Thanks for your request!

VIDEO LOCALIZATION: SUBTITLING OR VOICE-OVER?


Back to articles

Are you trying to increase your company’s recognition?

Are you looking to open up new perspectives for your business in the online world?

 

Do you already have video content on your website? Have you ever considered setting up an international YouTube channel for your company? What about a brand video, perhaps in multiple languages? Or how about practical videos in foreign languages or even in Hungarian instead of the boring small print text of user’s manuals?

 

Why is professional video communication of crucial importance?

User habits have changed considerably in recent years. Today, we prefer to watch a short ‘how-to’ video, rather than browsing through meticulously compiled product descriptions and specifications for use. Instead of reading information guides, we prefer watching a 30-second video clip. In addition, at exhibitions or fairs, visitors tend to opt for interactive audio guides instead of lengthy information brochures. Remote learning is also gaining ground: in-house training courses and lifelong learning are both supported by e-learning videos.

Here are a few important numbers from YouTube’s statistics for 2017:

      • 300 hours of video are uploaded every minute
      • Almost 5 billion videos are watched every single day
      • YouTube has over 30 million visitors per day
      • 49% of users are between the ages of 18 and 44, and 80% are from outside of the U.S

You might be a step ahead of some of your competitors, because you may already have several videos uploaded on your website – in your native language. But what’s next? How can you make these video contents available in foreign languages? What should you keep in mind when making new videos?

Let’s see what options you have if you want to localize your videos:

 

1. Subtitling

It helps the viewer understand what is being said in the video. In the past, subtitles were mostly made for the hearing-impaired, while today subtitling has become one of the most readily available tools to make multilingual videos.

There are a number of criteria and rules you have to consider before you start subtitling, as the viewer’s attention will be divided between the content of the video and the subtitles. Too many subtitles make the film difficult to follow, in which case subtitles will be more disrupting than helpful. Subtitles can be burnt into the video (they will always be visible); or alternatively, it is possible to make the subtitles optional.

If the rate of speech is too fast, there are some key questions you have to keep in mind.

      • Are viewers able to follow the subtitle even at such a fast pace?
      • Should you try to shorten the subtitle ignoring some less important parts of the text?
      • Is there enough space for the text on the video?
      • How should you lay out the text: in 2 or 3 rows?
      • Is it necessary for some subtitles to be positioned differently so that they do not cover parts of the image?

Of course, we don’t want to list all of the scenarios, but it is worth considering the needs of the target group as well as the options the video content can provide. The client has to make the final decision, but the experts’ team of EDIMART will take care of the rest.

 

2. Voice-over

A video where viewers can follow the visual content while listening to it in their native language is very convenient and enjoyable. In that case the viewer’s attention can be fully focused on the content of the video, and there is no need to pay attention to the subtitles at the same time. Voice-over provides numerous options. The most comprehensive solution is dubbing, because this way the localized content will be exactly the same as the original: it is recorded with professional dub actors, and adjusted to mouth movements, using the right intonation. Voice-over can also be a perfect solution when experienced language speakers or voice actors narrate the actions seen in the video in a foreign language different from the original language of the video.

 

How can you decide which solution is the best for you?

It depends on the type of video and the purpose you want to use it for. The size of the budget shouldn’t be overlooked, since, to be honest, voice-overs, including dubbing are much more expensive than subtitling.

 

What do you need to consider when you want to localize your video?

 

Are there any graphics or text in the video?

If so, the text may be confusing, and subtitling might be a better option. Of course, if there are only a few flashes of text appearing in the video, or if the message is quite obvious, they won’t be a problem. If you want to localize the text appearing on the screen, we can prepare the content in the given foreign language, but we will also need to consult the creator of the video.

Useful tip: before making a video, consider whether subtitles in foreign languages will be needed, and leave as little “noise” as you can in the video.

 

How many different voices can be heard in the video?

The more voices, the more difficult it will be to distinguish the speakers during subtitling. In this case, voice-over or dubbing offers more practical solutions.

Useful tip: if your budget includes a voice-over, keep in mind while preparing the video that there shouldn’t be too many speakers, and they shouldn’t speak at the same time. Otherwise we recommend dubbing.

 

Where will people watch the video?

If it will be played at an exhibition or in a noisy place, subtitling is definitely recommended. In case of brand videos or marketing videos, dubbed versions are preferred in certain countries, such as Italy, Spain or Germany, just to mention a few.

Useful tip: if the video is intended to be watched on several platforms, consider if voice-over is enough or if it would be useful to add subtitles too.

 

Will you make the video available only on your website and on your company’s YouTube channel?

In this case, it is not recommended to burn the subtitle into the film, as the visitors should be able to choose the language in which they want to read the subtitle. This solution is not only practical, but it’s also more favourable financially.

Useful tip: if your video is available on a given platform with a number of different subtitles, it is worth using SEO practices as well, so that the viewership statistics of your channel will also improve.

 

There are many other things to talk about, including background music, extra subtitles, the closing credits… but let’s save something for the next blog post.

If you already have a good video or if you are just planning to make one, do not hesitate to contact us. Our video localization team would be happy to brainstorm on how to make it happen.

 

Contact


address: 1068 Budapest, Benczúr utca 43.
mobile: +36 20 975 9092
e-mail: info@edimart.com

FINANCE

Edina Farkas-Bartal
finance@edimart.com
tel.: +36 20 513 2627
skype: edimart.finance

OPERATIONS MANAGEMENT

Marianna Nagy
nagy.marianna@edimart.com
tel.: +36 20 975 9092
skype: nagy.marianna_edimart

VENDOR MANAGEMENT

Evelin Nagy
nagy.evelin@edimart.com
tel.: +36 70 311 5953
skype: nagy.evelin_1

PROJECT MANAGEMENT

INTERPRETING
interpreting@edimart.com
tel.: +36 20 346 7707


TRANSLATION & LOCALIZATION
info@edimart.com
tel.: +36 20 975 9092