As more of us have adapted to working at home in the current climate, streaming services are more popular than ever, we use streaming services for entertainment and leisure, but we also stream content for educational and work purposes more than ever. In the digital age in which we live, online media communicates content instantly to a worldwide audience. Translating digital media into other languages is essential and videos can be made visually or orally accessible via subtitling or dubbing. Both options can effectively communicate your content; in this article we will consider their respective benefits.

What does Subtitling mean?

Subtitling refers to the process of translating spoken word in media and displaying that translated content   at the bottom of the screen, providing a synchronized translation of the audio or audio-visual content. This translation can either be intralingual, offering a screenplay of text in the same language of the audio or audio-visual content, or interlingual, presenting a translation to another language that is different from the source language.

What does Dubbing mean?

Dubbing describes the presentation of the original screenplay of the film with spoken dialogue delivered in the translated language. In this process, a voice speaking the target language is recorded to be synchronized with the audio-visual content. Application of dubbing can be found in foreign films; however, dubbing is also used in other media, like music videos, video games, and advertising.

Subtitling Vs. Dubbing

Which of these two services is better? Each of these translation techniques serve a slightly different goal. Subtitling can keep some of the important connotations of speech that are specific to the source language; it also allows for some characters to keep their specific characteristics which can be expressed through the original text. Moreover, many viewers associate watching movies with learning languages, and subtitles could be very useful in capitalising on this existing audience habit. However, subtitles risk distracting attention away from the action on screen and audiences may miss some nuance. Additionally, viewers need to put some effort into reading the subtitles rather than just sitting back and enjoying the media. Dubbing, on the other hand, risks some loss of engagement because the overdubbed voices and on-screen action can present as disconnected. Dubbing is, however, a great option for those who do not want to spend their time reading dialogue.