Things you should know if you need an A/V translation

16. 11. 2018

Recently, we have seen an increasing number of requests for audiovisual translations that our clients use for marketing their products and services, for staff training, as well as for other purposes. At first glance, the task might seem simple, but each video translation order has a number of specific issues that must be clarified in advance.

Subtitles, dubbing or voice-over?

Which way to go is mainly decided by the purpose of the recording. Is it a short movie, an animation or another format? Is your video intended for a multilingual audience? Does the recording include dialogue or do narrations require several voice actors? Could the ability to understand the video recording be impacted by visual or hearing defects of the target group? It is essential to consider all of the above aspects in advance before you decide on the form of your video translation.

Subtitling includes the translation of all speech and graphic elements into or from a foreign language, time-coding and spotting so that the subtitles are synchronized with the audio. Voice-over or dubbing, which is even more demanding in terms of time and work, requires not only a qualified translator, but also the involvement of a skilled dubbing artist or a voice actor. Bear in mind that the price of dubbing is much higher than the price of subtitling.

To sum it all up, an audiovisual translation has two components: the actual translation and the technical production.

Get your materials ready

If you are sure which form of A/V translation you will need for your video, it is a good idea to prepare other supporting documents and information that you can send. This will make your work with a translation company or an independent translator much easier. Examples may include:

  • What is the genre of your video (promotional, training, entertaining, etc.)?
  • What is your deadline and which format do you require?
  • Will you be happy with just the translation of subtitles and will you import them later yourselves?
  • Would you like your subtitles integrated into the video recording, or in a separate file?
  • Do you also have a script for the audio, or do you know how many words there are to be translated?
  • Are there any texts, terms and collocations in your video that require a special translation in the target language, or are not to be translated at all?
  • In case of dubbing, does the video contain any sound effects and music that you want to maintain in the translated version?


The more information you can provide, the faster and more precise quote and better collaboration you can expect. Without any further information, knowing only the duration of the video in minutes does not say much unless we also know the amount of dialogue or narration. If possible, send us the audio/video recording or a link to it directly with your inquiry.

Would you like to have a video translated? Ask for a non-binding quote.


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