Sub-a-Dub-Dub: The Debate Over Subbing and Dubbing

The processes of subbing and dubbing is something that I’ve grown up with in a Korean-American household. Whenever my family and I watched Korean dramas, the shows would often be subbed, so I first encountered the concept of subbing rather than dubbing. However, when I began watching animations that were imported from Japan, in contrast, these were mostly dubbed into English. These were my beginning experiences to the world of subbing and dubbing.

I’ve continued to experience different forms of subbing and dubbing throughout my life, although these new experiences are similar to my initial ones. Whenever I watch Asian films or dramas online, these are often subbed, while in turn, whenever I watch cartoons and animations that are imported from foreign markets, these are often dubbed. All these experiences have shaped my perspective the debate about subbing and dubbing. However, there is more to the processes of subbing and dubbing than a debate about which one is better.

As the world becomes more globalized, culture becomes exchanged more frequently. Media is a part of culture, and of course, film is an integral part of media. As films also become exchanged between different nations, one of the obstacles that need to be overcome is the boundary of language. While I explore the debate about subbing and dubbing, I hope to introduce the obstructions that these processes have to overcome, and discuss what that means.

I hope you enjoy the video, and be sure to comment to let me know your opinions!


November 20th

Today, I presented my oral report on my video essay. After receiving comments and criticisms about my rough draft, I proceeded to edit my video after the break. I adjusted the length of some slides by making some shorter while also lengthening some of the pictures and increasing some of the clips as some people expressed that they wanted to see that particular section for a longer period of time. I also considered adding music, although I am not entirely certain whether or not I actually will. I know for sure that I will have to edit the voice-over, just because the quality of the recording from my phone is rather inconsistent. Hopefully, if all the microphones are booked already, if I try recording it through my phone enough times, I will figure out works and what does not to make sure I can get the best voice-over possible. If not, I will probably try using Audacity to edit the voice file as well.

Oral Presentation



  • subbing and dubbing
  • video essay with various video clips and voice-over
  • to question the debate between preferences for one or the other
  • to open the debate to viewers who might not have considered it before

Logistics/Behind the Scenes:

  • Windows Movie Maker
  • used clipconverter to get video clips and some audio clips
  • recorded the screen for some of the video clips as well, and used a program to grab audio from the speakers
  • Photoshop to draw pictures
  • might use Audacity next time to edit my voice


  • transitions?
  • length?
  • background music?

November 13th

Today, I started on putting all the clips together in a rough draft for my video essay. I had made a rough recording of what I wanted to say before class so that I could have a vague of estimate of how everything would match together, and began working on matching the clips to the voice as well. I also edited my script a little so that it would be more grammatically correct and it would flow better, as I had noticed errors as I had recorded my first draft of the voice-over. I also realized that I might need more clips or have longer clips than I originally planned on, as there seemed to be a lot of time when I didn’t really have any clip to match to what I was saying. I had plenty of examples, but when I was just explaining a certain point, there wouldn’t really be anything going on in the background, so I will have to edit that as well. I might use some pictures as well to further illustrate my point.

November 6th

I spent most of my time today working on the script/storyboard of my video, and it ended up being rather long, so I will probably either have an equally long video essay. I’ve written about two thirds of the entire script, and the remaining sections that I have to write about are the parts that focus on dubbing and the overall conclusion. I’ll be editing this post as I finish my script. I found all the clips with audio that I would need to complete this project as well. I also started to think about what I want to present in my oral presentation about my video essay. Hopefully, I will have completed a part of my video so that I could present at least part of it to the class, and then I would explain the remainder of the video that I hadn’t been able to show everyone.


Continue reading November 6th

October 30th

Half of today was spent on peer editing and meeting with Manuel, which was helpful as it allowed me to edit the details of my topic and know how to proceed with my video essay. I also found the rest of the clips that I wanted to use for the essay, and started working on a basic script/storyboard for the video essay. I know for the introduction, at least, I am going need to some background information on subbing and dubbing, so I researched that a bit as well. I started to plan the structure of my essay as well, and I re-watched  the video on texting in film to give me some guidance in organizing my essay. It actually helped me to decide to have a voice-over for the essay, and I might be following a similar format of showing clips while I speak at the same time.

Essay Proposal

How/What/Why: I want to use a video essay to explore subbing and dubbing in film to discuss which might be better to share movies to foreign nations, and which one people might prefer. Generally, I would like introduce and explain the idea of subbing and dubbing, since it is something that I think that most people do not really notice when they watch movies. I want to highlight the benefits of both, and why someone might prefer one over the other. At the same time, I do not want to gloss over the disadvantages of either, so I will go over that as well. Subbing and dubbing movies to share to different nations is definitely important, as films often try to make a profit outside the nation they are filmed for, and it is crucial to understand the purpose of both. To conclude the essay, I want to bring in my personal opinion on the topic, yet open the discussion to anyone who wants to voice their thoughts on the matter of subbing and dubbing.

Type of Video Essay: I think it will be best to do a simple voice-over, with clips from various movies, like the video essay on texting in film. Because I’m doing a comparison of subbing and dubbing in film, I’ll explain each benefit or negative aspect of either or subbing or dubbing, and then show a movie clip that displays that aspect.

Raw Materials: I thought about the films that I considered using for the video essay, and although the list is tentative, I have written it below.

  • Frozen (English/original, various other dubbed versions)
  • Valkyrie (English/original, German/dub if I can find it)
  • X-Men Days of Future Past (English/original, Hindi/dub)
  • some sort of subtitled film with helpful annotations (still have to decide/find one)
  • some sort of Korean drama/film (also still have decide)

Audience: I don’t have a specific audience that I feel that I have to direct this video essay to, but it is likely that it would be easier to understand and relate to if my audience watched foreign films.

Skills/Software: Because I do not have a Mac, instead of iMovie, I will be trying to use Windows Movie Maker to put everything together. I think that will be most, if not all the video editing I will require.

Additional Skills/Software: Generally. I think that I understand Windows Movie Maker to at least put everything together. If anything requires more editing, then I may need some help on any other program that will help me edit my video more.


10/30 – Find the rest of my clips, start working on a general outline/script of things I want to discuss

11/6 – Flesh out the rest of my script and start recording/get my recording done so I can start working together all the clips and sounds

11/13 – Have a general/rough draft of the video essay, go over it and edit it, fixing everything so it looks somewhat presentable as a second draft

11/20 – Oral presentation, get some feedback on what my classmates think about the video essay, revise accordingly

11/25 – Have my essay done by this point (hopefully), just finish up any loose ends, any minor details that require attention

Feedback: Is my idea too simple or basic? I wanted to discuss subbing and dubbing as much as possible, but I’m not too sure if I’m presenting it too broadly in this essay.

i know how to dream