Importance of Audiovisual Translation in films


Audiovisual translation (AVT) refers to the transfer of the verbal component from one language to another of audiovisual products such as Feature films, television programs, theatrical plays, musicals, eLearning content, operas, Web pages, and video games. Audiovisual products are meant to be heard and seen simultaneously, so their translation differs hugely from the text translation.  

Need for audiovisual translation

The AVT is needed to make the audiovisual content global and to increase comprehension in various languages. 

Types of audiovisual translation

The two most common forms of AVT are dubbing and subtitling. 

Dubbing is a process of 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 budding is to create the illusion that various speakers speak the target language. 

Another AVT method is subtitling. 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.  

Benefits of audiovisual translation

There are several benefits of audiovisual translation:

  • Increases reach and make content global: Translation of audiovisual content of the films results in making it reachable to the worldwide audience. The movie with translated audiovisuals will be watched around the world. It is also helpful for the media and entertainment, advertising, and education industries. 
  • Better comprehension: Properly placed subtitles and dubbing enhances comprehension of content provided in the audiovisual products. Improved comprehension of films attracts and makes them popular with larger audiences. 
  • Boosting SEO: 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.
  • Increases video search and user experience: Proper subtitles ensure the video is widely searchable and viewers get the apt result. The optimized video content will boost the video search and views. It also provides a better experience to the user. Viewers from foreign countries feel more connected to a film if it is dubbed in their language. 
  • Help specially-abled people: Dubbing is helpful to visually disabled people because they can not read subtitles. Contrary to that, the subtitles help hear challenged people because they can not listen to the voiceovers.

Tools used in audiovisual translation

There are some important audiovisual translation provider tools: 

  1. Subtitle workshop: It is a user-friendly software which allows the user to work on audiovisual files and subtitles simultaneously. This software also helps in adjusting the time for subtitles. It also ensures that the text splitting for putting subtitles should not distort its meaning. 
  2. Subtitle edit: It effectively creates, adjusts, synchronizes, and translates subtitles. It offers subtitling in 30 languages and 170 subtitle formats. 
  3. Jubler: It creates and converts subtitles. Jubler also support various subtitles file formats such as ass, .srt, .sub, and .text. 
  4. Wondershare Filmora: This software helps to dub a video and add voiceovers. Filmora also has an audio mixer tool. The audio component can be extracted and edited separately. Noise removal and audio fade-in and fade-out are the additional features of Filmora. It is easy to use, and different file formats can be exported and imported. To use all features a premium version is needed. 
  5. Magix: Another reliable video dubbing software is Magix, which can be downloaded on a PC for free. It provides audio voiceover, recording adjustment, and editing. The additional feature of Magix is a video compressor and noise cancellation. 
  6. CamStudio: CamStudio is an ideal video dubbing tool for personal computers. It is a free and open-source desktop application. This tool enables users to add music and voiceover to videos. This tool also removes noise, compresses video and edits it. 

Challenges occur during AVT.

  1. Time management is the major challenge that occurs during dubbing. 
  2. Dubbing needs proper translation of dialogues to fit in with the visuals. Matching lip sync with the dialogues is challenging.
  3. Dubbing is expensive because it requires professionals like dubbing directors, dubbing actors, and linguistic experts. Due to this, it is limited to feature films. 
  4. During dubbing, the actual element of the content may be lost in translation.  
  5. Subtitles often need the constant attention of the audience, which often results in losing track of the visuals. 
  6. 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. 
  7. Sometimes translation does not justify the meaning of the source text. In that case, the translator needs to recreate it, which is transcreation
  8. Proverbs and idioms are challenging to translate because some of the idioms do not exist in another language. 
  9. Translation of culture-specific references is complicated. Translators must find the closest equivalent to colloquial terms, slang, and dialects.

White Globe as an audiovisual translation provider

White globe’s top-class linguistic and multimedia experts are experienced in delivering world-class subtitling, CC, dubbing, and voiceover services. This help filmmakers in releasing their content to global audiences. Our services are exceedingly efficient, cost-effective and quick, and we provide quality and scale. 


1 How is subtitling different from dubbing? 

Ans:  Subtitling is tenfold faster and cheaper than dubbing. Subtitling preserves the original video, but dubbing alters the voiceover component of a video. Subtitling improves video accessibility to deaf and hard-of-hearing people, while dubbing improves video accessibility to visually impaired people and kids who can not read subtitles. The foreign audience feels more connected to a dubbed video than a video with subtitles.

2 What are the drawbacks of dubbing? 

Ans: The drawbacks of dubbing include mismatched lip sync, bad voice artists, quality of words chosen to match lip sync and the need for a highly technical workforce. 

3 What are the drawbacks of subtitling? 

Ans: The subtitles exhaust the viewer and distract them from the visuals, requiring more attention to understand the video content. 

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