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Why Subtitling is Better than Dubbing

Why Subtitling is Better than Dubbing - MerakeeLabs

A long debate is continuing over decades about what is better – dubbing or subtitling? Both sides argue that their method is more beneficial for the audience. And both are right in some cases. Here we will take an objective look at why subtitling is a better option than dubbing for both businesses and audiences.

Let us take a deeper look.

Reading Subtitles is Easier

Several studies have substantiated the fact that reading subtitles is easier than listening to dubbed voices for both adults and kids who are more than 11 years old. Hence, it makes sense to use subtitle translation services for videos.

It is easy to process subtitles and follow the narrated events even when you have disturbance in the surroundings. In fact, written text ensures greater attention from the audience on the screen. However, as a habitual preference, some people still prefer dubbed content over subtitles.

But, a large number of viewers go with subtitles to understand the content. They don’t get distracted with text on the screen as their brains and eyes have already gotten habitual and developed an automatic reading behavior.

Keep the Audio of Original Actors

The best part about subtitled content is that you can keep the voice of original content while presenting it to the global audience. Dubbing deteriorates the original video experience by limiting the audience to not hear the real annotations or the tonality of the original voices of actors. Subtitling makes sure to deliver a more immersive experience.

The importance of original voices become even more crucial in comedies and drama videos. When the audience is unable to hear original voices degrades the experience and the value of the film. You deprive your audience of an authentic experience that would have entertained them better.

No doubt that big-budget projects invest big in getting the best voice-over for movies and TV shows. But still, viewers lose some part of the interpretation, and sometimes, the context is also missing in the voice. And many times, you will notice bad synchronization between the sound and lips which causes massive distraction.

This problem becomes a nightmare for low budget productions who can’t hire good voiceover artists. It leads to a bad interpretation that carries no emotion or inflection.

Improves Language Skills

Subtitling reflects the dialogues of actors in real-time on the screen. You can easily hear and read the message at the same time. This equips you better to catch new words of different languages and improve your pronunciation. The direct access to how native people conversate with each other makes it easier for you to enhance your reading skills. The articulations and pronunciation of words are caught by your subconscious mind.

For instance, English proficiency is better in Northern Europe because people have easier access to movies and TV shows in the English language. The same is not true for Italy and Spain. The English proficiency here is moderate due to a lack of video content present in English.

It is also a common fact that counties where English videos are present with proper subtitles, people are able to score better in TOEFL. Scores are lower in countries where people prefer to listen to dubbed voices instead of reading subtitles. And that too, in spite of having a good education infrastructure.

Subtitling is Cost-Efficient

In both cases, a trained translator is required to produce a translated version of the original screen script. Translators are expected to follow strict guidelines while translating the content to stay in the prescribed limits of the censor board. 

For example, the text in the translated language can not be longer than the text written in the original language. In many scenarios, translators calibrate the phrases to fix the content in a fixed number of lines or seconds.

It is a cumbersome job. However, subtitling is still more cost-efficient than dubbing. Professional voice-over artists are required for dubbing along with a fully equipped studio, editors, post-edit experts to optimize the dubbed version. All this infrastructure costs a bomb.

But when it comes to subtitling, the turnaround time is always faster. Your videos can reach at a faster pace to the audience with subtitles.

Keep the Video Natural

Videos become a hit when they are immersive and engaging. And this is not possible with a Latin Girl in the video speaking fluent Hindi. For instance, you can ask a Monk to sell sushi in English in a TV ad.

Correct communication is essential to achieve the desired impact. Subtitling enables the audience to listen to the original versions while figuring out the meaning or context of the voice through translated text appearing on the screen in real-time. But in dubbing, the non-verbal communication is lost and the audience might lose context of what is happening in the video.

Hence, subtitling is a more efficient way to deliver the video in its natural version.

Above mentioned facts definitely make subtitling better than dubbing. It is a more cost-efficient, convenient, and effective method to create an impact on global audiences with your videos.