Voice-over dubbing or subtitling, that is the question…

VDo you want to produce a multilingual video for your company or for a training aid? Do you have multimedia projects to complete, but don’t know whether voice-over dubbing or subtitling would be better to use?

The debate on these two techniques has been raging on for years across the sector. The arguments for both are changing constantly, relating to the technologies associated, which themselves are undergoing perpetual evolution.

You will no doubt be aware that during the recent lockdown, Netflix recently has had to cancel, or put on indefinite stand-by, several French voice-over dubbing projects, due to the closure of post-production studios. Subtitling has therefore taken a notable lead in the French multimedia landscape.

This non-exhaustive list of arguments may help you with various ways of thinking:


  • The price: subtitling is often cheaper than dubbing, given there is no voice-over actor involved. Nevertheless, subtitling does require certain technical aspects, and specific skills are needed. Therefore, the cost of a service may vary depending on the length of the video, the volume of words to be subtitled, the rate at which the speakers annunciate their words (very important), and many other factors;
  • The delay: highly dependent on the conditions listed above, however, the time required for subtitling is often shorter;
  • The authenticity of the content: subtitling leaves the viewer access to the original content and its cultural references. The content may of course be culturally adapted during the subtitling process, but the spectator has still access to the original voice, as opposed to dubbing, which often presents content adapted to the culture of the target country. Moreover, this is one of the major problems with dubbing: to obtain a result which is, at least, as good as that in the original language, notable when dealing with films.


  • Access to the content: dubbing gives a larger audience access to your content in their own language;
  • Viewing comfort: no effort is required of the spectator when listening, meaning they will be more attentive to the message and can concentrate of the images;
  • • No character limitations: dubbing means you are not attempting to restrict content to 40 character lengths (recommended limit for subtitling). This therefore results in a more faithful result, even if the voice-over actors need to respect the lip movements of the original actors;
  • • The improved impact of your video: actors can improve the dynamics of your content and thus reinforce the impact your video has on its audience.

Do you want to discuss a subtitling or voice-over dubbing project? Please feel free to contact us via, or directly from our website.

Caupenne & Co, votre agence de sous-titrage et de doublage