Subtitling or Dubbing? Which is Right for Your Video

June 13, 2022

The choice between subtitling and dubbing has never been straightforward. These days, it is not a surprise for a foreign-language program or movie to win an award or trend in streaming platforms. Subtitle or dubbing has become an important bridge to reach non-English speakers.

People have come to realize the importance of subtitling and dubbing but the choice of which one to choose is never that simple. There are some factors to consider when choosing a localization method so that the video content can reach the targeted market.

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Know the difference

Both subtitling and dubbing have their advantages and disadvantages. The subtitle allows the audience to hear the original video version and reads the translation at the bottom of the screen. Lots of people prefer to enjoy experiencing the natural tone and inflections of the actors in the original film.

On the other hand, dubbing is a recorded version of the video in the target language. Audiences get to watch the video in their language. Some people prefer dubbed video content as it is easier for them to follow information and there is no chance to miss the translated text.

Understand the video requirement

Different video type requires different localization method. For example, an instructional video that already incorporates screen graphics and text is best using the dubbing method. The subtitle makes the video too crowded with the existing text. Meanwhile, video content like documentaries or movies can use both subtitles and dubbing to think the target audiences.

Think of audiences

The targeted audience is an important factor to determine the localization method. If your target is people with limited literacy ability such as young children and the elderly, it is best to use the dubbing method. A dubbed video makes it easier for these groups of people to follow the information.

Meanwhile, the subtitle is a good option if your target is people who are eager to learn new languages. Some people prefer to watch the original video version with the translated text and expect that they develop an ear for the foreign language.

Limitations of each method

Subtitling or dubbing, both have advantages and also limitations. A subtitle is a text that appears on the screen based on the time duration. Some people find it hard to follow the text due to the fast duration.

On the other side, dubbing is more expensive than subtitles because you have to pay for the voice-over actors. In some cases, replacing the voices removes the authentic feel of the video. The dubbed video may feel bland and empty when the voice actors fail to convey the emotions in the video.

Which one is right for the video?

Subtitle or dubbing is not a single answer. You need to consider the target of the video for example corporate instructional video is best using the dubbing method. Dubbing conveys information better for people who require assistance and support. On the other hand, subtitle keeps the authenticity of the video. offers both subtitle and video services for any type of content. They provide vast language options with exact translations for every video.

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