Lifting the Lid on Subtitles

Have you watched films and TV shows in a foreign language? Do you watch videos on mute? Then you’ve probably already experienced subtitles. They are the on-screen text that allows viewers to read what is being said.

Sometimes, businesses choose to use automatically generated subtitles. However, at Web-Translations, we advise opting to get your videos professionally subtitled. We’ll explain why during this blog.

How are professional subtitles created?

Once we’ve received a video file, we will send it off to our professional linguists to be transcribed. This ensures that the audio is understood correctly, consequently avoiding any errors. On auto-generated subtitles, this is a common issue, as, unlike humans, machines are unable to differentiate homophones. This results in mistakes.

This template will be translated into the chosen languages, and subtitles are then created. Our experienced subtitlers will translate and time-code them considering the appropriate guidelines. They will consider:

  • Reading speed
  • On-screen text
  • Character limits
  • On-screen action
  • Clarity – the removal of any unnecessary hesitations
  • Subtitle lines and positions

By considering these guidelines, your subtitles will look professional. They will also be appropriate for your audience. By investing in the subtitling process, mistakes will be avoided and your customers will notice that you care about them.

Image of hands typing on a laptop

Investing in professional subtitles shows your customers that you’re investing in them.

Why use Web-Translations, and not auto-generate them?

Auto-generated subtitles are cheaper, but the cost is shown by the quality. If the subtitles are too fast and your audience are struggling to read them, this is going to have a negative effect on your brand’s reputation. If there are mistakes, this leads to misunderstandings. Again, tarnishing your brand’s reputation. These details are also particularly important for those who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, as they will rely on good quality subtitles.

Although the process of subtitling may seem daunting, at Web-Translations, we can take care of this for you. We use industry-leading software, professional linguists, and have expert knowledge on subtitling guidelines. Our Project Managers will coordinate the subtitling of your content, thus leaving you stress-free.

To find out more about our language solutions, read our services page here:  Or, if you’d like to talk to us directly, why don’t you fill in our contact form? We’re more than happy to help.

Twitter and LinkedIn Marketing: Character Limits

In our previous blogs we’ve looked into the character limits on Facebook and Instagram. Today’s blog will focus on Twitter’s and LinkedIn’s character limits. Many of us use social media on a daily basis, and in some cases hourly, which is why it’s a great tool for marketing. When posting content or creating ads and campaigns, there are a lot of things to consider, and one of these is the character limits!

Social media apps on a smartphone

This blog will look into the character limits for various types of ads and posts on Twitter and LinkedIn:

Twitter – Ads

There are various types of adverts available on Twitter, read about each one in the more detail here.


Text Ads are the same as your standard Tweet, however it will be promoted. This means that the text character limit for these is 280 characters. If you wanted to add a link to the Tweet, you can. 23 characters will be deducted from the 280 character limit, leaving you with 257 characters.


Image Ads allow you to advertise your service, brand or product, thanks to the visual aid. The character limits for these are 280 characters. Again, if you wanted to add a link to this, you can. This will reduce the limit for the Tweet copy to 257 characters.

The information above applies to any Image Ad. For more specifications on the types of Image Ads, visit the ‘Image Ads’ section here.


Like Image Ads, Video Ads also allow you to demonstrate your service, product or brand in a visual way to your audience. The Video Ad limits are also the same as the other ad types, where it is 280 characters, however is reduced to 257 if a link is used.

There are also various limits beyond the Tweet copy, which includes specifications of frame rate, and video bitrate, but we won’t go into this in this blog, and you can find out more here.

Twitter – Posts

Twitter is well-know for its short and snappy tweets, as well as it’s rather low character limit. Although it can be difficult to fit everything you need to say into just 280 characters, this is double what it used to be! In 2017, Twitter decided to double its character limit from 140 to 280 characters, but it has been noticed that many of its users still tweet keeping below the 140 character limit.

How are character limits relevant to translation? It’s important to consider these character limits when we’re translating marketing content for social media. Particularly because languages vary in length. For example, Chinese translations are typically 30% shorter than the English version.

LinkedIn – Ads

LinkedIn Ads are made up of several text items, and each one has a different character limits.


You have the option to name your ad, however this is not compulsory. The character limit for this is 255 characters.


LinkedIn Ads also have introductory text and the limit is 150 characters if you wanted to avoid truncation. If you’re not too concerned about your text being truncated, you can use up to 600 characters. It’s important that you include any legally required text in this section. This text will appear in the area above the image or video on your ad.


This text appears in the area below the image or video and catches the reader’s attention. The limit for this is 70 characters to avoid truncation, and 200 characters if truncation isn’t an issue.


The character limit for this component is around 100 characters to avoid truncation, but otherwise the maximum limit is 300 characters. However, it has been said that the description doesn’t often appear on the ad when using the latest version of the app. It may be shown if the image is less than 200 pixels wide.

LinkedIn – posts

In contrast to Twitter, LinkedIn allows for lengthy posts, and the character limit is 3000 characters.

We hope you found this blog insightful, and that this information will come in handy for future reference. If you have any questions about translating marketing content, please get in touch via our Contact Us page.

Instagram Marketing: Character Limits

In one of our previous blogs, we spoke about Facebook’s character limits. Today, we’re going to look at Instagram’s character limits. Many of us use social media on a daily basis, and in some cases hourly, which is why it’s a great tool for marketing. When posting content or creating ads and campaigns, there are a lot of things to consider, and one of these is the character limits!

Instagram app on a smartphone

This blog will look into the character limits for ads, posts and stories on Instagram:

Instagram – Ads

Instagram is known to be a visual platform, where users share images of aesthetic food, beautiful landscapes, cute fluffy animals… the list goes on! This makes it a great marketing tool.

The character limits for these ads are:

Heading: 40 characters

Primary: 125 characters

You are also able to use up to 30 hashtags

Instagram – Posts

As Instagram is more of a visual platform, the text character limit is significantly lower than Facebook’s. The limit is 2,200 characters, and you can again add up to 30 hashtags.

Instagram – Stories

As with Facebook, you can also advertise using Instagram’s stories. This allows the advert to be shown for 5 seconds, or until the user exits the story.

The ad can be a still photo, or a video, and you can add various features to it, such as links, polls, questions, emojis and text. The character limit for this text is 125 characters, giving the user enough time to read it before the app moves onto the next story.

How are character limits relevant to translation? It’s important to consider these character limits when we’re translating marketing content for social media. Particularly because languages vary in length. For example, French translations are typically longer than the English version.

We hope you found this blog insightful, and we will continue to look at the social media platforms in more detail too. If you have any questions about translating marketing content, please get in touch via our Contact Us page.

First Time Exporters: Full Support for your Website Translation

As the liberalisation of global commerce continues, more and more companies are joining the international market every year. Exporting has traditionally been seen as one of the most risky, and expensive ways to grow a business.  While there are many pitfalls and challenges when trading internationally, the Internet offers an excellent way for you to reach out and grow your market share, without investing millions.

Global trade has never been so easy with the First time Exporters Guide. By working with Web-Translations you will have a partner to help you at every stage in your journey.  We combine years of experience, with top-quality language and web skills to offer a hand-held, strategic approach to boosting your global trade.


ZSL London Zoo is Olympic ready and diving from new heights

The 2012 London Olympics represents a great sales opportunity. Visitors from all over the world will be visiting UK this year, some businesses are seizing this opportunity to maximise their slice of the action.

The Olympic Gold Website Package was launched this month by Web-Translations to Get Businesses Fit for London 2012.

By giving customers extra peace of mind when offering translated information, you’ll win their trust, and ultimately their custom.


Olympic Gold Website Package – Fit for London 2012

Get Fit for London 2012 with the recently launched Olympic Gold Website Package by Web-Translations.

The 2012 London Olympics represents a great sales opportunity. As mentioned in the Getting Fit for the Olympics blog post published last week not everyone is capitalising on this sales opportunity. Do you want to go for Gold in the 2012 London Olympics?

Last year the largest ever campaign by a national tourist board was launched by VisitBritain; the £100 million GREAT Britain You’re Invited campaign. Primarily fronted by five major global celebrities who agreed to film TV ads and help promote Britain overseas.

As VisitBritain’s Mark Di-Toro says, “Now is the time to wave the British flag”. Thanks to the GREAT campaign a global audience of billions will have their eyes firmly set on Britain like never before. Will you be profiting from this interest?


Getting Fit for the Olympics – Going for Gold

For hotel and tourism businesses, the 2012 Olympics represent a great sales opportunity. Visitors from all over the world will need places to stay, and things to do when they’re not busy at the sporting events.

In last place…

However, with 87% of hospitality businesses saying they have not taken any steps to prepare their business, and a further 63% claiming they do not intend to take any steps nearer the time, are we really ready for the onslaught? Why are businesses not seizing this opportunity to maximise their slice of the action? Why sit back and wait to see what happens, when this could be the opportunity of a lifetime?

As Visit London’s chief executive, Sally Chatterjee, says: “London is the world’s most visited destination by foreign travellers, and one of the most accessible cities in the world.”

It’s estimated that 350,000 foreign visitors will come to London each day during 2012, with around 5.5 million “day visitors” in total between the end of July and mid-August.

If these predicted visitor numbers prove to be accurate, then the UK’s tourism and hospitality sector is woefully unprepared for the influx of foreign tourists who will arrive this year.

Emerging markets such as China, India and Brazil have been identified as key targets, and have therefore been the focus of the international Olympic marketing campaign.


3-Steps to a successful multilingual website

We’re combining our 3 lead web services to help your website launch in international markets with a bang.

All good things come in threes – that’s certainly true when it comes to launching your website in a new language and country. Follow these 3 key steps to start seeing results from your website:


Which web content should be localised?

Once you make the important decision to localise your website for a foreign market, and select a provider to deliver the project, your work is not quite yet done. It’s equally important to identify which sections of the website should be included in the localisation project, not least from a budgetary perspective.

We usually advise clients who are embarking on their first localisation to omit the following sections:

– News

– Meet the team, or equivalent

– All blog posts

The reason being that this type of contact can quickly become out of date, unless a strategy is in place to manage multilingual updates.


1 Billion People Use Google in 1 Month

Recent reports have stated that in the month of May, Google sites, including its search engine, Gmail and Youtube (which it acquired back in 2006), had 1 billion unique visitors in total.  Having previously discussed the competition each search engine site faces to be the most popular and most-used, the figures distributed by ComScore, a company that compiles web data, show just how popular Google is. (more…)

Maltese language rarely used on the internet

A lot of websites on the internet are available in more than one language, and some in a number of different languages.  This is a topic that features every now and then on this blog, as we comment on which languages are most popular, how the languages in which a website are available affect the traffic to a website, and so on.

One language that doesn’t get much press or attention is Maltese.  Maltese is a very interesting language; about half of its vocabulary is borrowed from Italian and Sicilian, and English words make up as much as 20% of its vocabulary.  (more…)

How important is it to translate a website?

In a recent poll, 90% of internet users in Europe would visit a site in their own language when given the choice. Meanwhile, 53% would still use a site if it was in English rather than their native language. However, despite this relatively high figure, these users would not necessarily be happy about the lack of information available in their own language, with 44% of respondents stating that they felt they did not necessarily receive all the facts when the website was only available in another language. (more…)

International websites need at least 16 languages to be competitive online

A recent report by the Common Sense Advisory states that global companies need to have multilingual websites in order to compete on an international scale.

According to the report, an English-only site can be read by 23.2% of the global online population. Making it readable in simplified Chinese adds 22.3% and Spanish 9.0%. (more…)

Look to overseas markets for growth, says CEO of eCommerce success ASOS

It’s always good when a prominent figure echoes what we’ve been saying for years – expanding into foreign markets using your website is a great way to grow your business, and is a low-risk option in these difficult financial times. (more…)

How International Blast works

This post is an explanation of how our International Blast service works, as it’s something we are often asked about.

International Blast was developed as a first step localisation for companies who wanted to begin trading internationally online, but preferred a cautious approach rather than investing a larger amount of money, time and resources in localising their whole website.

Even localising just one or two key pages of a website yields results, and often generates sales in a new target market. By pricing the service at £295, it is also an affordable option if a company wish to test several new markets at once. (more…)

New Callback feature added to website

We’ve added a new feature to our website, so that you can ask us to call you back, just by completing a short form.

When you’re browsing our services and portfolio pages, you’ll see a “Please Call me” link at the bottom of the introductory paragraph:

Callback link - Services page

The link will take you to the following form – simply complete a few details about who you are, and give us a number to call you back on, along with your email address.

Callback form

One of our Sales team will call you back as soon as they are free.

Quiet PC gains European web visitors for only 2p

“The results of localizing the key pages into 11 languages have been excellent; the traffic to the French, German and Dutch has been especially good and equates to a cost of 2p per visitor
– that’s fantastic value compared to pay-per-click advertising in a competitive industry like ours!
Web-Translations definitely go the extra mile – we’ll be working with them again to expand the multilingual sites.”

Glenn Garrett, Partner – Quiet PC

"Top-notch" translations for Efficient Frontier

“Our French reviewer was very pleased with the work Web-Translations did on a White Paper for us recently – he said it was a top-notch job!”

Merinda Peppard, Global Marketing Manager – Efficient Frontier

Madison Black pleased with translations provided by Web-Translations

“We had great feedback on the German and Dutch translations provided by Web-Translations. Thanks for all your efforts on this project.”

Debbie Hunt – Madison Black

Multilingual content management now free and easy…

It’s an all too common problem: How do you maintain the multilingual pages of your website as changes are made to the English? To what extent do you allow local input, while retaining central control?

Joomla has been the web’s favourite open source CMS since its separation from Mambo September, 2005, boasting some 4 million downloads in 2008, making it the most popular CMS of last year.

The Nooku story germinated from a conversation between Joomla!’s Johan Janssens and government and NGO stakeholders who wanted multi-lingual management, better than Joomfish.

Thanks to Johan, Pete and Mathias, webmasters the world over will have access to the plugin that is expected to go down a storm. As Phillipe Chabot, ICT Coordinator of the United Nations Regional Information Centre put it:“If you are thinking multi-language; Nooku is a must have! Our website needs to drive 13 different languages, so for us this made a giant step forward to improve our web presence. It’s just brilliant!”

Nooku is not yet publicly available

As a partner Web-Translations has the source code and can assist with implementation. By integrating Nooku with Web-Translations’ Pay-As-You-Go Translation service, users have the perfect solution for maintaining multilingual websites. Web-Translations is the UK’s only full service Nooku integrator.

Cassandra Oliver, Marketing Manager at Web-Translations had the chance to test-drive Nooku last week: “What struck me first of all is that the interface is so simple. Nooku is easy to use and seamlessly integrates with Joomla. It’s miles better than Joomfish and an ideal tool for many of our clients.”

Web professionals and laymen alike are singing Nooku’s praises across Europe:

“If you need to build multi-lingual sites that are easy to manage…you’ll simply love Nooku.  Customizable, elegant and so well-designed it fits Joomla! like a glove, this is a professional solution for multi-lingual content that will rock the community!”

Paul Delbar – delius, Belgium

The name Nooku is a phonetic spelling for the Swahili word “Nuku” meaning “to translate”. It follows the spirit of the name Joomla! derived from the Swahili “Jumla” meaning “all together”.  Nooku website

Having deployed several multilingual ecommerce websites using OS Commerce and Magento, Web-Translations are now helping businesses to save thousands by switching from proprietary CMS solutions such as Tridian, to mature Open Source alternatives such as Joomla, Drupal and WordPress.

Why pay a license fee?

In April 2007, SDL Trados acquired Tridion (a CMS company) for €69 million, that investment is recovered in the form of license fees, development and translation services. An implementation can cost anything from US$ 80,000 to … sky is the limit.

At a time when businesses are looking to cut costs, we’re advising clients to review expensive license fees and the cost of running their CMS. Open Source has come of age and matured in the area of ecommerce and CMS. Enterprises looking to save can do so quickly by embracing Joomla! + Nooku with Web-Translations, where there are no license fees and a vibrant community means support and development is plentiful and inexpensive.

Web Translations sees Open Source technologies as a key growth area of its business strategy, with plans to release multilingual professional translation plugins for WordPress, Drupal, Magento, and Open Office in 2009.

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