The subtitle and voice-over are the two main ways to perform translation. But businesses are often confused about which video translation method should be used. In this article, we will talk about the important things to consider when deciding between subtitles, and voice-over for foreign language videos.
What is subtitling?
In this type of video translation, the audience sees the written translation at the bottom of the page and hears the content in the original language. The existing audio remains untouched. The viewers come to hear the real tone and variations of the storyteller, applicants and performers. This offers them an authentic experience of the film.
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Its usage and restrictions
Subtitles are mostly kept at a maximum height of two lines. They are viewed in synchronization with the audio. The viewer can read the translation along with looking in the picture. There are limitations in terms of the number of characters, line length, and the audience’s reading speed that poses a challenge when translating from English.
In some languages, full translations are lengthy and can’t fit in a small window of just a few seconds. The subtitler needs to make adaptations without sacrificing the original meaning. Professional subtitlers remove unnecessary fillers or repeated words and restructure complete sentences and make them shorter in size.
Sometimes even if the subtitles are done by a professional, they can distract the viewer. Due to which it can lose focus on what happens on screen. If a video has got plenty of strong visual messages, it should choose “a voice-over” method over the “subtitle method”.
When compared to voice-over, the subtitle method is relatively low in cost. As no recording engineer, voice talent, and the audio studio is needed, it has a lower production cost. Subtitles are also a great means to provide translated video content and also in various language options via popular platforms like Vimeo, and YouTube.
What is the Voice-over translation method?
In this method, the original audio is translated into the preferred language of the viewer. In this way, the user listens to the audio in his language. The translations require adaptation depending on the suitability for the recording, the type of language, the video complexity etc.
Advantages of using the voice-over translation method
Voice over method has various advantages over the subtitle method:
- People generally prefer this type of translation method as there is no distraction in the form of subtitles on the screen.
- Viewers follow the content better when they listen to it than reading it. In this method, there is no possibility of missing any sentence when you look away momentarily.
- Also, in voice-over translation method, different voices are used for female, and male that helps in distinguishing the speakers and also understands dialogues easily.
The only drawback of this approach is that it is expensive than the former one, but offers a more enjoyable experience to the viewer.
Both of these methods, subtitle, and voice-over have their own advantages and drawbacks. Based on your target audience, content to be displayed, the complexity of the video, and publish/distribution of video, you should form your selection.