences. Rather than recreate all of your video content or dub existing content with voice-over recording, WebVTT subtitling will translate your content so that new viewers can understand and relate to it.

When translation companies perform WebVTT translation, the process provides both cost effectiveness and time savings. If a company intends to have its subtitles translated into multiple languages, source-language subtitle content will be created first. That way, a single subtitle file can be translated into multiple languages at once or over time as the company's viewership expands.

Should the video content need to be updated, it is also a much simpler and cost-effective process to update a subtitle file as opposed to either editing a dubbed video or shooting new content. As a result, even when video content is not evergreen, subtitles afford more flexibility.

Additionally, source-to-source subtitling is also advantageous. In this type of subtitling, the audio language and subtitle language are the same. As with translated subtitles, these subtitles can be permanently displayed or interactive, allowing viewers to turn them on and off. Source-to-source subtitling is often utilized in eLearning courses to differentiate instruction by adding extra support for visual learners. Source-to-source subtitling may also be used by organizations in the healthcare industry to support viewers with hearing impairments.

WebVTT subtitles of any kind are being used by businesses and organizations looking to improve their ranking online. Since Google and other search engines cannot read images or video content, adding text is an effective strategy to boost Search Engine Optimization (SEO). By adding subtitles to existing video content, your company will rank better online, gain more traffic, page views, and customers due to this increased visibility.

What is the WebVTT translation process?

Professional translation companies are well aware of the unique challenges that come from adding subtitles. One of the most complex aspects of subtitling is the fact that the text display on the screen needs to mirror what is being heard over audio and watched on the screen. As a result, translators put forth special care when crafting the text, paying attention to both length and word order. By doing so, the subtitle is synchronized with what is being seen and heard.

This subtitling process can become even more complex when WebVTT translation is needed as opposed to source-to-source translation. In WebVTT translation, the target language may dramatically alter any existing subtitles. That is because the target language may now be a right-to-left language, such as Arabic, or include characters in various other alphabets. With WebVTT translation, the translator can carefully choose not only the proper wording, but the font and the placement that will best help viewers.

After initial WebVTT translation is finished, the subtitles are synchronized to the video by a team of multimedia experts. That means that the timing between the audio and the subtitle text is accurate. The product then undergoes rounds of quality assurance testing and validation to check for an accurate and authentic message and premium sound and video quality.

Final Thoughts on WebVTT Translation

Video content is king. Whether you are trying to grow your brand, inspire new learners, or anything else in between, companies and organizations are adding more video content each day. WebVTT translation brings content to life for multilingual audiences while still maintaining an efficiency and cost-effectiveness for businesses.  When you are ready to take your video content global, professional WebVTT translation is the right choice.

Stefanie Brockway

Marketing and Sales Coordinator

"I enjoy working at Interpro because it is a small family-owned business that truly cares about their employees and every client they get to establish a relationship with. Also, we all work together towards the same goal as a team. We are all here for each other."