According to the 2011 census, just 43.6% of Indians speak Hindi as their mother tongue, whereas 56.4% speak one of the other 1370 languages, including the 21 national languages with over a million native speakers. Recognizing this, the Film and Entertainment Industries are increasingly going regional in order to reach out to audiences in their native tongues.

Regional Languages in Films and Entertainment

As the Entertainment Industry goes on global platforms, regional language content reaches more audiences with the help of translation services. Clearly, the amount of content (whether films or television programs) that are being translated/subtitled/dubbed has increased dramatically. In fact, audiences today demand that material be made available in their native language as well as in the parent language.

Important Factors In Film Translation

Language, Culture, and Governance play a role in Film Translation. For example, a joke that works well in English may not give the same effect in another language. In the film Terminator 2, when Arnold Schwarzenegger's renowned phrase "Hasta la vista, baby" if translated into Spanish, the comic sense behind the sentence is lost. As a result, in the Spanish version of Terminator 2, a more hilarious line "Sayonara, baby" is used instead.

Governmental concerns may also have an impact on a film's translation. Due to Franco's concern about foreign influence, General Francisco Franco's administration in Spain enforced harsh censorship regulations on foreign films from 1936 to 1975. As a result, anything judged "immoral" by the administration (i.e. anything contradictory to Catholic ideas in Spain) was either dubbed over or removed from the film by government translation services. Clearly, differences between countries have a significant impact on how language service providers handle film translation.

Subbing/ Subtitling and Dubbing

Subtitling and dubbing are the two main services in video translation.

Subtitles were invented in 1929, with the global premiere of Al Jolson's The Jazz Singer, and gave a text translation of the film's dialogue at the bottom of the screen. Dubbing, on the other hand, is replacing the original dialogue with an audio translation presented in another language.

While both subtitles and dubbing are valid solutions for film translation, each has its advantages and disadvantages. Perhaps ‌subtitles are comparatively less expensive than dubbing; a significant consideration for film companies.

Subtitles also ensure that the audience can hear the original dialogue, keeping the film's tone and atmosphere.On the other hand, they might slow down the tempo of the film for the audience when they read while viewing the film, and are limited by the size of the screen.

Dubbing has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Despite the fact that dubbing allows the audience to become more immersed in the tale and emphasizes humor better than subtitles, it is a time-consuming procedure that requires hiring of voice actors and the synchronization of their voices to the actors on screen.

Dubbed-over voices in films, on the other hand, are immensely popular in European nations such as Spain and Italy, with only one official language. Movie translation services are critical to the film industry and, more crucially, to the development of a more culturally integrated world.

A list of a few Indian movies where Subtitling / Dubbing has been done -

  • Pushpa (2021)
  • K.G.F: Chapter 1 (2018)
  • Baahubali: The Beginning (2015)
  • 3 Idiots (2009)

How Can Language Services Bureau Help?

We at Language Services Bureau have extensive experience in translation and localization services in 120+ languages, from translating movie titles and trailers to transcribing and subtitling hours of documentary interviews on short notice. We collaborate with qualified linguists with backgrounds in entertainment and media who have the technical expertise and cultural nuance to produce language solutions that look and feel like the original.

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