In a world where the video streaming market has skyrocketed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has led to an increase in video production and translation services, it’s important to know the relevant terminology so you can effectively communicate your needs when choosing to work with a Language Service Provider that specializes in video translation services.
Some people tend to refer to subtitling and captioning interchangeably, while both involve displaying text on screen, there’s actually an important distinction to be made.
Subtitles are designed for viewers who can hear but are unable to understand the original language that is spoken in a video, while captions are designed for deaf and hard of hearing viewers who cannot hear the audio in a video.
Subtitles function as text alternatives to the spoken language in a video and are used for translation purposes so that those who cannot understand the original language in a video are still able to access them easily. Unlike captions, only the spoken audio is included.
On the other hand, captioning does not involve translation. It is purely an audio transcription of not only the spoken audio but also background noises, sound effects, music and other relevant audio parts. More importantly, there are two types of captions – open captions and closed captions. Open captions are embedded into the video file itself and cannot be switched on or off, whereas closed captions give you the option to do so.
Voice-over is a production technique where a voice is recorded for off-screen use. This can include television programs, radio and films, etc. It involves the translation of a script which is then recorded by a voice-over artist who does not appear on-screen at any point.
With Voice-over, audio in the translated language is laid over the existing soundtrack. The voice-over artists’ voices can be heard loudly but the original audio can still be heard in the background. When opting for voice-over, there is no need to lip-sync.
Whereas Dubbing, also known as Language Replacement, replaces the original audio with a completely new recording. This process involves multiple voice actor castings, who are required to mimic the expression, tone and nuances of the actors on screen. Extra care is taken to make sure that lip movements are synchronized while the message is still clearly conveyed.
One of the main differences between the two is that dubbing is a more creative process and adaptable to new audiences, while voice-over remains more faithful to the source content.