Here at Transcription City, we provide subtitling services, closed captioning and voice over services. If you are part of a video production company or a producer for film and TV who needs to distribute your content to a worldwide or global audience it can be a difficult decision as to whether you wish to either add foreign language subtitles to your final edit or to provide voiceovers. As film and television production companies must already provide closed captioning for the deaf and hard of hearing (as this is a legal requirement), quite often it is an easier and cheaper option to simply get your existing captions translated into the mother tongue of the country you are distributing to. However, we urge you to always look at the pros and cons of subtitling vs voice over services and in some cases, whether it is actually worth providing both.
The Advantages of Voice Over Services
One main and most obvious advantages to using a voice over service is the fact that you have both visual and audio stimulus for your video or film. This can be especially useful if the video you are producing is educational, as it provides an aid to learning.
Another advantage to using a voice over service is that it avoids the picture from the original video from being obstructed. This can be a particular issue if the translated language sentence structure is particularly long when compared with the source language.
Videos where you cannot see the speakers, actors or narrators often lend themselves well to using a voiceover artist, as it can make the video look as if it has not been translated at all and was actually made in the target language.
The Advantages of Subtitling and Closed Captioning Services
Subtitling services are significantly cheaper than voice over services.
Using a subtitling company is often quicker than using a voice over service, especially if you already have closed captions or transcripts available for the video.
Subtitling can be a great way for viewers to learn the source language of the video.
The Disadvantages of Subtitling and Closed Captioning Services
Occasionally subtitles can be hard to place or hard to see, depending on the onscreen picture.
Following subtitles can be tricky if the dialogue spoken is very fast.
If the subtitles are out of sync, it can distort the meaning or feel of the original film or video.
The Disadvantages of Voice Over Services
Using a voice over service can be costly and costs can increase dramatically if your video production contains a large cast with several speakers.
Voice over services will be more expensive than subtitling services.
As with subtitles, if the source language is more compact than the translated dialogue it can present a problem when it comes to syncing the sound. Unfortunately, unlike subtitles, which can be simply reduced in text size or use more screen space to facilitate this, sound cannot.
It can sometimes be difficult to decide whether your company would benefit most from subtitling services, voice over services or even both. Luckily, we have a team of professional subtitle technicians, closed captioners and voice over professionals who can guide you to make the decision that works best for you and your production company. For more information, on our transcription services, translation services, closed captioning services or subtitling services feel free to contact us at any time.