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

  • Mr. - मिस्टर / श्री / श्रीमान
  • Mrs. - मिसेज़ / श्रीमती
  • Miss - मिस
  • Ms. – सुश्री
  • Dr. - डॉ.
  • Prof. - प्रो.
  • OK - ठीक
  • etc. - इत्यादि / आदि / वगैरह
  • i.e. - अर्थात्
  • e.g. - उदाहरणार्थ
  • a.m. - पूर्वाह्ण
  • p.m. - अपराह्न
  • BC - ई.पू. / ईसा पूवा
  • 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 ellipsis when a sentence is split between two continuous subtitles:

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

  • Use ellipsis 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 mid-sentence pick-ups.

...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 ellipsis at the end of the sentence in the subtitle that precedes it and no ellipsis at the beginning of the sentence in the subtitle that follows it.

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: Shusha 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.
  • 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).
  • ​Foreign words or phrases ​should be translated when possible (i.e. hello, goodbye, thank you, merci)​ or transliterated when no accurate translation exists. Use quotes for transliterated words.

10. Italics

  • Italicize the following:
    • Album, book, film and program titles (use quotes for song titles).
    • 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.

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.
  • The above rules might be broken due to space or time limitations.
  • 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: 500,000
  • 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, 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: 17 characters per second
  • Children’s programs: 13 characters per second

16. Repetitions

  • Do not translate words or phrases repeated more than once.
  • 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.
  • Italicize lyrics.
  • 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 main title unless requested by Netflix. In this case, an approved translation will be provided.
  • Episode titles: do not subtitle episode titles if they do not appear on screen. If on-screen, either as part of the principal photography or burned into video, please obtain approved translations from Netflix.
  • 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.
  • 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.

20. 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: 20 characters per second
    • Children’s programs: 17 characters per second
  • Truncating the original dialogue should be limited to instances where reading speed and synchronicity to the audio are an issue.
  • All same-language audible songs should be titled if the rights have been granted.
  • 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.
  • Use a generic ID to indicate and describe ambient music (e.g., rock music playing over a stereo).
  • Sound effects should be plot pertinent.
  • Never italicize speaker IDs or sound effects

21. Reference