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              Your company’s advertising team has probably made some amazing videos, but what’s the best way to use them in other markets? Businesses often use and create videos from advertisements to training. They are engaging, effective at quickly communicating information, and bring a level of professionalism to your business. As you expand, you may need videos that can communicate in multiple languages, so what should you do? Today we want to talk about sub v dub, an argument among consumers with helpful insights for your business.

Sub v dub is a reference to subtitles, and to dubbing over your video. The argument stems from consumers of anime (animated foreign television) who get quite heated over the subject. Which is better? Preserving the original format and intent, using only the minor disruption of subtitles so that new audiences can enjoy what was made? Or redo the voice-casting and voicework so audiences can appreciate work in their native language? It’s a hard question to answer, but as a business, it depends on your needs and goals. To help you determine which is best for you, we’ve broken down the argument into four main categories.


When it comes to pricing it’s a no-brainer. When you need to move your videos cheaply and efficiently into a new market, subtitling is the way to go. To dub your video over in a new language requires a much larger team of people. Not only do you need linguists to translate, but now you also have to pay for voice actors, producers, directors, and a small film crew to make sure that the sound design stays intact. When subtitling, it’s just a linguist and a program that can take the translation and place it where you would like on screen. Of course, both prices go up with the length of the video, but subtitling should always be considered the budget-friendly option.


Time, similarly to price, will easily go to subtitling as well. When you need a quick turnaround on a video translation you can rely on subtitling to be quick. Once a linguist has translated the video and uploaded the subtitles you’re good to go. If dubbing your video, there can be days of recording voice-over once the translation is complete. This combined with scheduling recording studio time and assembling the recording team make the process significantly longer. When you are pressed for time and on a budget, subtitling is a great avenue to reach your audience.


It may seem as though we don’t think dubbing is a good option based on the last two categories, but this is not true! If you have the time, and the budget to do so, dubbing is more engaging and will help you reach a wider audience. This is especially true if your video is meant for children. Even if they can read, kids will have a hard time giving continued attention to subtitled works. This is also true for many adults, who are likely to give greater heed to something they can listen to in their native language. This greater attention leads to more public sharing and a wider audience for your video.

This last category is arguably the most important. As it turns out, different countries have different preferences for how they consume foreign media. Countries such as France, Italy, and Spain all prefer voice dubbing. Other countries like Greece, the Netherlands, and Finland all like subtitling instead. This matters because even if you are doing something that globally trends well, it may be important to look at the specific culture instead. Instead of doing a blanket sub or dub, it may be helpful to go culture by culture and see what is working there already. This localization of your video content will help ensure its success from market to market.

When it comes to translating videos, there is a lot to consider. That’s what makes the discussion of sub v dub so engaging. We’ve given a good starting point for understanding this subject, but we recommend you look further into the needs of the markets you want to reach. Of course, your costs and needs matter too, which is why it’s nice to know you’ll always have options. When you find yourself in need of a video translation, let Metafraze be your guide. Our experts are here to help your business thrive in any market and provide high-quality translations of your materials. Until then, we hope these points have been helpful for you in navigating subtitles and video dubbing.

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