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    Subtitles or dubbing: what is better for video translation

    Julia Ventskovska
    SEO MK:TRANSLATIONS 20.07.2020
    Subtitles or dubbing: what is better for video translation

    More than a billion hours of videos are viewed on Youtube daily.  On average, viewers watch about 10 minutes of videos both in their native language and in foreign ones. Subtitles or dubbing with quality translation help grasp the meaning of the videos.

    The viewers enjoy not only entertainment content, but also equipment and services review clips, clothes and accessories hauls. In this way, video becomes a mean of the marketing campaign.

    Why  should you translate the video?

    Every company has its own target audience and it can and should always be expanded. The translation of the video is likely to attract new customers and clients to your business without opening a branch in a new country!

    You may expand your TA even without entering a new market. We advise you to translate subtitles into Russian for Ukrainian video to attract the Russian-speaking audience of Ukraine. The translation for the video in Russian is also important. The Ukrainian translation of content is required by the new language law.

    Video dubbing: pros and cons of dubbing

    Dubbing means making a separate audio file with simultaneous translation of the content in the target language. The voice-over can overlay the original soundtrack or be recorded separately.


    1. Dubbed video inspires the trust of the audience.
    2. It is easier for the audience to concentrate on the video, while the text may distract attention.
    3. Dubbing provides more opportunities for adapting information to the market of a target country.


    1. Dubbing costs extra money.
    2. It will take more time to select actors, find a specialist on time-lapses and compile final result.
    3. For some projects, the video will have to be edited because of the difference in length of phrases in the original language and the language of dubbing.

    Subtitles translation for  video

    Subtitling means displaying information from video on the screen . Subtitles can be placed in any part of the screen, based on the info units in the video. Usually, subtitles are displayed at the bottom of the screen.


    1. Translation of subtitles is cheaper than dubbing.
    2. The unique style of sound content is preserved.
    3. Working with subtitles takes less time. You can add more languages and expand your TA, rather than just dub the video in English as the world’s most used language.
    4. Subtitles to a video help in SEO promotion. Your videos will be available in search engines in new countries.


    1. Subtitles distract from the content of the video.
    2. The text on the screen may overlay important aspects of the video.
    1. If there is a dialogue in a video, it is difficult to duplicate the speech with text, the viewers will be lost between the speakers.

    “Which to choose?” you may ask.  Well, of course, everything depends on project budget, target audience, video format and a number of snippets in the video.  You may use both dubbing and subtitles.  Thus, when dubbing, the subtitles are used to highlight something important, like:

    • graphs and explanations of them;
    • terms and definitions;
    • quotations;
    • contact details.

    Regardless of the translation format, the result must be of high quality. Our translator told us about how to make video translation professional.

    Translator’s tips: what to consider when working with video

    Video translation is a team collaboration and it consists of:

    1. Saving time-lapses – the main aspect in video translation. These are time frames of the original voicing. The translation must match these intervals. Time-lapses can be marked by yourself or with the help of software. Thus, Youtube generates time marks automatically when translating subtitles.
    2. Dubbing requires careful selection of actors. The audience compares the actor’s appearance with the voice. Therefore, the voice of the interpreter must match the image of the person on the video by tone, character, ways to convey emotions. It will be odd to see a gentle girl with husky voice on the screen, right?
    3. Technical work isn’t as important as the adaptation of the scenario to the new target audience. It is necessary to analyse the interests of the audience, its culture and public spirit of the country. Marketers’ work makes the translation fascinating and interesting, which affects the company’s performance and profits!

    How to choose an actor for video dubbing or a translator for subtitling

    There are applications and web sites that offer to translate subtitles in one click. This is an option for small budgets, but the application does not make the text understandable to the new audience. That’s why we recommend working with people!

    MK:translations works with all-inclusive approach. We take into account the interests of target audience, translate the video according to the style of the company and remember the technical aspects of working with subtitles.

    Call our manager to get a quote. We are always  in touch!

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