Should you Add Subtitles to Videos or Switch to Dubbing?

When it comes to video production, there's always the question of whether to use dubbing or add subtitles to videos? People have been debating subtitling and dubbing for more than 70 years. Both parties believe their way of video content translation is superior for the viewers, and in some cases, they are correct.

These two methods of translating your videos let you offer to a broader worldwide audience, whether it's for a movie, a series, or a single video creation. However, when it comes to information processing, familiarity, expenses, visual and sound unification, both subtitling and dubbing offer advantages and disadvantages.

Of course, each method is suited to a unique audience; for instance, you can't use subtitling if you're targeting young children. However, for watching foreign shows and films, more viewers enjoy subtitling. 

When you add subtitles to videos, in reality, it has several benefits for all parties involved, including the general audience, producers, and promoters.

Foreign films and television shows have been increasingly popular in recent years. Streaming services like Netflix are expanding their collection of foreign language films and series. As a result of the great success of many foreign language film shows, English-speaking audiences are becoming adapted to creators that add subtitles to videos and dubbing as more foreign-language films make their way to their screens.

Regardless of where you stand on the subtitling vs. dubbing debate, as a maker of foreign language video content, it's essential to know the differences between the two and how they fit into your translation workflow.

So, to get the most out of your videos here's the difference between the two formats and how to pick the appropriate one. As a result, you'll have the information you need to make the best conclusion possible regarding which one is best for your company.

The Difference Between Subtitling and Dubbing

Subtitling and dubbing your video are two distinct processes with their own set of characteristics.

Subtitles are written annotations that are placed on top of a video and transcribe the script and conversation. Allowing viewers to read the audio enhances the visual impact and makes your content more accessible to all audiences. When you add subtitles to movies, you will be able to convert your video into a variety of languages.

Subtitles and captions are used equally in many parts of the world, including Europe. In the United States, however, we distinguish between the two. In contrast, captions communicate full audio information, particularly sound effects, speaker identifications, and non-speech features. The captions are written in the video's original language.

On the other hand, Dubbing is the practice of exchanging another language's voice for the original speech in your video, whether it's from a different actor or not. If the voice-over emotions are great, it will help you localize your content for other countries in a more natural way.

Dubbing is not the same as voiceover, which is meant to enlighten viewers about the storyline and characters and is used for storytelling. Dubbing should fit in smoothly with the video and, for the most part, go unnoticed by the audience.

When it comes to the use of subtitling vs. dubbing, no matter what the viewer's choice is, the two are vastly different. Indeed, we can hear a translated and replayed version of the source audio through dubbing. Meanwhile, subtitles allow us to read a translation of what is being said on-screen while hearing the original actors' voices.

As a result, subtitling 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 can also improve your language skills by listening to the original language. Foreigners are more likely to enhance their ear for the language, syntax, pronunciation, and vocabulary by watching these subtitled videos. Furthermore, it is significantly less expensive.

However, content creators who add subtitles to videos may distract viewers from the video's excitement, and some of the emotions may be lost when reading textual form. 

Dubbing a program, on the other hand, eliminates the need for the audience to read the text while watching the video. Hearing the speech in their original tongue allows many viewers to concentrate on the action and feel involved. However, it’s essential to have voice actors to dub your project as the original voice does, to avoid undesired results.

Why Adding Subtitles to Your Video is a Better Option

There are several considerations to think about when deciding between subtitling and dubbing. It all depends on the complexity of your video project, your budget, and your needs.

Here are some aspects to review before making your decision, and the reasons why it is better to add subtitles to videos.

Dubbing is Generally More Expensive Than Subtitling

The first thing to think about is the price, which can make or break your budget. Dubbing, as it turns out, is often significantly more expensive than subtitling services, costing anywhere between 10 and 15 times more.

Dubbing requires a large cast of performers if not the original actors, who provide their voices; skilled translators who adjust the script; and sound engineers who sync the dubbed voice. All of these abilities and knowledge come at a price that must be considered.

Subtitling, on the other hand, necessitates a limited set of talents. A professional who can transcribe, translate, and synchronize the text with your video is what matters for good subtitling.

So, ultimately, the decision between dubbing and subtitling will depend on your budget and skills.

Add Subtitles to Videos is Essential for Video Engagement

Subtitling has become an important part of the video production process in every case.

Algorithms on social media and video platforms are progressively favoring viewing without sound, which necessitates adding subtitles to videos. Subtitles, in general, boost the visual impact of your videos, make your messages easier to recall and encourage viewers to interact with you. They adjust your content for deaf and hard-of-hearing audiences and make it accessible to all.

Subtitling is practically a must-have in your video marketing plan for all of these reasons. However, dubbing is still a great technique to engage people from all around the world.

Add Subtitles to Videos is an Automated Process

Dubbing is a good approach to adjust your content to the language and culture of the country you're trying to reach. 

However, studies reveal that the dubbing process must be precise to have a good outcome. Dubbing that uses uninspired performers can have translation and lip-syncing problems. This can harm your video more than it can help it.

In comparison, when it comes to subtitling, the task has never been simpler. There's no need to manually transcribe your video's script by hand and then translate it or create accurate time codes with voice recognition tools.

With the development of automated subtitling technologies, you can add subtitles to your videos and achieve the best result instantly. This helps to explain why a lot of studios have incorporated this technique into their workflow. 

Dubbing can be crucial in bringing a foreign picture to a wider audience. It has the potential to improve the viewing experience while also paving the way for a highly focused marketing plan. However, dubbing is costly and removes a layer of significance from the source material.

Subtitling can be the ideal solution as a whole. Indeed, subtitling helps worldwide viewers to experience media while keeping expansion expenses low. Subtitling can also make a piece of content accessible to people who are blind or visually impaired.

Subtitles are dynamic as text. They must not only match the speed of the dialogue in the video, but also the editing speed. They must fit neatly within the screen. Those who add subtitles to videos must also be accurate and artistically consistent with the original script.