Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite, a South Korean black comedic thriller that features a Korean family defying social norms, made history by being the first non-English speaking movie to win Best Picture at the 2020 Academy Awards.

The entire screenplay for Parasite is in Korean, necessitating subtitle translations for viewers who do not know Korean—a practice that is not frequently preferred among English-speaking diasporas.

Despite this, Parasite became the first foreign language picture in Academy history to win the coveted prize and brought in more than $35 million US dollars.

This momentous evening disproved the notion that audiences who speak English as their first language do not respond favorably to foreign films with English subtitles.

The subtitle controversy has long prevented filmmakers from finding success in international markets and across linguistic and cultural boundaries. 

Video localization value of dubbing and subtitling

A crucial component of localizing videos or movies is subtitle translation. Closed captioning, sometimes known as “subtitles,” enables viewers to see movie script text and is frequently thought of as a resource just for hearing-impaired or deaf viewers.

Turning on subtitles is becoming more and more commonplace among larger audiences due to movies like Parasite, which are redefining Hollywood. However, subtitle translation calls for far more than linguistic cunning or even translation proficiency.

The subtitler must prioritize their task while yet accurately portraying the language and cultural aspects of the speech.  

The text should be simple to read, and subtitles should be provided logically and clearly. Subtitles must be mindful of how many characters can fit on one line because adult viewers typically read 15–17 characters per second.

The maximum number of lines for subtitles in foreign language movies is two, and for good subtitling, subtitlers must carefully capture the tale storyline, character emotions, age, and personality.

Directors must make difficult choices about the localization films since it requires so much labor and there are concerns within the business. 

Video localization value of dubbing and subtitling

The age-old debate is “to sub or dub?” The debate over subtitling (sub) versus dubbing (dub) in the film industry has raged for some time, and Parasite’s success has inevitably brought it back to the forefront.

In dubbing, also known as voicing, performers read script translations over the original screenplay, allowing movies to be marketed internationally.

In addition, proponents of dubbing contend that subtitles are hard to read and that dubbing retains the cinematic experience by accurately capturing the script’s complex discourse through localized voiceovers without time limits.

However, proponents of subtitles contend that a subtitle translation strategy enables viewers to fully appreciate an actor’s cinematic performance.

In contrast, voice actors in dubbing might incorrectly interpret a scene’s tone and detract viewers from the film’s overall emotional impact.

Surprisingly, though, dubbing is known to extend production schedules while subtitles are frequently less expensive, easily distributed, and accessible to viewers throughout the world. 

Recently, streaming video and movie services have gained popularity among consumers all over the world. Through subtly translated subtitles and dubbing, video localization is essential for the global advancement of language literacy.

According to one estimate from India, 200 million Indians nationally have improved their reading abilities because of subtitling. The need for voice actors and dubbing in movies has also risen, and some markets—like the French—strongly favor French-language products. 

In conclusion, there is no denying the significance of video localization for the film business through dubbing or subtitling. Cultural tastes play a significant influence in deciding the success of which localization tools to utilize (subs versus dubs). 


You might also enjoy

Drop us a line

What makes VTLocalize different?

We are not the market dominance, we are not the pioneer of the industry, but we enjoy an amazing growth rate current years. For us, Localization and language services is all about you and your targeted audience experience, which are fast and seamless localization workflow, managed by strict industry standards, and flawless translation at the end of production process.


Question 1: Is it possible if I just ask for proofreading services?

Yes! We offer proofreading service solely for all types of documents in more than 50 different languages.

Question 2: How much will you charge for a translation project?

We take many factors into consideration:

  • The number of pages of the document to be translated, in which specified page is 300 words or 300 characters depending on the language.
  • Language pairs: Some pairs are less common, so the service charge might be a little bit higher
  • Service required: Translation Only (TO) or Translation and Editing (TE), or Translation + Editing + Proofreading (TEP)
  • Industry expertise: The complexity of the required domain affects service charge also

Please contact us for a detail quotation.

Question 3: Do you offer video subtitling and dubbing services?

Yes.! Not only supporting subtitling and dubbing, but we also provide the service of typing verbal documents such as audio or video files.

Question 4: Do you support Image Translation?

Yes! We support translating documents from all PNG, JPG image files, and all types of documents from all files: pdf, docx, pptx, xlsx, etc. Applying optical character recognition technology in combination with latest CAT Tools, the image translation process has never been that easy.

Question 5: Will the translation be presented in proper format and retain the original structure?

For purpose of printing or publishing you may need, we provide DTP and Layout restoration services for documents using varied tools such as Adobe Framemaker, Indesign, Illustrator, Autocad to Powerpoint, Excel, etc. Under our post translation recovery process, we provide a translation with “as is” layout and be ready for high quality printing or online publishing.

Question 6: How will I receive the translation?

It depends on the your need for soft or hard copy documents. For the soft copy, we will email it to you. As for the hard copy, we will send express delivery to the correct address provided by the customer.

Question 7: When notarizing translation, I want to get multiple copies, will there be additional costs?

According to current regulations, notarized translations are not allowed to be copied, all version must be originals. So when you need additional originals, the cost will increase.

Question 8: How long will it take for my documents to be translated?

It depends on the volume, content types, required services, and other project-specific factors. But above all, your required deadline is the most important and we will rely on that to adjust the translation process and management schedule in order to keep up with preset deadline without any compromise upon quality.

Question 9: Can I request an urgent translation?

Yes! We do offer urgent translation services. Depending on specialization or length of the document, we will adjust our production team accordingly.

Question 10: What are your payment terms and methods?

We accept ATM transfers, e-banking, cash, or online payment via VISA/ MASTERCARD card, international payment services such as PAYPAL, PAYONEER, SKRILL, VEEM, etc.


Talk with experts

  • Knowledge retention is greater when you learn in your mother tongue.
  • A language other than one’s own is best suited to explaining practical courses.
  • According to Global Market Insights, the eLearning industry is predicted to grow by 8% annually between 2020 and 2026.

VT has a long history of localization for international audiences. Whether you’re looking to internationalize your product or localize your eLearning content, our team can help. Contact us now!