Automated Subtitling Nightmares

Automated Subtitles and Sleepless Nights

A recent piece of work we have completed has reminded us of the problems with the various automated subtitling services that exist. Whilst YouTube and various software packages and online cloud services will provide you with automatic subtitles, we find time and again that our clients ask us to complete full manual subtitling of their video files and to go through and correct all the automated subtitling they may have already applied. We blogged about a recent experience of a Cheshire Headteacher here.

Rescuing a University Social Media Department

The recent job we have done was a hundred videos of 30 minutes each, some of which had automated subtitling applied. The result of the automated subtitles was so bad our client, a social media department of a university in England, had decided to get the whole lot redone, including full corrections to the automated versions.

Automated Transcriptions – Are They Accurate Enough?

The problem is that at the moment automated transcription and subtitling is not of sufficient quality to be accurate in all circumstances. It can be a tremendous asset for dictation of one speaker recorded with a quiet background. This is assuming the speaker is not in a conversation – speaking at dictating speed rather than usual conversation speed. In these circumstances the automated subtitling and transcription services are not bad at all and in some circumstances can be very accurate. However even with these you will need to go through and proof read the work.

More Than One Speaker? Automation Not Accurate

For subtitling and transcription where there may be more than one speaker, the speaker is in conversation rather than in dictation mode, the recording is undertaken in a larger sized room with a bit of an echo, or a crowded lecture hall with an audience, the automatic subtitles are not going to be very accurate at all.

Manual Subtitling – 100% Accurate (Almost)

We offer a full manual subtitling service that is in most cases 100% accurate when it is supplied to you. We are highly experienced at going through and adjusting automated subtitling so that the end result is the same as if the work had been manually subtitled from the outset.

Contact Us

If you would like assistance with videos you have already applied automatic subtitling to and found the , or you would like subtitling undertaken from scratch, please contact us and we will be happy to assist.

Our Accreditations

We are Cyber Essentials Plus audited annually and we hold the Cyber Essentials and Cyber Essentials Plus certificates. We are UKAS ISO 27001:2022 audited and accredited and ISO 9001 & ISO 14001 systems accredited company. We are members of the American Translators Association and we are assessed for GDPR compliance annually by IASME (Cyber Assurance Level 1).

10% Profits to Charity

10% of our profits are donated to the Ten Percent Foundation, a charitable trust registered in the UK. Since 2000 over £150,000 has been donated to projects in Africa and the UK. Click here for details.