Nowadays, thanks to dubbing, subtitling, and other film localization support, the language barrier can no longer prevent people from watching and enjoying a film made in another country with a different language. Localization for films is very important, as bad dubbing and subtitling can be a huge burden for the audiences and thus for the film. There has been much debate regarding whether dubbing or subtitling is the better approach for film localization. Either approach actually has its own advantages, and the selection should be based on a variety of factors related to the film and the target audiences.
For subtitling, the original sound track would be kept, the conversation in the source language would be presented to the audiences, and the subtitles would be put on the screen to help the audiences understand what’s going on in the film. As the original sound track can be kept, you don’t need to be worry that the conversation may sound weird after it’s converted into a different language. Moreover, if most of your target audiences like an actor or an actress in the film, they may want to hear their own voices, subtitling may be a better approach.
For dubbing, the original conversation spoken in the source language is translated and replaced by conversation in the target language, so the audiences don’t need to pay attention to the subtitles from time to time. This is often a quite challenging job: the translation has to be accurate, and the dubbing needs to sound natural. The length of the sentence should be very similar to that of the original conversation. The dubbers play a significant role in the process. For the same translation, the work done by different dubbers can be very different.
There has been much debate regarding whether dubbing or subtitling is a better approach for film localization. In fact, people have different preferences, and the two approaches may be more suitable with different types of films. Depending on where your target audiences are located, they may prefer different approaches. People in some countries may prefer subtitling; in some countries, even films in their native language come with subtitles, and most of them are very used to reading the subtitles, so choosing and using the subtitling may be a more sensible choice. On the other hand, in some countries people don’t like subtitles and it can be a burden for them to pay attention to the subtitles when watching films. The demographic factors may also play a role. For example, if the film is produced for young children, they may prefer dubbing to subtitling. Before you select the best localization approach for your film, a research on the preferences of your target audiences may be necessary.
But for either option, the quality of the work is extremely important for film localization. First of all, the translation should be accurate, complete, and felicitous; if they get lost in the translation, even an excellent film with great plot can disappoint the audiences. Furthermore, whether it’s dubbing or subtitling, it needs to fit well with what’s happening on the screen.
At Alliance Business Solutions, we provide subtitling, dubbing, and other film localization and post production services to help you successfully present your film to a larger group of audiences speaking different languages. Please click here to view more.