Indonesian Timed Text Style Guide

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

1. Abbreviations

  • Do not use abbreviations such as the below
    • dgn -> dengan (with)
    • dsb -> dan sebagainya (et cetera)
    • dst -> dan seterusnya (and so forth)
    • mrk -> mereka (they)
    • sbg -> sebagai (as)
    • spt -> seperti (like)
    • thd -> terhadap (toward)
    • tsb -> tersebut (aforementioned)
    • ttg -> tentang (about)
    • ultah -> ulang tahun (birthday) 

2. Acronyms

  • Acronyms should be written without periods between letters: BBC, CIA, USA, UK

3. Character Limitation

  • 42 characters per line

4. Character Names

  • Do not translate proper names (e.g., Peter, Suzanne), unless Netflix provides approved translations.
  • Nicknames should only be translated if they convey a specific meaning.
  • Use language-specific translations for historical/mythical characters

5. Continuity

  • Do not use ellipsis or hyphens when a sentence is split between two continuous subtitles.
  • Use an ellipsis to indicate a pause or an abrupt interruption. In the case of a pause, if the sentence continues in the next subtitles, do not use an ellipsis at the beginning of the second subtitle.
  • Use an ellipsis to indicate mid-sentence pick-ups. 

6. Dual Speakers

  • Use a hyphen followed by a space to indicate two speakers in one subtitle, with a maximum of one character speaking per line.

- Can you please help me?

- Of course, I always do.

7. Font Information

  • Font style: Arial as a generic placeholder for proportionalSansSerif.
  • Font size: relative to video resolution and ability to fit 42 characters across 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.
  • Forced narratives should be in ALL CAPS, except for written passages (e.g., excerpts from books, magazines or newspapers, handwritten notes, social media messages and text messages), which must match the use of uppercase/lowercase as it appears on screen. In order to improve readability, mixed case can also be used for long passages of on screen text (e.g., long written passages used as prologue or epilogue).
  • Never combine a forced narrative with dialogue in the same subtitle.
  • If at all possible, try to avoid interrupting a line of dialogue with a forced narrative.
  • 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 in the subtitle 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).
  • When using foreign words, always verify spelling, accents and punctuation, if applicable.
  • Foreign words should be italicized, unless they have become part of regular usage (e.g., in English, the following no longer need to be italicized: bon appétit, rendezvous, doppelgänger, zeitgeist, persona non grata) and unless they are proper names (e.g., a company name). 

10. Italics

  • Italicize the following:
    • Album, book, film and program titles (use quotes for song titles)
    • Foreign words (unless they are part of regular usage)
    • 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


  • Double quotation marks (" ") without spaces.
  • Single quotation marks (' ') for quotes within quotes. Quotation marks should only be used at the start and at the end of a quote, not at the start of every subtitle.
  • Closing quotation marks always come after the period/full stop: "Jack."

12. Reading Speed

  • Adult programs: 200 words per minute / 17 characters per second
  • Children’s programs: 160 words per minute / 13 characters per second 

13. 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. 

14. Songs

  • Only subtitle plot-pertinent songs if the rights have been granted.
  • Lyrics should be center-justified and center-aligned.
  • Italicize lyrics.
  • Use an uppercase letter at the beginning of each line.
  • Use an 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.

15. Titles

  • Main titles: do not subtitle the main title unless an approved translation is provided by Netflix.
  • 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, leave titles in the original language.

16. Special Instructions

  • All plot pertinent dialogue should be subtitled, and takes precedence over background dialogue.
  • Dialogue must never be censored. Expletives should be rendered as faithfully as possible.
  • Use of slang, regional dialect, and emotive elements should be avoided.
  • Deliberate misspellings and mispronunciations should not be reproduced in the translation unless plot pertinent.


Change Log:


Revised section 14 Songs – 6th bullet point revised
Revised section 15 Titles – 1st bullet point revised, 2nd bullet point added
Revised section 16 Special Instructions – 5th bullet point removed