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Before Translating, Check Which Version - Hi Or Non-Hi - You're Doing.

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Easiest rule : Translate everything you see in the original language column. 
If there's no description of sound, music or people, it means that you're in the Non-HI version, so no need to overthink.


Hi everyone,

Before translating a subtitle to a new language on addic7ed, be sure to first check which version you are translating : the Hearing Impaired (HI) 8439573926_35ef0de0d5_o.png one or the Non-Hearing Impaired (non HI) one. Those two versions can be found on most popular series. One of Addic7ed strength is to provide HI subtitles for each and every episode (provided that it was made by our team), so what it is?

1. What is HI?
The acronym HI stands for Hearing Impaired. This term refers to people who have hearing difficulties (hard of hearing).

2. How to distinguish the HI from the non-HI and how to create them?
A HI version, represented by a purple ear 8439573926_35ef0de0d5_o.png and a Non-HI version, without ear, can be found on most series. See below (click to enlarge) :
You can create/begin a new translation in your own language by clicking on "New translation" in HI or Non-HI mode. That is how new language versions are created. Everyone can do it.

3. What is the purpose of HI subtitles?
A HI person might not be able to hear every sound that could reveal any information needed to follow the storyline. It could be any of these :

  • the sound of a gun, a laugh, a floor cracking, etc.
  • the lyrics to a song that don't usually appear in the non HI version.
  • an information about the speaker - such as someone speaking on the phone.
  • other minor things like the theme song, a background noise/conversation, etc.

Translators must understand that those descriptions/captions are extremely important, they give information to the HI viewer for a better understanding of a situation and thus enhance the experience for them.

4. How to translate HI subtitles?

  • Translate all the sound descriptions in the original language and keep them in brackets. Parentheses could be used but are not advised :

[GUNSHOTS] becomes -> [COUPS DE FEU] in french

  • For general background music, keep the ♪ note sign whenever it appears. If there's a description of the music genre such as "♪ Jazz music ♪", translate that description.
  • If there are lyrics to an original song that are part of/meaningful to the plot/storyline, translate them. If it's a popular/famous song, you can either keep it in their original language or translate them depending on the value of translating them, and even better, describe also which song is playing at the beginning of a song :

♪ U2 : With or Without You ♪

  • Interjections should always be translated. An interjection is a word used to express an emotion on the part of the speaker.

examples : oh, ah, hey, hum, ugh, uh, er, ahem, phew, wow, ps, gah, etc.

Usually, in the Non-HI version, if they don't give much more details to the storyline, interjections are not translated as viewers can hear them. It is not the case for HI viewers. Any description could provide many subtle details to them for a better experience.

  • If there's a description of an unseen speaker such as the narrator, someone speaking off-camera or a person on the other side of a phone conversation, translate it. Otherwise, it would be impossible for the HI viewer to know who's speaking.

NARRATOR: Once upon a time...


PHOEBE: I'm here!


- Who's on the phone?

- WOMAN: Your worst enemy.


5. But it's annoying on screen! / Is it really necessary? / I just want to do the non-HI version!
As it has been settled by addic7ed as such, the purpose of this concept will not be re-evaluated or discussed any further. We have a large base of people suffering from deafness and who rely on us for HI subtitles, so don't mess with that. Just choose the Non-HI version if need be. If you can't find the Non-HI version in your language, it means that it hasn't been created yet. If so, just create one by clicking on "New translation" on the Non-HI version in english which contains no purple ear 8439573926_35ef0de0d5_o.png.

We received a mail from an user who made a personal testimonial about the importance of HI subtitles. May this be a reminder of the importance of your involvement. (We would like to thank this user for allowing us to post it here) :


Thanks so much for doing all that work to help people understand the HI distinction. I probably never would have noticed before either, but now it makes all the difference in the world to know who is talking when the camera is focused on someone else, know the sounds going on in the background, etc. Also, I have always loved music and know so many songs by heart so when a song is playing I love it that they put up the "Note" signs and what song is playing, I really love it when the song is the only audio at the time that the song lyrics are subbed too! At the end of some shows, they will play a song with no spoken words. If I know the song and no one is around, I sing it out loud like I used to, even though I can't hear myself it still feels good to sing a song at the top of your lungs, or in my case, I sing my heart out and it feels great!

The transition has been unbelievably painful and ongoing for me. I now truly understand the reality of the old saying You don't know what you've got till its gone. I never understood what a blessing it was to "Hear". I truly took it for granted, now it's like the whole world has been put on mute and knowing I will never again hear a baby cry, my cat purring, a dog barking, and hardest of all I will never hear the sound of my loved one's voices. My parents especially. I still cry at the thought I will never hear my mom's voice again and I can't even hear my own crying. Or my voice, I wonder if I sound the same or like a person who has been deaf all their life. The little things like still being able to watch my favorite TV shows and follow along have become suddenly a big deal to me. Being able to do such a simple thing brings me such joy.

I am working hard on my anger and frustration over my hearing loss, it's eerily similar to grieving for the death of someone close. A fellow soldier and good friend was with me in the convoy when we were hit by multiple IED's. I lost 3 friends that day. My friend and I were so close to the first IED that the sound of the explosion was quite literally deafening. When the second IED went off he lost his left eye and is completely blind in his right, deaf now for life. I am grateful that God kept me safe that horrible day. I need to remember to be thankful every day and not bitter. What's hardest I think is that I was the least injured in our unit and I still find myself complaining.

So to sum it up, one of my big pleasures in life now is keeping up with my TV "addiction" and helping people make sure that HI subs are actually HI and keeping the comments from being deleted is so helpful and I appreciate it on a level that you will likely never truly understand. You do important work and you do it well. I am grateful to you and this website and all its uploaders for keeping up the subs that give me joy in such a special way. Take care and enjoy life and all the little things, you never know when you might lose something. Don't ever take anything for granted, treasure life as if today is your very last.

Gratefully Yours from the United States of America.


Thanks on behalf of the whole community.
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Congrats for the tutorial!

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Changing the world. One subtitle at a time.

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Thanks for the tutorial and thanks also to the soldier who shared his/her poignant experience with us and made us understand, once again, how important is the work that our wonderful subbers make for us every day.

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Don't breed or buy while homeless pets die! Opt to adopt!

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Thanks for this.  I never really understood what the difference was.

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Well i think i should translate this to portuguese when have some time...

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is there a thread for making CHI (colored hearing impaired) subs- or just about what colors one ought to use?

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We don't usually do CHI. This is time consuming and it has evolved from a matter of clarity to a matter of taste among some HOH users, for better or worse.


Nevertheless, feel free to make a topic for general knowledge.

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Oh, okay. Thanks Taytoy :)

Personally, I like them and I was wondering if the colors are standardized by anyone (eg, like that lyrics are always displayed in lavender, or something).  I guess if it's a matter of taste that the colors can be whatever one prefers - although it probably should be a web safe color and something muted and relatively unobtrusive. I've seen lots of gray, purples, occasionally maroon.

I was also wondering about designating speakers on HI subs:

It's my understanding that when dialogue from two characters are displayed onscreen simultaneously, that you precede each line with a hyphen. What I'm not sure about is: if only two people are in a conversation, and you can always see one or the other of them, then is it necessary to specify who's speaking? In other words, Is it fair to assume the viewer knows it's the person off camera given that the person on camera is seen not to be speaking? (Sometimes, I've seen italics used to designate that.)  Also, suppose three or more people are having a conversation and a character's line begins when he's not onscreen, but the camera shows him speaking before the next character begins speaking. Is it acceptable to synchronize the text to the video instead of the audio when the difference is less than a second? If you delay a little then the text appears when the actor is in view and that eliminates the need to label the speaker, which makes the subtitles less cluttered and easier to read quickly.

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