Video Translation: Voiceovers or Subtitles Better?

When it comes to translating videos there are usually two options:

  1. One is to add subtitles (written text that appears at the bottom of the video frame) and,
  2. Voiceovers (newly-recorded audio track in the target language over the original spoken language audio).

Of the two methods the voiceover approach is somewhat higher in cost since it requires hiring a professional voice talent to record the script. Adding subtitles alone doesn’t incur the cost of voiceover production. One method for video translation is not necessarily better than another (cost factors aside). Customers decide what’s best for them given their case-specific requirements.


When it comes to translating videos there are usually two options: adding voiceovers or subtitles.


Factors in Favor of Subtitles

  • Lower cost
  • Results in a bilingual video (original language audio and target language written text)
  • Shorter production schedule

Factors in Favor of Voiceovers

  • Retains the spoken language nature of the original source video
  • Spoken audio may be preferred over written text by some audience members
  • When original video voices are ‘off-camera’ the voiceover approach produces a translated video that is not compromised at all in relation to the original video

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spanish video dubbing