Dubbing or Subtitling: Which One is Better For Producing Motion Pictures?


Translation plays an essential part in the production of shows and films worldwide. It helps go over language and cultural barriers and promotes a global appeal. There are two ways motion pictures translate words: voice dubbing and subtitling.

Dubbing or Subtitling: Which One is Better For Producing Motion Pictures

Dubbing is the process of recording the spoken audio track of a video in a different language and overlaying it in the original video to replace the voice of the original speakers. On the other hand, subtitling is the process of translating a video’s original audio into another language and embedding it in text form on the video. The text is called subtitles, which serve as a textual representation of a video’s audio, translated according to its intended target languages.

Both processes are used in many shows and films; either both of them are present as an option or at least one for an optimal viewing experience. The use of either or both of them depends on different factors. This blog explains their differences and determines which one is better for producing motion pictures.

Differences in workflow

For subtitling, there are two main ways of translating motion pictures: DIY or with the help of a vendor. Subtitling on your own consumes a lot of time, and depending on the length of the show or film, it can take up a lot of it. You’ll need to transcribe your show or film’s audio manually, then translate the captions manually to ensure its accuracy and appropriateness of cultural context.

Meanwhile, having a vendor like Lexcode do it for you can cut down time and even cost. A reputable subtitling vendor will take care of the transcription and translation process for you. They’ll also proofread it and deliver it to you once it’s completed, or you can have them upload it directly to your product.

On the other hand, dubbing is a much more complicated process. It entails having to write a script, dialogue translation, and ensuring dub is synced with the original language of the video. Since it’s a more complex process, hiring experts is recommended to ensure it’s well done and completed on time.

Your production would have to choose talents who’ll do the dubbed version of your project. You’ll also need a scriptwriter and translator for their script and a studio to record to do the dubbing at. Then, there’s the publishing of the dubbed version, which overall means that dubbing is more expensive than subtitling but is just as preferred, if not more, by different viewers.

Benefits of subtitling

Subtitles are for viewers who want to enjoy shows and films in their purest form. It doesn’t alter anything in motion pictures but adds a way to translate it through text appearing on screen. When done correctly, it goes beyond its intended purpose.

Subtitles can also impart knowledge to viewers. They can help them learn foreign languages even just by picking up phrases or words while watching shows or films. Any motion picture with subtitles can be used for language learning, especially if they are accurately translated according to grammar and cultural context.

Furthermore, subtitles also permit people with disabilities (deaf or hearing loss) and those who are hard of hearing to enjoy motion pictures. Even without or deficiency in hearing, they can still follow a story on screen with subtitles.

Benefits of dubbing

Dubbing’s main advantage is that it makes watching motion pictures more immersive for viewers. It’ll feel just like watching anything else because the audio is in the same language as the viewers’. So there’ll be no need for people watching to adjust to another language.

It’s also beneficial for audience members who can’t read or struggle to read while watching. Those people can focus their full attention on what they’re watching without worrying about following the story. Dubbing also portrays the tone and emotion of the original audio.


Both dubbing and subtitling motion pictures have their benefits and differences. As to which one is more suitable for producing a show or movie, it depends on the production time, budget, and distribution objective of producers.

Each of those factors will affect the decision on which process to use. It’s better though, if it can be afforded, to use both to cater to the desire of a wider audience.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here