Subtitles and voice-over

Audiovisual communication is today, more than ever before, a crucial component of any effective communication strategy. In fact, more than 70% of Internet users say they are more likely to buy a product or service after watching a video about it!

And when you want to reach a large audience, it’s vital you think about tailoring your content and adapting it to different targets. First of all, the hearing impaired, since more than 4 million people in France suffer from hearing loss, that’s nearly 7% of the population! Then there are all those viewers whose first language is not French (or English). And last but not least, all those social network users who watch videos without sound (that’s almost 85%!). The wider your target, the more effective your communication strategy will be!

There are a number of different audiovisual translation techniques, including subtitles, voice-over and dubbing. Dubbing is the most expensive as it includes recording costs (studio rental, actors, etc.) and is generally reserved for film and television. In corporate communication, subtitles or voice-over are usually the best options.

Subtitles consist in displaying the translated text at the bottom of the screen, at the same time as the dialogue. This technique is well adapted to hearing-impaired and foreign audiences who are more comfortable with written than spoken language. It also has the advantage of being accessible without audio, meaning it reaches the largest audience possible. The process can take some time, however, as it involves three steps:

  • Transcription / tracking: transcription of the video and all the dialogue start and end points (known as time-codes).
  • Translation: the transcribed texts are sent for translation into the required languages.
  • Synchronization / embedding: adapting and synchronizing the translation to fit the dialogue. Several very strict requirements must be met in terms of number of characters per line and per second to ensure subtitles are clear and readable.

Voice-over is the process of superimposing translated text over the original voice(s). The original voice remains present in the background, at around 10% volume. This avoids having to synchronize lip movements and also enables the use of either a male or female voice, regardless of who is speaking. Voice-overs can be recorded live by a conference interpreter and then edited during post-production, or written beforehand and subsequently recorded. It all depends on the type of video, your needs and your budget.

At Alltradis, we always have the time to discuss your project with you and find the best solution, together.