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Greek Timed Text Style Guide

This document covers the language specific requirements for Greek. Please make sure to also review the General Requirements section and related guidelines for comprehensive instructions surrounding timed text deliveries to Netflix.

1. Abbreviations

  • Mr / Mr. - κύριος / κος / κ. (the use of κος in nominative is preferred to the use of κ.)
  • Mrs / Mrs. - κυρία / κα (the use of κ. is to be avoided)
  • Miss - δεσποινίς / δις (the use of μις is to be avoided)
  • Dr / Dr. - δρ / Δρ (without a full-stop) (ο δρ, του δρα, τον δρα, δρ)
  • etc. - κλπ.
  • i.e. - δηλαδή 
  • e.g. - π.χ.
  • a.m. - π.μ. / το πρωί
  • p.m. - μ.μ. / το απόγευμα / το βράδυ
  • BC - π.Χ.
  • AD - μ.Χ.
  • & - και (the symbol can be used only if it is part of a foreign brand name: J&B, Smith & 
  • Abbreviations should only be used when there are space or time limitations.
  • When an abbreviated word – ending in a period – happens to be the very last word of the subtitle, only one period should be used. Commas, question marks and exclamation marks can succeed the full stop.

2. Acronyms

  • Acronyms should be written without periods between letters: ΗΠΑ, BBC, CIA.

3. Character Limitation

  • 42 characters per line

4. Character Names

  • Proper names should be transliterated. Do not translate unless approved translations are provided by Netflix.
  • Nicknames should be transliterated. Only translate if the nickname conveys a specific meaning relevant to viewers.
  • Use phonological rather than the graphological transliteration:
    • Johnny - Τζόνι and NOT Τζώννυ, Patty - Πάτι and NOT Πάττυ
    • Some exceptions: Anna/Anne - Άννα/Ανν, Mary - Μαίρη, Stella - Στέλλα, Eva - Εύα (but Eve would be Ιβ)
    • Whichever option is chosen, it must be applied consistently throughout the translation.
    • For Japanese or Korean names, in particular, the capitalization and the order of the source should be followed. For example, the name “Bong Joon-ho” should be transliterated as Μπονγκ Τζουν-χο and NOT Μπονγκ Τζουν-Χο.
    • For names that include the terms “Mac” or “Mc”, the capitalization should follow the source as per the common convention. For example:
      Stella McCartney - Στέλλα ΜακΚάρτνεϊ
      Andie MacDowell - Άντι ΜακΝτάουελ
  • Use language-specific translations for historical/mythical characters.
  • Proper names that exist in Greek should be spelled as in Greek. For example: Σοφία, Μαρία, etc.

5. Continuity

  • When including ellipses in subtitles, please use the single smart character (U+2026) as opposed to three dots/periods in a row.
  • Do not use ellipsis when a sentence is split between two continuous subtitles.

Subtitle 1 Όταν ήμουν μικρή,
Subtitle 2 κανείς δεν με ήθελε για παρέα,

  • If a sentence continues from one subtitle to the next, place the appropriate punctuation, or no punctuation, at the end of the first subtitle.

Subtitle 1 Είναι απίστευτο,
Subtitle 2 αλλά πάντα ήθελα να μένω εδώ.

  • Use ellipsis to indicate a pause (2 seconds or more) or an abrupt interruption:

-Τι κάνεις

-Μη μιλάς!

  • In the case of a pause (2 seconds or more), if the sentence continues in the next subtitle, DO NOT use an ellipsis at the beginning of the second subtitle.  

Subtitle 1  Αν το ήξερα
Subtitle 2  δεν θα σου τηλεφωνούσα.

  • Use ellipsis without a space to indicate that a subtitle is starting mid-sentence:

έχουν υπογράψει μια συμφωνία.

  • When a speaker’s line is interrupted by another speaker, use ellipses at the end of the sentence in the subtitle that precedes the interruption and an ellipsis at the beginning of the sentence in the subtitle that follows it:

Subtitle 1, speaker 1:     Καλημέρα σας. Ήθελα να σας πω...
Subtitle 2, speaker 2:    Καλημέρα.
Subtitle 3, speaker 1:     …ότι σήμερα θα γράψετε διαγώνισμα.

6. Documentary/Unscripted

  • Only translate a speaker’s title once, the first time the speaker appears.
  • Dialogue in TV/movie clips should only be subtitled if plot-pertinent and if the rights have been granted.
  • News tickers/banners from archive clips do not require subtitles unless plot-pertinent.
  • Avoid going back and forth between italicized and non-italicized subtitles when the speaker is on and off screen. If the speaker is on-camera for at least part of the scene, do not italicize. Leave italics for off-screen narrators.

7. Dual Speakers

  • Use a hyphen without a space to indicate two speakers in one subtitle, with a maximum of one character speaking per line.
  • Text in each line in a dual speaker subtitle must be a contained sentence and should not carry into the preceding or subsequent subtitle. Creating shorter sentences and timing appropriately helps to accommodate this.

-Θα μας λείψετε.

8. Font Information

  • Font style: Arial as a generic placeholder for proportional SansSerif.
  • Font size: relative to video resolution and ability to fit 42 characters across the screen.
  • Font color: White.

9. On-screen Text

  • Forced narrative titles for on-screen text should only be included if plot-pertinent.
  • When on-screen text and dialogue overlap, precedence should be given to the most plot-pertinent message. Avoid over truncating or severely reducing reading speed in order to include both dialogue and on-screen text.
  • The duration of the FN subtitle should as much as possible mimic the duration of the on-screen text, except for cases where reading speed and/or surrounding dialogue takes precedence.
  • Forced narratives that are redundant (e.g. identical to onscreen text or covered in the dialogue) must be deleted.
  • Forced narratives for on-screen text should be in ALL CAPS, except for long passages of on screen text (e.g. prologue or epilogue), or hashtags (see below) which should use sentence case to improve readability.
  • When ordinal numbers are included in an FN, lowercase should be used to indicate that the number is ordinal. For example: 20ός ΑΓΩΝΑΣ, 10ο ΛΕΠΤΟ.
  • Hashtags should be localized as per on-screen text. Depending on the creative intent, leave in the source language or translate into Greek. If the hashtag is made of several words, readability may be improved by using underscores to separate each word or by removing all caps and capitalizing the first letter of every word.



  • Never combine a forced narrative with dialogue in the same subtitle.
  • When a forced narrative interrupts dialogue (e.g. a speaker's title in a documentary), use an ellipsis at the end of the sentence in the subtitle that precedes it and an ellipsis at the beginning of the sentence in the subtitle that follows it.

Subtitle 1 -Λοιπόν, νομίζω πως
Subtitle 2 - (FN) ΜΗΝ ΕΙΣΕΡΧΕΣΤΕ
Subtitle 3 - …πως είναι η καλύτερη συμβουλή που μπορώ

                 να σου δώσω.

10. Foreign Dialogue

  • Foreign dialogue should only be translated if the viewer was meant to understand it (i.e. if it was subtitled in the original version).
  • Foreign words in the Latin alphabet can be translated, transliterated into Greek or left in the original language. Foreign words in a non-Latin alphabet can be either translated or transliterated into Greek or Latin alphabet. It is preferable to avoid the use of italics unless a similar Greek word could cause confusion (e.g. the musical instrument called “mbira” or the meat stew called “birria” which both sound like “beer” in Greek: Παραδοσιακή μουσική με μπίρα).
  • For international entities known by their original names, please do not transliterate (e.g. Google, Facebook, Rolling Stones etc.)

11. Italics

  • Italicize the following:
    • Album, book, newspaper, magazine, works of art, names of ships, film and program titles (except if part of a forced narrative or song title, in which case use quotation marks instead)
    • Dialogue that is heard through electronic media, such as a phone, television, or computer
    • Only use italics when the speaker is not in the scene(s), not merely off screen or off camera
    • Song lyrics (if rights have been granted)
    • Voice-overs
  • Do not use italics to indicate emphasis on specific words.

12. Line Treatment

  • Keeping text on one line is preferred, unless a) it exceeds the character limit, b) it corresponds to dialogue from different characters, c) the subtitles are verses from song lyrics, or d) there is specific creative intent as per the following FN example:



  • Maximum two lines.
  • A pyramid structure is preferred where possible:
    • Line two should be longer than line one if the subtitle is bottom-positioned
    • Line one should be longer than line two if the subtitle is top-positioned
  • Lines should be broken by syntactic unit as outlined in the general requirements guidelines, keeping in mind that there are Greek-specific exceptions (e.g., Greek does not have prepositional verbs, the preposition usually follows the object, not the verb).

13. Numbers

  • From 1 to 10 written out: ένα, δύο, τρία etc.
  • Above 10 written numerically: 11, 12, 13, etc.
  • When a number begins a sentence, it should always be spelled out.
  • The above rules might be broken due to space or time limitations, as well as for consistency when listing multiple quantities.
  • Round all figures to the closest 10 units, unless it is absolutely necessary to express the exact value.
  • For abbreviated ordinal numbers, they should be used with no space between the number and the abbreviation: 1ος – 1η – 1ο. The accents are retained in the abbreviation, if present in the full form (e.g. 20ός αιώνας, 30ού βαθμού, 60ής επετείου, etc.)
  • To express decades, use the word "decade", followed by the apostrophe and the number: 20s - δεκαετία του '20
  • For decimals, use the comma: 6,8
  • For large numbers, use periods: 100.000
  • Date must be expressed in the Greek format: 23 Απριλίου 2016
  • For clock time, use the colon: 8:30
    • If the style of the text and the referent itself allows you (e.g. it does not refer to a flight departure or a military schedule), you may use the 12-hour system, as the Greek audience is better acquainted with it: 8:30 π.μ. (or μ.μ.)
    • If time is referenced in the dialogue, use the word rather than the number. For example: “Θα πάμε στις τρεις”.
  • For currency, use the word instead of a symbol. Full form of the word is preferred, but for time or space reasons, an abbreviation might be used: 10 δολάρια or 10 δολ.
  • To express the percentage, both the symbol and the word are acceptable, but the full form is preferred: % or τοις εκατό
  • Convert units to the metric system: kilometers (χλμ.), centimeters (εκ.), meters (μ.), kilograms (κιλά), unless explicit visual information, vital for the development of the plot, is constantly present. Ιn such rare cases, the measurement unit is retained: miles – μίλια
  • Temperature in degrees Fahrenheit should be changed to Celsius unless otherwise instructed.
  • For phone numbers, parentheses must be deleted while dashes may be used: 2124357724, 212-4357724

14. Punctuation

  • Please note the Greek question mark is a semicolon - ;


  • Use quotation marks at the start of the quotation and after the last line of the quotation, marking the beginning and end of the quotation (rather than the beginning and end of every subtitle within the quotation), for example:

Subtitle 1: “Ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, Μοῦσα, πολύτροπον,
Subtitle 2: ὃς μάλα πολλὰ πλάγχθη,
Subtitle 3: ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν…”

  • Use double quotation marks (" ") without spaces for regular quotations.
  • Use single quotation marks (' ') for quotes within quotes.
  • Direct speech can be introduced with or without a colon, but consistency in application is required. Commas should be avoided.

Eίπε "Έλα εδώ". or Eίπε: "Έλα εδώ".

  • The closing quotation mark is placed before all other punctuation, regardless of whether the quote spans two or more subtitles or includes more than one sentence.

"Δεν χρειάζεται να του τηλεφωνήσω", είπε ο Μάρτιν.
Είπα "Σταμάτα".
"Έλα εδώ, σε παρακαλώ".

  • If the whole sentence including the quote is a question or an exclamation, then the question mark or exclamation point is placed after the closing quotation mark. However, if that question or exclamation belongs to the quote (i.e. if the person whose words are quoted asked the question or made the exclamation), the question mark or exclamation point is placed before the closing quotation mark.

For example: Ρώτησε “Θα φας;”

  • Use quotation marks if a character is seen to be reading aloud.
  • If an on-screen character does “air quotes” when speaking, please apply quotation marks to the equivalent word in the target language in order to retain creative intent and to help ensure clarity about which word or part of the sentence the air quotes apply to.

16. Reading Speed Limits

  • Adult programs: Up to 17 characters per second
  • Children’s programs: Up to 13 characters per second

17. Repetitions

  • Words or phrases repeated more than once in a row by the same speaker can be translated only once in the same subtitle.

18. Songs

  • Only subtitle plot-pertinent songs if the rights have been granted.
  • Opening and ending theme songs should only be subtitled if clearly plot-pertinent (e.g. for children’s content when the lyrics tell a story) or if instructed by Netflix. Normally, adult programs should not have the opening songs subtitled, except for SDH.
  • Italicize lyrics.
  • Use an uppercase letter at the beginning of each line.
  • Use ellipses when a song continues in the background, but is no longer subtitled to give precedence to dialogue.
  • Punctuation: only question marks and exclamation marks should be used at the end of a line – no commas or periods. Commas can be used within the lyric line, if necessary.
  • Follow this approach for poetry also.

19. Titles

  • Main titles: Subtitle the on-screen main title for branded content when the approved title for Greek is available in KNP/Terminology and it does not match the title which appears in the card. Do not translate the main title from scratch: always use the approved title provided.
  • Do not subtitle when the on-screen main title and the approved title for Greek are identical and fully match. (e.g. the on-screen title is already in Greek, both read with the exact same words and spellings, etc.)
  • Subtitle when the approved title for Greek contains a part that is transliterated/translated/transcreated/edited and does not fully match the on-screen main title. (e.g. when the on-screen title is Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey but the approved title for Greek is Keep Sweet: Προσευχή & Υπακοή)
  • When the provided translation of the main title does not work with a line break in a way that fits within the limit, the maximum character count per line or maximum line limit can be exceeded. Do not split the provided translation into multiple subtitle events.
  • Do not italicize the main title event.
  • Episode titles: do not subtitle episode titles if they do not appear on screen/are not voiced-over. If on-screen (either as part of the principal photography or burned into video) or voiced-over, please reference the KNP tool for approved translations.
  • Titles of published works, existing movies and TV shows: use official or well-known translations or transliterations. If none are available, please leave titles in the original language or use the English title.
  • Title case should be used for titles (upper case for all meaningful terms in a title).
      • Examples:
          • Το Γκαμπί της Βασίλισσας
          • Πίσω από τα Μάτια της
          • Προς Όλα τα Αγόρια που Αγάπησα

20. Special Instructions

  • Dialogue must never be censored. Expletives should be rendered as faithfully as possible.
  • Plot-pertinent dialogue always takes precedence over background dialogue.
  • Always match the tone of the original content, while remaining relevant to the target audience (e.g. replicate tone, register, class, formality, etc. in the target language in an equivalent way).
  • Deliberate misspellings and mispronunciations should be reproduced in the translation when plot-pertinent and serving creative intent.
  • Shouts, sighs, exclamatory words and other paralinguistic elements (e.g. Έι, Αχ, Ωχ, Όπα, Αμάν, Ουάου) should be translated with caution. Even if they are present in the source, they should only be translated if they reflect an emotion that is meaningful to the plot.
  • The weak type of the personal pronouns (μου, σου, του etc.) needs an accent when it refers to the word following (when it is not possessive). This applies to proper names as well.
            For example:
            Η μητέρα τού είπε κάτι.
            Η Μαρία τού έδωσε ένα δώρο.
  • The Greek suffix “ν” should be added when appropriate: 
  • The final “ν” is observed in the following words:
    • Ιn the indeclinable and “μην”
    • In the article “την”
    • In the third person of the personal pronoun “την” and “αυτήν”

    • Τhose words keep the final “ν”, when the following word starts with a vowel or a brief consonant: κ, π, τ, μπ, ντ, γκ, or a double consonant: ξ, ψ.
      • For example: την είδα, την κοπέλα, την ντουλάπα, μην πας, αυτήν την ώρα.

    • However, in the above cases the final ν is dropped when the following word starts with the consonants: β, γ, δ, ζ, θ, λ, μ, ν, ρ, σ, φ, χ. For example, “τη διεύθυνση”, “τη λίστα”, “τη θεραπεία”, “μη μιλάς”.

  • The final “ν” is always maintained, in written word, in the following words:
    • In the indeclinable “δεν” and “σαν”.
    • In the article “τον” and “των”
    • In the numeral and the indefinite article “έναν”
    • Ιn the third person of the personal pronoun “τον” and “αυτόν”
      • For example: "τον πατέρα", "των θαλασσών", "έναν χειμώνα", "αυτόν θέλει", "τον ρώτησε", "σαν ναυαγός", "δεν θέλει".
  • When brand names or trademarks appear, you may either; use the same name if it is known in the territory you are translating for; adapt to the name that the brand or product is known by that the territory you are translating for; or use a generic name for that product or item. Avoid swapping out names of brands, companies or famous people for other names.

21. Subtitles for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (SDH) Guidelines

  • Include as much of the original content as possible.
  • Do not simplify or water down the original dialogue.
  • Where content has been dubbed into Greek, please refer to the dubbing script or dubbed audio as the basis for the SDH file and ensure that the two match as much as reading speed and timings allow.
  • Reading speed limits can be increased to:
    • Adult programs: Up to 20 characters per second
    • Children’s programs: Up to 17 characters per second
  • Truncating the original dialogue should be limited to instances where reading speed and synchronicity to the audio are an issue.
  • For TV/movie clips, all audible lines should be transcribed, if possible. If the audio interferes with dialogue, please give precedence to most plot-pertinent content.
  • All same-language audible songs that do not interfere with dialogue should be titled, if the rights have been granted.
  • Use song title identifiers when applicable - song titles should be in quotes: [παίζει το "Forever Your Girl"]
  • Song lyrics should be enclosed with a music note (♪) at the beginning and the end of each subtitle.
  • Add a space between the music note and the preceding or subsequent text.
  • When a dual speaker subtitle appears in a song, e.g. when there is a duet, each line of sung text should have a music note at the beginning and end to clearly indicate that both characters are singing.
  • Use brackets [ ] to enclose speaker IDs or sound effects.
  • Identifiers/sound effects should be all lowercase, except for proper nouns.
  • Only use speaker IDs or sound effects when they cannot be visually identified.
  • When a speaker ID is required for a character who has yet to be identified by name, use [ανδρική φωνή], female voice [γυναικεία φωνή], male [άνδρας], female [γυναίκα] so as not to provide information that is not yet present in the narrative.
  • Use a generic ID to indicate and describe ambient music, e.g. [ροκ μουσική], [χαλαρή τζαζ μουσική στο ραδιόφωνο]
  • Plot-pertinent sound effects should always be included unless inferred by the visuals.
  • Subtitle silence if plot-pertinent. For example, when plot-pertinent music ends abruptly.
  • Be detailed and descriptive, use adverbs where appropriate when describing sounds and music, describe voices, speed of speech, volume of sounds.
  • Describe the sounds and audio as opposed to visual elements or actions.
  • Sound effects that interrupt dialogue should be treated as follows:

Subtitle 1: Ωστόσο, τελευταία… 

                  [βήχει, φτερνίζεται]

Subtitle 2: …το βλέπω πιο συχνά.

  • Speaker IDs and the corresponding dialogue should ideally be on the same line.
  • Never italicize speaker IDs or sound effects, even when the spoken information is italicized, such as in a voice-over.

[αφηγητής] Μια φορά κι έναν καιρό, ήταν…

  • In instances of foreign dialogue being spoken:
    • If foreign dialogue is translated, use [in language], for example [ισπανικά] 
    • If foreign dialogue is not meant to be understood, use [speaking language], for example [μιλάει ισπανικά]
    • Always research the language being spoken – [μιλάει ξένη γλώσσα] should never be used

22. Online References

For all language-related issues not covered in this document, please refer to:

NB: Where spelling variants present themselves, aim to be consistent in your choices within the same title. When working on a series, checking spelling choices from previous episodes and seasons.


Change Log:


  • Revised section 4 Character names - minor typo corrected in 5th bullet, changing the example names from genitive to nominative


  • Revised section 5 Continuity - comma added to example in 2nd bullet point, final bullet point about interruptions added with examples
  • Revised section 6 Documentary/Unscripted - 2nd bullet point covering interruptions deleted
  • Revised section 9 On-screen Text - note about hashtags added to 5th bullet, expanded detail about hashtags with examples added to 7th bullet, rule about including ellipses added to final bullet and examples
  • Revised section 10 Foreign Dialogue - original 2nd and 3rd bullets replaced with current 2nd bullet
  • Revised section 11 Italics - note added to first example confirming formatting of titles when part of a forced narrative
  • Revised section 12 Line Treatment - whole section edited, please review in full
  • Revised section 15 Quotes - new localized example added to first bullet
  • Revised section 17 Repetitions - old copy deleted, new copy added covering section in full
  • Revised section 19 Titles - detail added to 7th bullet confirming use of English titles in some situations
  • Revised section 20 Special instructions - rule in 4th bullet about replicating deliberate misspellings or mispronunciations change to allow them when creative intent requires it
  • Revised section 22 Online Resources - section name changed to "online resources", new links added for two online resources and further detail about consistency with spelling variants added.


  • Revised section 19 Titles - external links removed


  • Revised sections 16 Reading Speed and 21 SDH - sections edited to mention "reading speed limits" and "up to"


  • Revised section 19 Titles - "for branded content" added


  • Revised section 19 Titles - rules added/edited to include main title translations


  • Revised section 15 Quotation marks - 1st bullet point rephrased for clarity


  • Revised section 20 Special Instructions - 6th bullet corrected regarding weak possessive pronouns
  • Revised section 22 References - note added regarding ensuring consistency where variant spellings present themselves


  • Revised section 1 Abbreviations - 1st bullet added to mention the nominative, 13th bullet added, 14th bullet about avoiding abbreviations at the start of a sentence removed
  • Revised section 4 Character Names - 7th, 8th and 10th bullet points regarding name transliteration added
  • Revised section 6 Documentary/Unscripted - rule and example adapted in 2nd bullet point
  • Revised section 9 On-screen Text - 6th and 7th bullet points added
  • Revised section 10 Foreign Dialogue - 2nd bullet edited, 3rd bullet added
  • Revised section 11 Italics - 2nd bullet point expanded
  • Revised section 12 Line Treatment - 3rd bullet point added
  • Revised section 13 Numbers - 13th bullet point added with example
  • Revised section 15 Quotes - Example added to 6th bullet point, 8th bullet point added
  • Revised section 19 Titles - 4th, 5th and 6th bullet points added
  • Revised section 20 Special Instructions - 5th and 6th bullets added with examples, final bullet point added about proper names and brands
  • Revised section 21 SDH Guidelines - 10th and 11th bullet points added
  • Revised section 22 References - 3rd bullet added confirming dictionary source




  • Revised section 5 Continuity - 1st bullet point added clarifying type of ellipses permitted
  • Revised section 21 SDH Guidelines - 3rd bullet point reworded



  • Revised section 22 Reference - 5th bullet removed


  • Revised section 9 On-screen Text - section header revised for clarity


  • Revised section 6 Documentary - 4th, 5th and 6th bullet points added
  • Revised section 9 Forced Narratives - 2nd and 3rd bullet points added, 5th bullet point revised
  • Revised section 13 Numbers - 4th bullet point revised
  • Revised section 17 Repetitions - 2nd bullet point added
  • Revised section 18 Songs - 2nd bullet point added
  • Revised section 19 Titles - 2nd bullet point revised
  • Revised section 20 Special Instructions - 4th bullet point rewritten for clarity
  • Revised section 21 SDH Guidelines - expanded for clarity



  • Revised section 1 Abbreviations - 4th and 6th bullet point updated, 15th added
  • Revised section 1 Acronyms - 1st bullet revised 
  • Revised section 1 Character Names - 3rd bullet point, examples updated
  • Revised section 5 Continuity - 3rd, 4th and 5th bullet point updated
  • Revised section 6 Documentary - Example updated
  • Revised section 9 Forced Narratives - Example updated
  • Revised section 10 Foreign Dialogue - 2nd bullet removed, 3rd bullet updated
  • Revised section 13 Numbers - 6th and 14th bullet updated
  • Revised section 15 Quotes - 4th bullet updated
  • Revised section 18 Songs - 5th bullet updated
  • Revised section 19 Titles - 1st and 3rd bullet updated
  • Revised section 20 Special Instructions - 4th bullet added
  • Revised section 21 SDH Guidelines - Bullets 1-6 added; Section renamed
  • Revised section 22 Reference - 6th bullet added




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