Reasons Why Every Transcriber Needs to Learn Captioning

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Have you ever watched a Chinese action movie that has no captions (subtitles) ?

Well, I have and it is not easy to depict what is going on unless you know Chinese.

Taking note that the subtitles available help one easily understand what is going on in a particular movie, I need to say that transcription and captioning (subtitling) go hand in hand – they are sister services.

Captioning and subtitling (both used interchangeably) are processes of displaying text on a television, video screen, or other visual display to provide additional or interpretive information. Source: Wikipedia

Learn More About Captioning, Captioning Formats and Tools to use.

You may be asking yourself, why should I learn captioning or transcription for that matter?

Well, the reasons why transcribers need to learn captioning are many, and I will do my best to outline some of the most important.

Let’s dive in:

a) Captioning is Transcription’s Sister Service

Captioning and Transcription go hand in hand.  Did you know that?

One too many times I have had transcribers not ace a job just because the job required transcripts to be provided and captions.

Why should a freelancer miss out on a job just because they do not know how to caption videos? I do not see the reason.

Some jobs only require transcripts that is true, but the most important question is where do the transcripts end?

Here is a simple answer, they either end up on websites as interactive transcripts or they are used to produce caption files.

Why should a transcriber not learn how to caption files? There is no reason.

See Sample Job on Odesk that required a Transcriber to transcribe and caption videos.

Captioning and Transcription


b) Offering an All in One Service

It makes no sense for a client to offer a transcription job for files mean to be captioned in the end, to a freelancer that only knows how to transcribe files.

They say two heads are better than one; I say two skills are better than one.

Why should freelancers miss job opportunities that require both transcription and captioning services? There is no reason, at all.

Offering an all in one service will help you land more clients, repeat clients and long-term clients that will always have work for you.

Personally, I have never been jobless because I advance my skills at different fields all the time and here are some of the websites I learn from.

c) Increase Job Opportunities = When no Transcription Jobs, then captioning Jobs

Freelancers know that there comes a time when jobs are scarce. Nobody loves being unemployed, No – One!

The scarcity of transcription jobs should not render a freelancer jobless; it should pave the way to new opportunities – captioning jobs.

With an increase in job opportunities, comes an increase in revenue. Who doesn’t want more money in their bank account? I know, I do. Do you?

RELATED: Subtitling and Captioning Jobs

d) Captioning helps comply with international standards

We are living in a world of equal opportunities for all people, physically fit, disabled, etc. International standards recommend that all videos uploaded online need to have captions and transcripts added to them to aid persons with hearing difficulties.

Captioning also helps to increase the audience reached via video across multiple nationalities.

I want people in America to view my video and understand what I am saying – that is – if I am not speaking in English.

Personally I caption videos almost everyday and I love it. It has earned me alot of money and there is no limitation. I even caption videos in Chinese ! 🙂 It is super easy and enjoyable.

What are you waiting for?
The reasons why every transcriber needs to learn captioning cannot be exhausted by this post, but you can make a choice today to increase your income streams and learn captioning.

Here’s my course on getting started with video captioning.

Your comments are highly appreciated. Share your thoughts in the comments section.

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6 thoughts on “Reasons Why Every Transcriber Needs to Learn Captioning”

  1. Mmmh interesting! I think I read a post about you somewhere (different blog) that mentioned you learnt captioning from some Youtube videos, true? Or it’s a different David.

    Anyway, I guess the two go hand in hand.

  2. Quite insightful. Currently I’m a transcriber and would love to diversify. Is there a course that can help me learn how to caption? Or rather are you offering a course on Captioning & what will I need to get me started, for example, softwares etc.
    Thank you

    • Hi Eric,
      Thank you for your kind words.
      Yes, there are some courses out there on Captioning but I’ll be biased and recommend my course .

      Feel free to review the preview lessons available and let me know if you’re interested.

      David M.


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