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Hindi Timed Text Style Guide

*This document covers the language specific requirements for Hindi. Please make sure to also review the General Requirements Section for comprehensive guidelines surrounding Timed Text deliveries to Netflix.   

1. Abbreviations

  • (Please use proper discretion when selecting an abbreviation, the list below contains suggestions and is not strictly limited to these options.)
  • Mr. - मिस्टर / श्री / श्रीमान
  • Mrs. - मिसेज़ / श्रीमती
  • Miss - मिस
  • Ms. – सुश्री
  • Dr. - डॉ.
  • Prof. - प्रो.
  • OK - ठीक
  • etc. - इत्यादि / आदि / वग़ैरह
  • i.e. - अर्थात्
  • e.g. - उदाहरणार्थ
  • a.m. - पूर्वाह्न
  • p.m. - अपराह्न
  • BC - ई.पू. / ईसा पूर्व
  • AD - ई. सन् / ईसवी सन्
  • Special characters are spelled out:
    • # - नंबर /  हैश
    • % - प्रतिशत
    • + - जोड़
    • x - गुणा
    • - - घटा
    • = - बराबर

2. Character Limitation

  • 42 characters per line

3. Character Names

  • Do not translate proper names (e.g., Peter, Suzanne), unless Netflix provides approved translations.
  • If no approved translations are provided, please transliterate character names.
  • Nicknames should only be translated if they convey a specific meaning.

4. Continuity

  • Do not use ellipses when a sentence is split between two continuous subtitles:

Subtitle 1   मानो या न मानो, स्नातक बनने के लिए
Subtitle 2   हमें बस दो और कक्षाएँ पास करनी हैं।

  • Use ellipses to indicate a pause or an abrupt interruption. In the case of a pause, if the sentence continues in the next subtitle, use an ellipsis at the beginning of the second subtitle.

Subtitle 1   मुझे सोचने दो...
Subtitle 2   ...शायद कोई और रास्ता निकल आए।

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

...एक अभिसंधान पर हस्ताक्षर किया है।

5. Documentary

  • Only translate a speaker’s title once, the first time the speaker appears in the documentary.
  • When ongoing dialogue is interrupted by a speaker’s title, use an ellipsis at the end of the sentence in the subtitle that precedes it and at the beginning of the sentence that follows it.
  • 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.

6. Dual Speakers

  • Use a hyphen without a space to indicate two speakers in one subtitle, with a maximum of one speaker per line.

-आओ भी!

7. Font Information

  • Font style: Mangal 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.

8. Forced Narratives

  • Forced narrative titles 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.
  • Never combine a forced narrative with dialogue in the same subtitle.
  • When a forced narrative interrupts dialogue, use an ellipsis at the end of the sentence in the subtitle that precedes it and at the beginning of the sentence that follows it.

9. 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).

10. Italics

  • Do not use italics.
  • Use quotes instead for album, book, film and program titles.

I went to see Hamilton in theater today.

आज मैं थिएटर में "हैमिल्टन" देखने गया था।

Are you watching Love Story?

क्या तुम "लव स्टोरी" फ़िल्म देख रही हो?

11. Line Treatment

  • Maximum two lines.

12. Numbers

  • Numbers from 1 to 10 should be written out.
  • Numbers above 10 should be written numerically: 11, 12, 13, etc.
  • When a number begins a sentence, it should always be spelled out.
  • Note that the above rules may be broken due to space limitations or reading speed concerns, as well as for consistency when listing multiple quantities, for example.
  • For ordinal numbers, 1st - 9th are spelled out: पहला, दूसरा, नौवाँ
  • From 10th, ordinal numbers are written out numerically, followed by वीं: 10वीं, 12वीं, 50वीं
  • To express decades, the number is kept as a numeral and the word "decade" is translated as दशक : 20 का दशक, 30 का दशक, 40 का दशक
  • For decimals, use periods: 16.8
  • For large numbers, use commas: 50,000
  • For clock time, use colon: 8:30 / 20:30
  • For currency, do not use symbols. Instead, transliterate the word (dollar, pound, cent, rupee etc.): 10 डॉलर, 20 पाउन्ड/पाउंड, 25 सेंट, 3.25 डॉलर, 20 मिलियन डॉलर

13. Punctuation

  • There are no spaces between the characters and punctuation marks.


  • Quotes should be used at the start and end of a sentence and not at the start of every subtitle.
  • Use double quotation marks (" ") without spaces for regular quotations.
  • Use single quotation marks (' ') for quotes within quotes.
  • Direct speech is introduced by a comma.
  • Closing quotes follow the full stop:

अब तुम कल्पना करो मुझे कहते हुए,
"नहीं, आपका धन्यवाद।"

15. Reading Speed

  • Adult programs: 22 characters per second
  • Children’s programs: 18 characters per second

16. Repetitions

  • Do not translate words or phrases repeated more than once by the same speaker.
  • If the repeated word or phrase is said twice in a row, time subtitle to the audio but translate only once.

17. 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.
  • Use ellipsis 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. 

18. Titles

  • Main titles: do not subtitle the on-screen main title card.
  • Episode titles: do not subtitle episode titles if they do not appear on screen/are 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. If none are available, transliterate the original title.

19. Special Instructions

  • Modern Standard Hindi should be used for translation. Please refrain from using dialectal words. When there is no alternative to the word in Modern Hindi, use the word closest in meaning.
  • Always use Plot/Genre pertinent language.
  • The use of transliterations should reflect the formality of the dialogue. For example, formal dialogue should not include colloquial transliterations.
  • Bindu marks may be used in place of the Chandrabindu.
  • Dialogue (including expletives) should be rendered as faithfully as possible, without using dialect or words that would otherwise introduce a level of obscenity not implied in the content.
  • Plot-pertinent dialogue always takes precedence over background dialogue.
  • Deliberate misspellings and mispronunciations should not be reproduced in the translation unless plot-pertinent.

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.
  • Reading speed can be increased to:
    • Adult programs: 25 characters per second
    • Children’s programs: 20 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:
    ["Forever Your Girl" playing]
  • Song lyrics should be enclosed with a music note (♪) at the beginning and the end of each subtitle.
  • Use brackets [ ] to enclose speaker IDs or sound effects.
  • 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 [man] or [woman], or [male voice] or [female voice], 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., rock music playing over a stereo).
  • Sound effects should be plot-pertinent.
  • Sound effects that interrupt dialogue should be treated as follows:

         Subtitle 1: However, lately, I've been...
                         [coughs, sniffs]

         Subtitle 2:  ...seeing a lot more of this.

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

22. Reference


Change Log:


Revised section 5 Documentary – 3rd and 4th bullet points added
Revised section 8 Forced Narratives – 2nd and 3rd bullet points added
Revised section 12 Numbers – 4th bullet point revised
Revised section 15 Reading Speed – reading speed limits increased
Revised section 16 Repetitions – 1st point revised for clarity
Revised section 17 Songs – 2nd bullet point added
Revised section 18 Titles – 2nd bullet points revised
Revised section 20 SDH Guidelines – expanded for clarity, reading speed limits revised



Revised section 1 Abbreviations – 1st bullet point added
Revised section 5 Documentary – 2nd bullet point revised
Revised section 7 Font Information – Font changed from Shusha to Mangal
Revised section 9 Foreign Dialogue – Removed 2nd bullet point for clarity
Revised section 10 Italics – Do not use italics
Revised section 12 Numbers -- 11th bullet point revised
Revised section 17 Songs -- 2nd bullet point removed
Revised section 18 Titles -- 1st bullet point revised
Revised section 19 Special Instructions -- 2nd, 3rd, and 4th bullet points added
Revised section 22 Reference -- 3rd bullet point added