Captions and subtitles

Closed Captions or Subtitles: What is the Difference?

  • Categories: Translation
  • Written By: Torjoman
  • Date: June 8, 2023

Captions and subtitles may be confused as interchangeable. However, there are noticeable differences between them. Although some famous platforms use both under the name of “subtitles” such as Netflix, each serves unique purposes.

In this blog, we will dive into the differences between captions and subtitles showing the importance of each. Let’s jump right into it.


Captions are a transcription of a speech in a video. The text appears at the bottom of the screen and includes any sound effects and music. Captions were first introduced in 1970 to help the hard of hearing understand what is happening in a video.

Later, it has become mandatory in the United States to add captions to your videos before publishing them online. Such regulations have been imposed by the United States to eliminate discrimination by giving the hard of hearing people the full right to watch and understand every published multimedia content.

Types of Captions

Captions have been used first as open captions only. However, later on, closed captions have been introduced.

Open Captions

Open captions cannot be turned off since they are embedded in a video. This method can be handy in public places such as Cinemas where there is a need to control audiences’ choices.

Closed Captions

This is the most common type. The user can turn the closed captions on or off. Thus, they do not appear on the screen until the viewer chooses them.


Subtitles are a translation of a dialogue in a video. They are used to help people who speak different languages understand the video content. For instance, if an English movie is distributed in Spain, it should have Spanish subtitles so that people can understand and interact with its content. Moreover, subtitles can also help the deaf understand the video if they do not understand the language. In this case, subtitling is the best choice for them.

What is the Importance of Captions and Subtitles?

Even though both captions and subtitles share one purpose which is to make videos accessible to larger audiences, each has unique benefits. Let’s discuss some of them:


  • Captions help hard-of-hearing people understand the video content.
  • They can be used to improve language learning, especially listening skills by allowing viewers to hear the dialogue and read the captions at the same time.
  • Most people nowadays watch videos without sounds whether because they are in a noisy environment, a hospital, or at work.
  • Adding captions also helps businesses reach a wider number of audiences and have a higher ranking in search engines since Google indexes captions and subtitles.
  • Captions also are very handy when watching videos in the news feeds of social media platforms where the sound is sometimes off.


  • Subtitles help people understand videos that are in foreign languages.
  • Businesses add subtitles to their videos when they expand to foreign markets to engage their target customers and build strong relationships with them.
  • Subtitles can also aid language learners in improving their comprehension skills.

Why Torjoman is Your Best Choice

At Torjoman, we offer first-rate subtitling services that can help you engage your target customers and win their trust.

We have well-versed translators who are native speakers of many languages and are able to understand the cultural nuances of any language. They can translate idioms, metaphors, and any culturally related expressions to make your video content appealing to target customers. Through our state-of-the-art studio, we produce both real-time language subtitling and pre-recorded subtitling.

We offer the following:

  • Subtitling Translation
  • Dubbing and subtitling
  • Closed caption subtitles
  • Multilingual subtitling
  • Movie subtitle services

If you are looking for a reliable translation agency to add subtitles to your videos, Torjoman will be your go-to partner. We will get you covered!

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