When you’re localizing or translating your video content, you might have considered using both dubbing and subtitling services. If you’re wondering which one is better, unfortunately, there’s no real answer to that question. It really falls down to the way your translated content resonates with different audiences and their preferences.

Do you prefer hearing dubbed videos or reading subtitles?

Have you seen the Nextflix Original series, ‘Lupin’? Or perhaps ‘Dark’, ‘Money Heist’, ‘The Valhalla Murders’? If not, you’ve got a lot of binge-watching to catch up on. However, if you have seen these series, you will know that they all share something in common: The original version isn’t English. All of the above titles are in different languages.

So, why am I on this Netflix foreign-language series tangent?

Well, a few months ago, my partner and I sat down to watch Money Heist, I found it distracting to watch the original Spanish version with subtitles. So, I turned on the English dubbed video version. I hadn’t realized how irritated that made my partner.  After a full 30 seconds, he had switched it back to the original version with English subtitles. Then began the infamous dubbing vs subtitling debate in my very own living room.

Whilst it was interesting to hear his point of view, I couldn’t get my head around the fact that he enjoyed reading whilst watching a drama. However, it made me realize that there’s nothing wrong with either audiovisual translation service, it just falls on preference. So, it’s important to include both dub and sub.

The rise of video localization

Recently, Netflix has been adding more original films and series in foreign languages. As English-speaking audiences are becoming more familiar with dubbed and subtitled videos, it has sparked a trend in localized content.

Nowadays, big streaming and entertainment companies add both dub and sub to translations. Previously, this wasn’t the case. It became apparent that people have different tastes when it comes to watching translated videos.

However, it isn’t just entertainment companies using the combination. Many companies and industries are starting to adopt both audio dubbing and subtitles because of the benefits. For example, we are seeing artistic corporate marketing and storytelling employee training videos giving the option of both forms of translation.

The benefits of using both Dubbing and Subtitling services for your video content

Whilst there are many individual benefits to using dubbing and subtitling services, I am going to focus on the combined benefits. Depending on your budget and target audience, this could be an option for your media.

  • Choice – When you add both options, you are giving your viewers the choice of how they want to consume the translation. This makes your content customizable to the viewer.
  • Many keep subtitles on whilst listening to the dubbed version – Many turn-on subtitles or captions to follow through with the story, even if it is dubbed.
  • Quick turnaround for targeting different markets – By having your video content transcribed for subtitle purposes, a localization provider can easily and quickly translate your video in any language for a different target audience. This is particularly beneficial when you are targeting a market that prefers reading subtitles to a dub.
  • Discounted services – This may not apply to every provider, but when purchasing multiple services, often you’ll get a discount.

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