Differences between dubbing and subtitling


When it comes to audiovisual translations, then there are two important methods: dubbing and subtitling. 

Dubbing is a post-production process incorporating new audio or dialogues to pre-shot motion pictures. It means the visuals remain the same, but the spoken elements change. Dubbing visually adapts lip movement and gestures and facilitates a better experience for the audience watching a foreign language film. The goal of dubbing is to create the illusion that various speakers speak the target language. 

The subtitling is putting a written translation of spoken language along with the audio. Advertisement, entertainment, and media industry need subtitling. The subtitle should be in a way that won’t make the audience feel that the audio is in a different language. 

Advantages and disadvantages of dubbing 

Proper dubbing enhances comprehension of content provided in audiovisual products. Improved comprehension of films attracts and makes them popular with larger audiences. Some viewers can connect to dialogues in their native languages, and dubbing is for them. Dubbing is also helpful to visually disabled people because they can not read subtitles.

Dubbing needs proper translation of dialogues to fit in with the visuals, and matching lip sync with the dialogues is challenging. Dubbing is expensive because it requires professionals like dubbing directors, dubbing actors, and linguistic experts. Due to this, it is limited to feature films. 

Advantages and disadvantages of subtitling

Subtitle addition to a video allows search engines to crawl over the audio and visual content of the audiovisual product and boosts the SEO. This will also increase the number of unique visitors. Proper subtitles ensure the video is widely searchable and viewers get the apt result. Subtitles also allow users to listen to the original voice. Original language listening can improve the language skills of listeners. The subtitles help to hear challenged people because they can not listen to the voiceovers. 

Limiting the number of characters on the screen during the subtitling is the major challenge. The translator needs to create shorter sentences with the same meaning as the voiceover. Subtitles often need the constant attention of the audience, which often results in losing track of the visuals. 

Why do certain Conutries prefer dubbing over subtitles and vice versa?

Some countries favour watching dubbed films over original films with subtitles have been debated. Some claim that although those with nationalist interests prefer dubbing, subtitles are preferred by those interested in foreign cultures. Another viewpoint holds that the use of dubbing or subtitles. Dubbing is costly and needs technical expertise, so dubbing is more common in rich countries. 

How to decide whether dubbing or subtitling should use for a particular project?

The following factors should be taken into consideration when choosing which is best for your video project:

  • Some celebrities who participate in videos might need a subtitling service to protect their reputation because they want the viewers to be able to identify them from their voice by body language or face.
  • In order to translate the audio into the desired languages, you must hire several casts of voice actors; thus, your budget will be a crucial factor in your choice. If the project is huge, a team may be needed for subtitle creation services to translate the script correctly.
  • Professional translators will contribute to the success of your projects. The script that has been translated is crucial for voice performers. They were required to watch the entire film using both techniques, capture the audio, and analyse the results. They must be as long as the original dialogue was.
  • The decision is based on the target market. While blockbusters from major production firms frequently pick dubbing services, many independent films employ subtitles. People who enjoy viewing blockbuster movies tend to choose the dubbed version, whereas those who prefer the subtitled version also appreciate watching art and documentaries.
  • Age has a role in choosing between the two approaches. Dubbing services is the best method for providing young children with educational and informational resources. Children, those learning a foreign language, and hearing-impaired individuals can all benefit from subtitle services.
  • The tastes of your audience, as well as the culture of the nation that your video project would want to target, should be taken into account when choosing a method. For instance, whereas the UK, Korea, Malaysia, and other countries prefer subtitles, Russia, Germany, Spain, Italy, and France are accustomed to watching movies with dubs.


  1. Which is preferable, dubbing or subtitles?

Both dubbing and subtitles have advantages and disadvantages. Although dubbing can be more entertaining for a target audience, subtitles are simpler. Make the best decision based on your time and financial constraints.

  1. What drawbacks are there to dubbing?

An original video project’s dubbing demands a significant time and financial commitment. You must hire voice actors fluent in both languages, both reading and speaking. Additionally, they must be flawless at conveying the emotions to the intended audience.

  1. What issues does subtitling have?

The audio in the video is preserved thanks to subtitles, but the story may be completely altered. They risk spoiling the show too soon and interfering with the viewing experience, and they may also alienate a new audience unfamiliar with the culture.

  1. How do I decide whether to use dubbing or subtitles?

You can decide between dubbing and subtitling depending on your time, money, and talent resources. Consider dubbing if you have the resources and time to invest in writing a brand-new story and audio. You can choose subtitles if you would rather spend money on competent translators.

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