Globalization has opened up access to a wide range of video material. While some are pleased with an English version, some companies wish to reach a larger audience by providing subtitles or dubbing the video or film.


Understanding the language and words on the screen is essential. Translation is extremely important, and there are two basic alternatives available. That’s dubbing and subtitles, and knowing what they are can help you comprehend not just how they affect media but also how they could affect your own translation requirements.


The implementation of these media solutions varies. Subtitles are written over a video, translating the words into the language spoken by the audience. The original spoken language is substituted (dubbed) with another language, frequently performed by additional voice actors, in dubbing.


What are Subtitles?

Subtitling is the process of adding subtitles to a video. Subtitles are frequently presented at the bottom of the screen and are created from a transcript or screenplay of the dialog or commentary in videos. 


They can be a written translation of a dialog in a foreign language or a written rendering of the dialog in the same language, with or without additional information to assist viewers who are deaf or hard of hearing, or people who cannot understand the spoken dialogue or have accent recognition issues, in following the dialog.


What is Dubbing?

Dubbing is a post-production procedure in video production in which new or supplementary recordings are lip-synced and combined with the original production sound to produce the completed soundtrack.


Audiences are most familiar with dubbing as a method of converting foreign-language videos into the audience’s native tongue. When a video is dubbed in a foreign language, the translation of the original phrase is meticulously matched to the lip movements of the performers.


What makes you pick one over the other, and why?

It’s sometimes a matter of personal preference. There’s also a price difference. Because you don’t have to engage native-speaking voice talent, subtitling is generally less expensive than dubbing. Dubbing, on the other hand, may be a preferable option if your video has individuals speaking and you want to change the language in which they speak because subtitles are visible on screen.


Although subtitling is a more common alternative, it is dependent on who your audience is and where they are from. Before making this option, it’s critical to understand your target audience. A dubbed version of the content may be expected in several European and Asian nations. Subtitles, on the other hand, would be more acceptable in English-speaking countries.


The video’s content is also a decisive element. Some videos benefit from subtitles, while others benefit from dubbing. Budget may be the last decisive factor. Dubbing is, without a doubt, the more expensive alternative, especially if you have a lot of various languages or voices on screen. Finally, there is no such thing as the “best” option; rather, the one that is most appropriate for your audience or subject.


Disadvantages & Advantages of Subtitles

Subtitling allows you to hear the original actors’ voices while also ensuring a very accurate translation. It makes the show accessible to deaf and hard-of-hearing audiences, as well as those who have difficulty understanding spoken conversation or recognizing accents. You may also enhance your language abilities by listening to the original language. Foreigners are more likely to enhance their ear for the language, grammar, pronunciation, and vocabulary by watching and listening to videos in English. Furthermore, it is significantly less costly. Subtitles, on the other hand, may detract from the video’s action, and some of the emotion may be lost when read in textual form. 


Disadvantages & Advantages of Dubbing

Dubbing a video, on the other hand, eliminates the need for the audience to read the text while viewing the video. Hearing the speech in their original tongue allows many viewers to concentrate on the action and get fully immersed in the video.


However, video dubbing is an expensive, time-consuming, and complicated operation. It progresses beyond just translating words into another language. The majority of the time, editors aim to match what’s being said to the character’s lip movements. For a better match, they frequently have to adjust the translation of word order in the target language. 


The Necessity for High-quality Translations

It takes more than merely altering the words from one language to another to be considered a translation. Cultures are bridged via translation. It permits you to witness cultural phenomena that would otherwise be too exotic and distant for your own cultural lens to comprehend.


Not only can effective video localization help you be visible throughout the world, but it will also make your audience feel heard. By translating your videos with purpose, you can expand your reach and develop lasting, compelling connections with your clients all around the world.


How to Get Started

It is usually a good idea to depend on the knowledge and advice of professional language services that provide these options and can assist you based on your learning aim and the culture of the target nation, making it simpler to pick between the two materials based on their own characteristics. Both strategies are difficult and need both imagination and technical expertise.


Transcribing your video is the first step in having it translated or dubbed. If you don’t already have one, our expert transcribers will generate a professional transcript for you.


Subtitling and dubbing have always been wonderful services for making video material more accessible and reaching a larger audience. However, it’s just recently become the standard, and you might be severely restricting the reach of your video material if you don’t use them.


Work with Us

Working with a professional translation service gives you the assurance of a consistent, accurate, and professional translation every time, regardless of the project. 


With inWhatLanguage you can automate, streamline, simplify and centralize your content to create consistent and reliable positive experiences in 200+ languages. Leverage our media solutions and powerful human network to produce predictable and sustainable growth.