Voice-over or subtitles - What is best for your video?
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Video content is on the rise, and many companies are thriving to make their content accessible to the global audience. Hence, there is a skyrocketing demand for high quality localized content. Online video translation is a crucial element of an effective marketing strategy. Choosing the right video translation method can either enhance or degrade your reputation as well as the customer’s loyalty to your brand.

Voice-over and subtitling are two primary ways for an effective translation. But how do you decide which is right for your video project?

Understanding the advantages and disadvantages of subtitling and voice-over will help you make the right choice.

What is subtitling?

Subtitles are the text-version of the dialogues that appear at the bottom of the video. These are the translations of the audio either in the foreign language or in the same language. Subtitles are generally not more than two lines in length and are displayed on the screen in sync with the audio.

Advantages of subtitles

• Subtitles benefit not only the deaf and hearing-impaired population but also those people who cannot understand the language spoken in the video.
• Subtitling has a low production cost as no recording studio, voice actors, or engineers are required to create subtitles.
• Subtitles do not impact the original audio files, and the viewers get to hear the original voice and style of the actors and narrators.
• It is a great way to offer translated video content in different languages all over the world.
• Subtitles help with multilingual SEO as search engines can easily read these captions.

Disadvantages of subtitles

• Subtitles can distract the viewers and make them lose focus from the footage.
• It is not preferred for videos that already have many graphics as subtitles can affect the visual space and cover up the essential elements of the video.
• In many languages, translations are longer and require text expansion that can take up additional screen space.
• If your video has multiple speakers, it makes it difficult for the viewers to distinguish each speaker’s voice.

What is Voice-over?

Also known as voice acting, voice-over means recording the video script in the language of your target audience. For example, your video content is originally in French, and you’ve decided to expand your target audience to Italy. Hiring a professional voice actor can help you translate your French content into Italian without compromising with the message of the video.

Advantages of voice-over

• The viewers of the video get to listen to the audio in their native language.
• It does not distract the viewer from what is happening on the screen.
• Due to different voice actors, it works well in case of videos having multiple speakers.
• Voice-over does not clutter the visual space as it is an audio enhancement.

Disadvantages of voice-over

• Voice-over is significantly more expensive than subtitling, and this cost increase if the project requires multiple voice artists.
• It takes a lot of time for recording and editing, which can lead to problems in case of tight deadlines.
• Mismatched dubbing and lip movements can frustrate the viewers.

Choosing between voice-over and subtitling can be a challenging task. The one you select will depend on various factors such as budget, content type, timeline, and intended audience. Subtitles are best used in training and explanatory videos, whereas, in the case of marketing and promotional videos, voice-over is the better choice. Furthermore, if you have a limited budget, subtitling is more cost-effective than voice acting.

Understanding the needs and preferences of your target audience can also help make the difference.

Still confused with what type of service you should choose for your video? Look no further, contact us – DUBnSUB and get the best suggestions from our experts!
We are a dubbing company based in Gurgaon, India with branch offices in Berlin, Germany, Paris, France, and Boston, USA. We offer high-quality dubbing services at competitive costs in more than 70 languages. For any requirements/queries, please contact [email protected] or give us a call at +91 124 498 2484.

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