Should You Choose Voice-Over or Subtitles For Your Next Multimedia Project?


Nothing feels better than completing a media project that’s taken (what seems like) forever to finish. After all of the hard work you’ve put in to create a high-quality video for your website or YouTube channel, you want that content to be understood by your global audience. After all, if your customers don’t understand you, they’ll move on to someone who can be understood.

Solidify Your Strategy

Online video translation is a major component of a solid global marketing strategy. Consider these statistics taken from mindtouch:

  • 72.4 percent of global consumers prefer to use their native language when shopping online
  • 55 percent only buy products from websites that provide them with information in their own language
  • 56 percent spend more time on local language sites than English sites

When you’re ready to reach a global audience, two options to consider are subtitling and voice-over.

Voice-over recording involves translating a script, using a voice actor to record a new audio file in the target language, and replacing the old audio file with the new one. Subtitling adds foreign language captions at the bottom of the screen to translate what is being said in the video.

Considerations for Each Option

Woman recording voice-over

When it comes to localizing your material, there are advantages to both options. Some of the things to consider are:

Translators who know the jargon and have a knowledge of medicine, pharmaceuticals and technical vocabulary can be the first line of defense as countries around the world work to share their knowledge and discoveries that can save lives.

Purpose – When creating a promotional video with an off-screen narrator, voice-over is usually a better option. Choose voices that will resonate with your target audience. If the video includes an on-screen speaker, subtitles might be a better choice.

If your video is used for training or teaching, subtitles are great for explaining what is occurring on the screen. If there is a lot of text already on the screen, however, voice-over can make things less overwhelming.

Content – If you have a lot of text and graphics in your video, subtitles can be distracting. Voice-over artists can translate both of them to convey your message.

If there are multiple voices in your video, subtitles can make it difficult to distinguish between who is speaking. This makes voice-over a better choice.

Audience – Consider the culture of who’s watching your video; which do they prefer? How is your audience watching the video? Those on mobile might find subtitles too small to read.

The Professionals for Every Method

At ITC Global Translations, we’ve taken our audio and video production to new levels. Offering voice-overs, subtitles, and dubbing to our growing list of services has proven to be beneficial to our clients. We use the latest software and equipment to make sure that your project turns out exactly how you expected it to be.

For dubbing and voice-over work, our artistic directors have years of experience inspiring and directing artists, while our professional actors have experience in radio, theater, and television. Our subtitle teams ensure that all transcriptions are executed in all existing alphabets.

Whichever method you choose for your project, be sure that you choose us to complete it. Contact us today for more information.

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