Audiovisual translation: voice-overs and subtitling for an effective video strategy

Milan Fashion Week has only just finished and for Emma and Francesca, who work at a fashion company, it’s a really busy time. In fact, various presentation videos of the new clothing and accessory collections were recorded during the runway shows.

Emma – the human resources training coordinator – will upload these videos onto the e-learning platform used for courses aimed at all employees, including people working at foreign branches. Francesca – the marketing and communication manager – will publish them on the company’s website and YouTube channel. Before these videos can be used, Emma and Francesca have to get them subtitled and dubbed into English, Spanish, Chinese and German.

There are two audiovisual translation techniques which can turn a video into an effective company training and promotional tool: voice-overs and subtitling.


Dubbing in voice-overs involves playing a translated voice over the original audio track.
To achieve a high-quality voice-over, the project manager who oversees the audiovisual project has to:

  • get the dialogue transcribed, which is often ‘off the cuff’ in runway videos;
  • prepare the scripts for the voice-over;
  • choose and coordinate the mother-tongue translators;
  • handle the casting for the dubbers’ voices, ensuring they have the right tone of voice and pronunciation for the customer’s requirements;
  • plan the dubbing shifts;
  • check and review the project, ensuring that the audio track has been properly added.


It’s essential that the translated texts are recorded in a professional recording studio by mother-tongue dubbers who can repeat the dialogue as naturally as possible.


Subtitling accompanies the voice-over and adds extra important information alongside what has already been said by the narrator.

Creating subtitles is not a process of pure translation: in fact, the translator has to summarise and get rid of much of the dialogue – such as dialect terms, interjections or hesitations – to get a suitable text string that respects the length, reading speed and syntactic structure.

This is why to get professional subtitles, you need to:

  • translate and revise the whole text in the required target language;
  • get rid of any unnecessary parts without changing its general meaning;
  • abbreviate sentences the meaning of which can be worked out from the video;
  • add and synchronise the subtitles;
  • further adapt the text (for example, replacing words that are too long with synonyms or changing the structure and syntax of the sentence) if there are any problems with synchronisation.


Thanks to CAT Tools (, STUDIOTRE can handle the various formats of video (MP4, MOV and AVI) and subtitle files (SRT): we can therefore translate directly using the source files, avoiding typical “copy and paste” errors and guaranteeing the customer saves time and costs when adapting graphics and the layout.

If you want to experience the effectiveness of translated videos for your company strategies, send us a message to get more information or request a quote:


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