22 Oct /21

Checklist: 4 key questions to cover when preparing to translate video content

Checklist: 4 key questions to cover when preparing to translate video content
Checklist: 4 key questions to cover when preparing to translate video content

Video content is a powerful way to engage audiences and producing it will continue to be a priority for many marketers and communications departments. From recorded livestream events between the C-suite and a global workforce to digital conferences and product launches, corporate teams are recreating video content in the languages strategic to their business. We call this process ‘video localization’. Done well, it can make the difference between global viewers clicking ‘stop’ or ‘learn more’ on video content.

To get your team to launch date, here are 5 key questions to consider as you prepare to release multilingual video content.

#1 Will your video require burned in subtitles or a separate subtitle file?

Burned in subtitles can’t be switched off during viewing. When your video plays, they will always be displayed. However, if you upload a video file (e.g. a .mp4 file) without burned in subtitles to a media player and then upload a separate subtitle file, the audience can choose whether to view the subtitles or not. Think about what your audience expects or prefers. If you choose to have subtitles burned in, it’s important that they are positioned so that nothing interferes with their display, for example any on-screen text.

#2 Should the on-screen text (OST) be translated?

Would translating any of the original OST aid the viewing experience for your audience? OST is any text that displays during a video which is not part of the subtitles.

There are three ways to approach OST translation*:

1. A translation provider delivers a ‘bilingual legend’ (a two-column table in a Word document with the source content on one side and the translation on the other). The OST work is done by your team/other external provider.

2. If your team sends all the original video project files to a translation provider, they can insert the OST (this is helpful when clients don’t speak the target language and need a linguistic check on the final layout and positioning of OST).

3. If your team wants OST translation but doesn’t have the video files, a translation provider can insert the OST into the subtitles (this can be tricky, though, depending on the amount of OST and whether there is speech happening at the same time).

*Options 2 and 3 assume that the translation provider has the appropriate technical expertise and software for this type of work.

#3 Do you have access to all the video project files (e.g. Adobe Premiere Pro, Adobe After Effects, Final Cut Pro, etc.)?

It’s important to access the original project files when doing OST work. But clients being unable to locate project files or access them is a classic reason for project delays. Make sure you keep this in mind when considering the option of video localization and when planning project timelines.

If you only require a separate subtitle file, your provider won’t need the original project files.

For voice-over projects, it comes down to what other audio content is in your original video (e.g. if there is also music playing). Speak with your provider and, if in doubt, let them take a look at your original video to assess what they will need from your team.

#4 Automatic (AI) vs professional linguist (human) transcriptions.

If a client is sending their own transcription, it’s useful to let the translation provider know if it’s a human or auto-generated transcription. This will give an indication of how much QA time to build into a project.

It’s also good to note that a regular Word file (with straight text and no time codes) will require editing time to become a subtitle file.

Finally, keep in mind that AI-translated subtitle files typically need to undergo post-editing or proof reading and be reworked into the character limit. The latter may require more time for languages which expand during translation (e.g. German sentences are approximately 30% longer than their English equivalents).

It’s usually more cost effective and efficient for a client to have the translation provider handle all procedures from transcription to translation and subtitling/voice-over. It also ensures consistency of the content across all languages.

If you’re unsure about any of these points, contact our team. We can talk you through the video localization process and help your team to prepare.

EVS Translations works with global brands across internal and external communications, TV commercials, and e-learning. We have the expertise and software tools to help your business engage its international audience.

Contact EVS Translations today:

EVS Translations GmbH

+49 69/82 97 99-99

EVS Translations UK
+44 (0)115 964 4288

EVS Translations USA
+1 404-523-5560

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