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     Music, Song Treatment

     Brand Names Treatment

     TV/Movie Clips Treatment

     Names of Known Persons

     Onscreen Text Treatment

     Foreign Dialogue Treatment



This article provides best practice ideas and options in solving commonly encountered text localization challenges. It is not a substitute for Timed Text Style Guides. Please always refer to the style guides for language/asset-specific requirements. If you have specific concerns or encounter an instance that requires further attention, please seek advice from your Netflix Representative.



  • Subtitling and captioning rights vary across (and even within) the various categories of music (original/commissioned, licensed, public domain). Please seek advice from your Netflix Representative. Please note: The lyrics of a song can be translated in any and all languages for subtitling and captioning purposes, provided that: (i) each translation is as literal as possible to the original lyrics, taking into account idiomatic differences in each territory; and (ii) each translation is created on a work-for-hire basis for the vendor (or, if that’s not possible, on the basis that each translator will assign all rights in the translated lyrics to the vendor).  This is because in order to obtain the translation rights, the music publisher(s) who control those rights require ownership of the resulting translation and those rights back need to be able to be transferred back to the music publisher(s). 
  • For SDH, please adhere to the English SDH Style Guide for all audible songs that do not interfere with dialogue regardless of plot pertinence.
  • Opening/Ending theme songs: Do not add subs unless it’s plot-pertinent or if instructed by Netflix.



  • Treatment can be handled in one of the following ways:

    (A) use the same English-language brand name if it is widely known and used in that territory;
    (B) use the name that brand is known by in that territory;
    (C) use a generic term for the product.

    Do not use another company's name or trademarked item in lieu of the original brand name.



  • Subtitling and captioning rights vary across (and even within) the various categories of clips (owned original, licensed, public domain). Please seek advice from your Netflix Representative.
  • Do not add subtitle events for non-plot-pertinent dialogue in TV/Movie clips.
  • For SDH, please transcribe all audible lines in TV/Movie clips according to the English SDH Style Guide. If the audio interferes with the dialogue, please give precedence to the most plot-pertinent content.
  • Historical/Archival footage: Cover instances with subtitle/FN only -- to ensure that the historic and creative intent of these clips is maintained. 



  • Any reference to a known person (celebrity, actor, politician, musician, etc.) should not be changed to a local known equivalent unless approved by your Netflix representative.



  • Please refer to the Language Timed Text Style Guides
  • Netflix Original Credits - Use Netflix approved translations provided in the Originals Credit Translations document.  
  • Burnt-in text, on-screen text messages, quotes or forced narratives - please translate and subtitle/FN for all languages unless redundant in the target language. 
  • Reminder: 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. 



  • For the general guidelines on the treatment of foreign dialogue in subtitles, please refer to the Timed Text Style Guides.
  • Foreign dialogues should be translated and subbed only if plot-pertinent (usually with forced narratives).
  • No need to add subtitle events for dialogue that is non-plot-pertinent. Please refer to burned-in text documents and/or locked cuts with burned-in subs from your production representatives (if available) to confirm which foreign dialogue is intended to be understood.
  • If the presence of the foreign language is intended to create a language barrier between the characters in the scene and the language used in the original version is the target language of the dub asset, please flag this instance to your Netflix Representative to discuss the best approach.

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