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3 Effective Ways to Add Bilingual Subtitles to a Video For Free (Online/Desktop)

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Last Updated: 2021. 11. 02

Adding subtitles to a video is essential for video editing. It helps your video reach broader viewers who might speak a foreign language or have hearing issues. Videos with subtitles also make it easier for audiences to closely follow the video content, with or without the audio on, thus, greatly boosting the watch time.

While in some countries like Canada where French and English are both official languages spoken by locals, adding bilingual subtitles or multilingual subtitles to your video would be the best viewer-friendly solution to let your video reach the widest audience.

So, in this post, we will walk you through 3 proven ways to easily add different language subtitles to your video for free, using free online or desktop tools.

Let’s add bilingual subtitles, now.

Here’s What You Will Learn:

Manually Add Bilingual Subtitles to a Video Permanently Using FlexClip

Well, if you need to add bilingual or multilingual subtitles to a short video like a promo video, a movie trailer, or an instructional video, etc., then the best option we recommend is using FlexClip, a free and versatile online video editor that helps you add multiple language subtitles in a breeze.

Feature-packed FlexClip for adding multiple subtitles

Within FlexClip’s video editor, you have hundreds of designer-made subtitles styles to choose from, ranging from basic texts, dynamic texts to trending lower thirds, callout box subtitles, quotes, search bar, speech bubble, etc. All the fonts, color, style, motion, alignment, etc. are full-customizable. Besides, it’s watermark-free and no video editing experience is needed.

How to Add English and Spanish Subtitles to a Video by FlexClip:

Step 1
Access FlexClip Video Editor and Upload Video Assets

After you upload clips to the FlexClip media library, click on the “+” icon to add it to the storyboard. If you currently don’t have a video, please free free to use a stock video in the “Video” tab on the left sidebar for a test run.

Upload videos to FlexClip

Upload videos to FlexClip

Step 2
Add Different Language Subtitles to the Video

Go to the “Text” tab on the left sidebar > select a subtitle style and left-click on it > enter new English subtitle > make a copy of the English subtitle and enter Spanish subtitles.

Add English and Spanish subtitles into the video by FlexClp

Add English and Spanish subtitles into the video by FlexClp

Bonus Tips
You may use free Google Translate to translate English subtitles into a target language like Spanish, French, Italian, or Simplified Chinese, etc., and paste it accordingly in the video.
Step 3
Customize the Multiple Subtitles in the Video

Remember all the fonts, texts size, color scheme, and background color, opacity, alignment, style, and motion are fully customizable. Besides, to enhance the readability of bilingual language subtitles, it’s advisable to manually add a different font color for the second language subtitle. So, different language speakers can immediately pick up the information. Do keep the multiple subtitle tracks short and placed in an orderly fashion.

Customize bilingual subtitles by FlexClip

Customize bilingual subtitles by FlexClip

Bonus Tips: Match Bilingual Subtitles to the Exact Frame
Click-and-drag to select multiple language subtitles > click the “Group” button, then two subtitles are bound together > left-click on the “Clock” icon > move the playhead to locate the exact frame for the subtitles > drag the subtitles to the corresponding place and use slider to trim its duration. Done.
Group bilingual subtitles and match them with exact frames in the video

Group bilingual subtitles and match them with exact frames in the video

If you need to add royalty-free music or sound effects or a movie intro/outro to your video, just check the “Music” tab on the left side. FlexClip has 4M+ stock video and audio assets to elevate your video in minutes.

Step 4
Preview and Download the Video

You can directly download the videos with merged subtitles to your local PC or share them to your YouTube channel or save it to your dropbox. You can even export it as an animated GIF when needed.

Automatically Add Multilingual Subtitles to a Video by Kapwing

If you happen to have a long video or movie, then manually adding bilingual subtitles to a video would be far time-consuming and definitely drive you nuts.

Instead, it would be wiser to use AI or machine-generated subtitles and later correct the incorrect subtitles such as brand or person’s names, jargon, or technological terminologies for adding bilingual subtitles to the video.

To that end, a great option is Kapwing online subtitler. It offers a powerful auto-transcription feature to subtitle a video with multiple languages and allows you to download the SRT files as well. The only downside is that it can only automatically add one language subtitle at a time.

Add bilingual subtitles to a video by Kapwing

Add bilingual subtitles to a video by Kapwing

How to Add Multiple Subtitles Tracks to a Video using Kapwing:

Step 1
Upload Your Video to Kapwing
Step 2
Use Auto-Generate Feature to Add English Subtitles to Video

Of course, you can select languages other than English for the auto-transcription. After the auto-transcription is done. You need to manually check and correct the wrong subtitles.

Step 3
Add Another Language Subtitles to the Video

For paid subscribers, you can directly download the English SRT file. Then directly use Kapwing’s built-in translator to translate let’s say English subtitles into another foreign language like Spanish, Chinese, Dutch, French, Arbic, Russian,etc. Then open the English SRT file and manually paste the English subtitles over the other language subtitles in the video to create bilingual subtitles.

While for most free account users, you can use Google Translate to translate the current subtitle language into another language.

Step 4
Preview and Download the Video with Bilingual Subtitles

Use Subtitle Edit to Merge Multiple Language Subtitles into a Video

For avid movie buffs, if you have already downloaded different language SRT files, a quick way to merge multiple language subtitles into a video is using Subtitle Edit, a free and open-source software specializing in editing video and movie subtitles. It’s watermark-free and available for Windows, Mac, and Linux users.

How to merge different language SRT files into a video by Subtitle Edit

How to Merge 2 or Mulitple Language Subtitles into a Video by Subtitle Edit:

Step 1
Download and Launch Subtitle Edit on Your PC
Step 2
Merge Two SRT files of Different Languages

Go to “Tools” > click on “Join Subtitles” > add multiple SRT files > hit the “Join” button

Step 3
Rearrange the Timeline for Multiple SRT Files

To ensure, different multilingual SRT files can display in a video in chronological order. You need to rearrange the timeline for them. To do so, hit the “Tools” > select “ Sort by” > click on “ Start Time”. Then, subtitles of different languages will be aligned by the same timeline.

Step 4
Export the Merged SRT File

Go to “File” > “ Save As..” > rename the newly-merged SRT file and hit the “Save” button.

Step 5
Launch VLC Media Player and Import the SRT file

Open the video or movie > right-click and select “Subtitle” > add “Subtitle File”. Then, your video or movie will display two or multilingual subtitles.

Now, It’s Your Move

  Add Multilingual Subtitles Platform Downside
FlexClip Manually, timeline, diverse subtitle styles, fully customizable Online No auto-transcription feature and built-in language translator
Kapwing Manual and auto-transcription; timeline; multiple subtitle styles; fully customizable; download SRT file; built-in language translator Online Only automatically add subtitles of one language
Subtitle Edit Quick way to create or merge multilingual SRT files Desktop app Only built to create or merge SRT files

Well, different strokes for different folks. To sum up, for adding short videos, FlexClip is impeccable for its hundreds of stylish subtitle styles and fully-customizable tools. While for long videos or movies, Kapwing’s auto-transportation feature and Subtitle Edit’s power for merging different language subtitles into one will do you a great favor respectively. So, start adding bilingual subtitles to your videos with FlexClip now.

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