Why is this important to me?
Well, whether or not you are producing media or simply consuming it, you want the information purposefully placed in the scene to be accurately represented. For example, imagine a person slowly walking into a river. Now imagine someone doing the same action with audio. Is it creepy? Romantic? Ominous? These visuals and sound elements are key components that make some films so iconic (think Avatar, Inception, etc.), and it’s essential that they are preserved when using localization services such as dubbing or subtitles.
In addition, certain countries have rules and laws requiring auxiliary aids and services to help support people who may be visually impaired, hard of hearing, or deaf. In other countries, keeping the regional language alive can create these service requirements.
What is the audible difference?
Voiceover is precisely as it sounds; it is a voice over the top of content or another voice. Think of it more as a narration. Documentaries and news segments are prime examples of this—although they, too, have different styles. For instance, if you are watching a news segment where the person being interviewed speaks in a foreign language, the anchor will narrate over the voice to explain the situation.
A documentary would be more expressive in tone, using the translated voiceover to bring the audience into the story they are referencing.
Dubbing is a complete localization. The original audio is removed from the visual element, and professional voice actors attempt to replace the dialogue with the localized speech while keeping the original tone. Think of lip-syncing, but in a localized language.
Still need some clarity? Hear it from the Dean of Dubbing himself: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LvlVSBompds&ab_channel=TransPerfect
What is the visual difference?
Subtitles are tailored to an audience with hearing capabilities but doesn't speak the native language of the source content. For example, you may have a favorite show, love the storyline, and love the acting, but the actors speak in a difficult dialect for certain people to understand. Subtitles directly translate what the actors are saying; they only focus on verbal exchanges. In short, subtitles are all talk, no action. Imagine your favorite soap opera, or a film created in a foreign country. Subtitles allow people to experience the storytelling in a video, regardless of the language they understand or where they come from.
Captioning focuses on providing aid to people who may be hearing disabled or who may need more context. For example, in a story of someone walking through the forest, video captions will display "leaves crunching" and the character's name (e.g., [Brad]) when they are speaking. In general, captions are more detailed than subtitles, giving more reference to the audience.
Captions actually have two subdivisions: closed captioning and open captioning. The main difference is if the direction is burned into the video file or a separate track. Open captions are always on, as they are part of the content, while closed captions can be turned on or off and, depending on the interface, a user can change the font size, color, etc.
Now that you have this knowledge, you know the best way to visualize your end product, and the question is not IF you want to get it localized but HOW.
Ensuring your content is top-tier to stand out from the rest is a great way to promote your brand. Contact us today to learn how MediaNEXT can add these services to your content.