Content is king on the internet, and no form of content is more popular than videos. In 2022, 82% of global internet traffic came from video, and the average watch time for videos is 84 minutes per day.
Videos also have a high ROI compared to other forms of content; a 2020 study showed that 83% of marketers rely on video for lead generation, and 87% of marketers use video to increase website traffic for companies of all industries and sizes.
These numbers show the importance of video content and suggest that video translation services can be an accessible way to push your business to other frontiers.
The Need for Video Translation Services
Translating video content is the fastest and easiest way to expand the reach of your video files. Depending on your market, it might not be enough to have video content available in one language – that average watch time mentioned above is the global average, not a single country.
Translating your videos doesn’t mean reshooting them in other languages or undergoing a massive video editing project. Utilizing video translation services, you can have multilingual videos by translating your video script and adding captions and voice-overs in the new language or languages.
Video localization allows you to repurpose existing content while tailoring it to specific audiences. Closed captions also make videos accessible not just to other languages but also to people with hearing impairments.
The Importance of Video Localization Services
Translating your videos into other languages isn’t enough. Your videos must be localized to see the engagement and conversion rates you aim for.
The video localization process considers your target audience’s language, location, syntax and grammatical specificities, and cultural nuances. And by using the proper keywords during the translation of your scripts, when you add the video subtitling in the new languages, you also take advantage of how people search in each desired language.
The Benefits of Video Localization:
Increased reach. People connect with brands that speak their language – literally. When your video is available in multiple languages, it can reach more people. Billions of people consume video content daily, so having only one language available means your video will get only a fraction of your potential audience. Having translated content available shows that you value your audiences across countries and locations and that you understand their individuality.
Increased engagement. More people seeing your video leads to more people engaging with your video. But providing translated subtitles has another benefit – many people watch videos with the sound off and scroll past anything that doesn’t provide closed captioning. Having subtitles in multiple languages increases the number of people watching and interacting with your content. By speaking their language, you create a feeling of inclusion, making it easier to connect with your brand.
They increase search engine ranking. Search engines like Google don’t operate in a single language and appreciate businesses that provide translated content. Having multiple languages in your videos means that Google can index your video files in numerous ways.
International SEO. Multilingual subtitling makes your video multilingual at a low cost with the added benefit of International SEO if you work your use your keywords wisely. Having the appropriate keywords per language makes your video translation relevant to your target audiences and ultimately improves your ranking. Localizing videos also includes translating and localizing the backend data that Google uses to crawl and index your content, including the description, meta tags, keywords, and names of your videos.
What are the Options for Video Translation Services?
Most of the time, video translation means only audio file translation. Depending on the video project, editing is needed to expand the video’s length and change the language of the embedded text in the video.
It is helpful to know in advance if you are working on video projects requiring localization. That will help plan for best practices for the translated videos. Examples: Avoid content that can be culturally offensive to your target audience, remember to leave enough time in the transition during video editing, and be sure to have the final script of the video.
How do we reach a global audience with the same video content?
Multilingual Subtitles. Sometimes all you need to do to increase your video’s reach and appeal is add subtitles. Multilingual Subtitles are the most cost-effective option for video translations. The original script is translated into a localized version of your target language and added to the video following time stamps. Video subtitling is slightly different than closed captioning; the user cannot turn off the former, while the latter is turned on by users who need or want them. Closed captioning can also include notes about the music or other sounds in the video. YouTube videos often have this option.
Voice-over recording. This option replaces the original language track with voice-over translated in the target language. It is usually read by a native speaker of the language and added to the audio file of the raw video. This can be done in a few ways:
Dubbing. This is a popular option for video translation. The original audio file is removed or silenced and replaced with the new track in the target language. The translated audio begins and ends simultaneously with the original track. However, the lip movements won’t match up if a person is speaking in your video.
UN-style. In this option, the original audio track is not removed but cut down to half or a quarter of the volume while the translated track is played at full volume. The viewer knows they’re hearing a translated version of the audio. It’s called UN style because this is commonly used in videos reaching a global audience, such as interviews, news reports, and international meetings and presentations.
Lip Syncing. Lip sync or lip synch, which comes from the word sink, is short for lip synchronization. This is the type of voice-over used in movies. This method is similar to dubbing in that the original audio track is removed and the translated one inserted. However, in this option, the words are lip-synchronized to the original speaker’s mouth movements. Lip Syn is the most expensive option, as synching with the lips is complex and time-consuming.
Combine subtitles and voice-over. This option uses both translated subtitles and an audio track. Integrating both is a great option to make your videos accessible in multiple languages and disability-friendly for deaf and hard-of-hearing people.
Ways to Optimize Your Online Videos for Global Reach
You can take steps before the shooting, during the shoot, and during the video editing process to make sure your content appeals to an international audience. The video translation is part of the post-production phase, but there are other factors that you have to keep in mind during the creation process that will impact your video localization:
Ensure the video has a global appeal. Avoid using culture-specific references and ensure the video’s topic appeals to or applies to people in multiple countries. Examples can include avoiding local humor, metaphors, or sports references in the script.
Understand cultural nuances and sensitives. Even in videos without country-specific references, you still need to be mindful of cultural specifics. Numbers and colors have different meanings in different cultures and countries. For example, black is often used to symbolize death in many Western cultures, while white is used in many Eastern cultures.
Make the video content as evergreen as possible. Avoid short-lived references. Suggests only using data or statistics, when necessary, as these can change monthly or yearly. Also, ensure that any links or descriptions you include in the video are timeless.
Aim for universal voices over regional accents. A specific or easily identified accent in your video speaker is less appealing to target audiences than someone with a general or neutral accent. In the same way, the tv anchors do not have accents; voice-over accents should be neutral unless you need a specific accent as part of the marketing strategy.
Design your video with subtitles in mind. It is essential to leave visual space at the bottom of the video for text, properly pacing your speaker to have short pauses or breaks that allow people to read subtitles, and remember that text expansion or contraction is a common element during the translation of the scripts.
Ensure location or culture-specific graphics are editable. Including visual elements is common in videos and serves many purposes. But translating these adds another layer of complexity to your project. Some visuals, like graphs or diagrams, might need translation, and keeping a list of these visuals will help your translation process. Also, it is essential to remember to place them, so they do not interfere with the subtitles.
Keep all the files related to your video organized and accounted for. The creation of videos has multiple files and file formats to reach the end product. This may include audio files for music and speaking, visual files, video clips, and the script. All of these come together in one cohesive final project but keep track of all the different content types; you might need them during your video translation.
Localize your videos according to your target audience. Localize your video translation using the specific dialect of your public. If you are looking for French translation indicate if you are looking for European French or Canadian French. That will make a difference on the keywords selected to support the SEO of your YouTube videos.
Creating video content that appeals to a global audience is feasible for businesses of all sizes, but it takes time, money, and resources. Planning for your video translation services will help you benefit better from your multilingual videos.
Selecting a professional translation agency to assist you with options and the execution of the multilingual videos will make the entire video translation process faster, easier, and a successful endeavor. It is vital to follow best practices while translating videos. At JR Language, we go the extra mile to achieve your goals and exceed your expectations with affordable prices. Contact us for a quote today— we are ready to partner with your company in your video translation journey.
Jackie was born in Venezuela. Jackie has a BS in computer engineering; As President of JR Language, she spends time researching new technology and productivity tools for the Company. She holds a certificate of Localization and Project Management- Localization. Through her many years of experience working in multilingual corporate environments, she understands firsthand the value of bridging language barriers in creating smooth communication that allows for productive and happy work environments.
She is fluent in Spanish and English, and is a frequent contributor to both our English and Spanish blogs.
Jackie loves nature and to be outdoors.