Unsure whether to dub or subtitle your corporate video?

11, May 2022

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Unsure whether to dub or subtitle your corporate video?



What’s the difference between dubbing and subtitling?

Both dubbing and subtitling are methods for translating the audio in a video. There are many differences between the two, but the main one is this: subtitles are a written onscreen translation and adaptation of the words spoken in the video, while dubbing is a spoken translation that replaces the original audio.

How much do dubbing and subtitling cost?

Pricing for dubbing or subtitling a video depends entirely on each case. The variables include:

  • the length of your video
  • whether you have the original audio script or not
  • the audio quality
  • which language you are translating from
  • which language you are translating to
  • what’s your deadline for completing the work
  • the intended use of the video, due to voice talent copyrights

However, there’s one thing we can say for certain: dubbing is way more expensive than subtitling. You will pay 10-15 times more for dubbing services than you will for subtitling services.

How long does it take to dub a video? And to subtitle it?

Once again, this depends on each specific project, and mostly on the same variables as pricing. And once again, dubbing is the less convenient option — because it’s a more complex process, involving more people and equipment, it takes a lot longer to dub a video than to subtitle it.

Dubbing or subtitling — which is better for corporate videos?

There isn’t a ready-made answer for this — but here are the points you should consider when deciding whether to dub or subtitle.

  • Do you want your video to reach hearing-impaired people? If so, it’s obvious that your choice must be subtitling. 
  • Is your audience literate, and are they used to reading subtitles? For instance, let’s say you are creating training videos on how to use the machinery you produce. Your audience are the ground-level employees of your partner company in Brazil. In this case, you should dub your videos — uneducated Brazilians are not used to reading subtitles, and many of them are in fact functionally illiterate. 
  • Is it important that your video can be watched in any surrounding? If so — in the case of a video ad for instance — subtitling it ensures that your target audience can watch your video during a noisy commute, a boring class or even a work meeting.
  • Is there a celebrity in your video? Again, subtitling is the best option if you want to keep an person’s distinct voice — as is the case of this ad for the World Food Programme, which features celebrated footballer Zlatan Ibrahimovic (and is subtitled in eight languages). 
  • On the other hand, if there are no celebrities in an ad, dubbing it will ensure it reaches a broader audience in a country where people are not used to reading subtitles (such as Ukraine for instance).
  • Do you want your video to reach children? Let’s say you are producing a video guide for your museum visitors. If your museum receives many international children visitors, you should have your video dubbed in a few foreign languages — kids are usually slow at reading, and won’t be able to take in the images while they focus on the subtitles.

As you see, there are cases in which the choice whether to dub or subtitle a video is quite straightforward — but there are also cases where there’s no ideal solution. In the latter, it’s important you weigh pros and cons and find out which option yields you the greatest advantages. 

If you want to dub or subtitle your videos, let us know. At Upwords, we have experience doing both. Our translation services are carried out by expert native speakers, who make sure your message will be translated faithfully onscreen. And our native voice actors will ensure your dubbing is done in high audio quality, and with the right accent, voice, and tone.





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