The Quick and Dirty Guide to Video Translation

It’s no secret that video is on the rise. Last year, Cisco estimated that 82% of content produced in 2022 would be video, and much of it is well underway. From Netflix to TikTok, consumers have more options available to them than ever. And many crave more than just entertainment—with 58% of Google respondents reporting that they use digital video to learn new skills.

Yet, in order to reach the largest possible audience, you’ll need to translate your video content into multiple languages.

What Is Video Translation?

Simply put, video translation is the process of rendering the content of a video into another language. In some instances, this means translating the audio to closely match the original. In others, the audio (and sometimes visual) elements undergo a process known as localization. This involves adapting the content to a specific locale or market. Examples of video localization include altering cultural references in the dialog, and modifying images to make them more relevant and culturally appropriate.

While you can translate any type of video, the most common video translation projects include:

  • eLearning courses
  • Marketing and advertising, and
  • Entertainment

What is Involved in Video Translation?

Regardless of the type of video, translation involves the same series of steps. To make the process easier to visualize, we’ll use an eLearning course as an example. In this scenario, let’s say you created the video with Vyond and hired a language service provider (LSP) to translate the content.

  1. Download the video(s): Download the video(s) from Vyond Studio and export the MP4 file(s) to your language service provider (LSP).
  2. Script transcription: If a transcription of the audio script is not available, the LSP will start by transcribing all of the spoken dialog and saving it in a document.
  3. Translation, revision, and proofreading: subject-matter experts then translate the transcribed script, revise it, and proofread it.
  4. Translated script approval: If you request it, your translation agency will send you a translated script for review, allowing you to make any changes to the translation before proceeding with the next step in the process.
  5. Script recording/subtitling: Once you approve the script, voiceover recording talent will record the translated script and/or subtitlers will prepare the subtitles. Voiceover is narration that plays over the video, while subtitles are written translations of the dialog. The method(s) you choose will depend on the content, audience, budget, and timeline.
  6. Sync audio and text with video: Next, the LSP will import the audio files and/or add subtitles in a separate layer through the video hosting platform. The team will then sync up the audio and/or subtitles to the images within the video.
  7. Translated video validation: Linguists will translate other aspects of the video such as on-screen graphics and text. Then the quality assurance (QA) team will review the entire video for translation accuracy, clarity, timing, and format alignment.
  8. Delivery of the video: The LSP will send you the final translated and validated video.

The time it takes to complete the process depends on several factors, including the size and complexity of the project and the target language(s) needed. Given that it can take weeks or longer, we recommend contacting an LSP as soon as you know that video translation is something you are going to need. This will help you to minimize any delays in making your multilingual videos available to your target audiences.

The Benefits of Video Translation

However costly and time-consuming the process may be, you may be asking yourself whether or not video translation is something you actually need to undertake. Well, if your objective is to connect with global audiences, the answer is a resounding yes! That’s because over 70% of people prefer to have content available in their native language.

By translating video content, you will:

  • Make it accessible to a wider audience.
  • Ensure your message is communicated accurately
  • Increase ROI in international markets.
  • Increase your organic reach, improve SEO, and increase engagement.

These are just some of the external business benefits video translation affords. When used internally, video translation can help you train multilingual workforces, which improves efficiency, promotes inclusion, and helps with employee retention.

Where a Language Service Provider Comes In

Now, you may have looked into free or inexpensive video translation options such as Google Translate or YouTube translation apps. However, we strongly recommend doing the proper research to find a reputable LSP with experience in video translation. Tools that may work well for video blogs may not give your project the professional look and feel that you require. LSPs, on the other hand, can provide guidance on:

  • Translation and localization
  • Cultural awareness
  • Methods of video translation (subtitling or voiceover)
  • Images, graphics, and other non-audio content

Additionally, LSPs possess the technology and have developed workflow and quality control measures to ensure the final product meets industry standards. By working with professionals, you’ll produce videos that captivate your target audience—no matter their language or location.

Ready to start your next video translation project? Let us know how we can help!