Languages of Indian Movie Industry – Bollywood Film Translations

Languages of Indian Movie Industry – Bollywood Film Translations

Tatiana Osoblivaia


Language and Culture

Bollywood, the vibrant and flamboyant world of Indian cinema, has captivated audiences worldwide with its enchanting melodies and captivating storytelling. The diverse linguistic landscape of India is beautifully reflected in Bollywood movies, where a multitude of languages come together to create a rich tapestry of cultural expressions.

Translations of Indian movies become the bridges that allow audiences worldwide to immerse themselves in the captivating narratives and soul-stirring melodies of Bollywood. In this article, we explore the most common languages that are used in Bollywood and delve into the captivating realm of Indian movie translations with international language service provider PoliLingua.


list of the Most Common Languages Used in Bollywood Movies by Indian Cinematograph

  • Hindi - The Heartbeat of Bollywood film industry - Hindi stands as the undisputed champion of Bollywood. It serves as the primary language of communication in the industry, providing a unifying thread that connects the nation. Known for their melodious intonation, Hindi songs have become iconic in Indian cinema, transcending regional boundaries to capture the essence of emotions and narratives.
  • Urdu - Urdu, with its poetic allure and rich literary heritage, has also played a significant role in Bollywood. Often intertwined with Hindi, Urdu adds a touch of sophistication and elegance to the dialogues and songs, elevating them to a higher level of artistic expression. The seamless blend of Hindi and Urdu creates a unique linguistic style, known as Hindustani, which adds depth to Bollywood's storytelling.
  • Punjabi - The vibrant state of Punjab has left an indelible mark on Bollywood with its high-energy beats and infectious enthusiasm. Punjabi, characterized by its lively rhythms and colloquial phrases, has found its way into numerous Bollywood movies, bringing forth a sense of celebration and joy. Punjabi songs and dialogues, often sprinkled with humor and exuberance, have won the hearts of audiences across India and beyond.
  • Tamil - The Soul of South India - Tamil, one of the oldest classical languages in the world, has its own prominent space in the realm of Bollywood. South Indian cinema, particularly from the Tamil film industry based in Chennai (formerly Madras), has produced some of the most iconic movies in Bollywood. The seamless integration of Tamil dialogues and songs has bridged the linguistic divide, introducing the rich cultural heritage of South India to a wider audience.
  • Bengali - Bengali, known for its literary genius and artistic depth, has also contributed significantly to Bollywood. Filmmakers like Satyajit Ray and Ritwik Ghatak have left an indelible mark, bringing Bengali cinema to the forefront and infusing Bollywood with a distinct artistic flavor. The poetic nuances and soulful melodies of Bengali films have found resonance with audiences who appreciate the subtle beauty of this language.
  • Marathi - Marathi, the language of Maharashtra, has witnessed a surge in popularity in recent years. With the success of Marathi cinema, filmmakers have explored Marathi-language movies and incorporated Marathi dialogues and cultural elements into Bollywood productions. This inclusion has helped bridge the gap between the two industries.
  • Kannada - Kannada is spoken primarily in the southern Indian state of Karnataka and is the fourth most spoken language in India. Kannada films, also known as Sandalwood films, are popular in Karnataka and other parts of southern India.
  • English - While not a native language of India, English plays a significant role in Bollywood movies. English phrases, dialogues, and even entire songs are frequently incorporated, especially in urban-centric films or those with an international appeal. English adds a cosmopolitan touch and helps connect with the global audience.


Indian Movie Translations

Bollywood recognizes the importance of reaching out to diverse audiences. To cater to foreign-speaking viewers, movies are often translated into multiple languages. Subtitles and dubbed versions allow people from different regions, countries, and linguistic backgrounds to enjoy the cinematic experience. These Indian movie translations not only break language barriers but also foster cultural exchange, promoting a deeper understanding and appreciation of India's linguistic and cultural diversity.


Professional Language Services for Translation Bollywood Movies 

PoliLingua, a renowned language service provider, offers expert translation and localization services for Bollywood movies, including Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi, Tamil, Bengali, and more. With a vast network of experienced linguists, PoliLingua ensures accurate and culturally sensitive translations that capture the essence of Indian cinema. Their rigorous quality assurance processes and commitment to client satisfaction make them a trusted partner for the global film industry.


Varied Translation Techniques for Indian Movies that are Most Demanded in Bollywood Film Industry

Here represented various types of translation used in Indian movies and highlights the professional language services provided by PoliLingua to ensure accurate and culturally sensitive translations of Indian movie’s languages.

  • Subtitling 

Subtitling is a widely used translation technique in Indian movies. Subtitles, displayed at the bottom of the screen, provide a translated version of the dialogues or lyrics in the target language. This approach allows viewers to understand the content while still experiencing the original audio. PoliLingua's team of skilled linguists ensures precise subtitling, capturing the essence of the languages of Bollywood while maintaining readability and synchronization with the visuals.

  • Dubbing 

Dubbing involves replacing the original dialogue or vocals with a translated version in the target language. In Indian movies, dubbing is often employed to reach a broader audience, particularly in regions where the original language may not be understood. PoliLingua collaborates with experienced voice actors and linguists to deliver high-quality dubbing services, accurately capturing the emotions and nuances of the original performances.

  • Transcreation

Transcreation goes beyond literal translation, focusing on adapting the content to resonate with the target audience's culture and language. In Indian movies, where cultural nuances play a vital role, transcreation ensures that humor, idioms, and references are appropriately adapted to retain their intended impact. PoliLingua's team of creative translators excels in transcreation, striking a balance between cultural authenticity and audience engagement.

  • Localization

India boasts a diverse linguistic landscape, and Bollywood films often target specific regional audiences. Localization involves adapting a movie's content to suit the linguistic, cultural, and social preferences of a specific region. PoliLingua's localization services ensure that Bollywood movies are meticulously adapted to resonate with regional audiences, taking into account dialects, idiomatic expressions, and cultural sensitivities.


Translations play a crucial role in bringing the rich and diverse world of Indian cinema to international audiences. Through subtitling, dubbing, transcreation, and localization, the magic of Bollywood is made accessible to viewers around the world. PoliLingua's professional language services further enhance this experience, providing accurate and culturally sensitive translations of languages for Bollywood films. As Indian movies continue to captivate audiences globally, the art of translation remains an essential bridge, connecting cultures and fostering a deeper appreciation for the rich linguistic tapestry of India.


Our translations are performed by translators carefully selected to align with the subject matter and content of your project. They meet and exceed international quality standards. Upon request, we will provide you with a certificate attesting to the precision of our translations