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This new technology could make watching foreign films easier

Video dubbing foreign film
AP Photo/Matt Sayles
Subtitled or dubbed?
By Jeanne Kim
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

For movie theaters that play foreign films, subtitles are a necessity, dubbing an added bonus. That goes for downloaded movies and TV shows as well. But dubbed entertainment isn’t easy to come by, and viewers usually end up with the cumbersome task of simultaneously reading subtitles while watching the scenes.

Technology could change that, though.

An Israeli startup called VideoDubber, for example, says it can automatically dub films, TV shows, and other video into more than 30 languages including Arabic, Chinese, Spanish, and four dialects of English (British, American, Indian, and Australian) with a technology called TruDub. Mainly targeting broadcasters and professional content creators, the service uses synthetic voices based on professional voice talent talents—it promises the voices sound natural and will match the context of the video, according to The Next Web. And it claims it typically can dub an entire film in under five minutes. In this video, the firm demonstrated TruDub’s work on the famous 2005 commencement speech that Apple co-founder Steve Jobs delivered at Stanford University:

But the service can’t convert just any video to a different language. Because TruDub relies on text-to-speech technology, the video needs to have subtitle files. (The service also will dub or create audio files from subtitle files.) Video in .AVI and .mp4 formats can be uploaded to VideoDubber’s site, along with the corresponding subtitle files and an order form; according to the site, most orders can be turned around within one business day.

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