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The Video Translation Dance

video translation tips

Last updated on May 16th, 2022 at 06:27 pm

Translation Tips for Video Translation

Most professional trainers know the raw information which needs to be conveyed to employees is most likely already in written form, somewhere. Reading however is not everyone’s strong suit. Some people have trouble absorbing that information and turning it into useful action, in the workplace. Whether this is due to a learning gap or language barrier, the problem remains. What are the options?

How we learn

Approximately 65% of people are Visual Learners with Auditory Learners comprising another 30%. For these reasons, video training is an extremely effective method of audibly communicating and visually demonstrating actions at work.

Whether you plan for team training with students who possess high cognitive levels, or those who struggle with literacy, video training can bridge many of these gaps. And, using an experienced and professional translation service can help your video perform, through video translation, for those who struggle with reading or do not have English as their first language.

How to make the most of your budget video translation steps

When planned properly, videos can be translated and localized for a new workforce. Performing this type of translation on a budget is a specialty at JR Language. Those video editors who often work with translation services will tell you it’s a lot like dance choreography: Each step, performed well, sets up the next step.

The right steps in the right order

Use the following checklist as a pre-planner: 

#1  Know where you want to end, before you start.  Knowing that you expect to have translation produced at some point in the future is the first best place to start. This simple step alone can help you plan and account for all others.

#2  Be sure you are working with the final revised video script. Any change in the script after the Video translation work started is going to cause re-work and delay, and of course more cost.

#3  Agree on important elements of the narration with your client. Elements include-

  • Pronunciation of names and products: in what Language.
  • Pronunciation of acronyms in the script. Are they going to be read or spelled out? Example: UNESCO vs. U-N-E-S-C-O

#4  While authoring and editing the video scripts, consider what languages are most likely to be your first translations. Then, confer with a professional translation service before completing the script. Your chosen translation company can help you plan actions and advise on which style of   language (formal vs casual) will be the most effective for your translation project.

If you are planning on several languages for your video translation project- 

#5  Consider how on-screen actions need to correspond with narration.  American English is a very “concise” language. By comparison, languages such as Spanish and German can “expand” up to 30%, which means both the number of words in the translation and the time it takes to voice them over in the new language is greater.  On the other hand there are languages like Chinese that require fewer words to convey a phrase. 

This expansion and contraction of words means it will take work for narration to be “fitted” to the video on the screen in order to match the narration with the action on the video. It may not seem like much,   but accounting for this time is crucial to slowing on-screen actions, adding footage, using pauses or re-working the translation to avoid issues while matching narration to the screen.  You do not want for example to have a male talking while a female is talking on the screen.

Use of each of these can save significant time and budget.

#6  Coordinate on-screen word graphics.  As mentioned in Tip #4 (above), some languages require considerably more time when spoken.  Allowing the same corresponding time to deal with on-screen actions or explaining graphics requires planning and must be included in the video timeline as well.

#7  Keep on-screen text separate from on screen graphics, as much as possible.  This can factor greatly into saving your budget. It’s common for some graphics to contain some amount of text. If that text can be handled as visual element apart from the graphic, translation will go much faster and your video production won’t have to be concerned with matching fonts and styles.

#8  Always review and compare the translation of the script with the voice-over and subtitles in the new language. The voice over process, subtitles and editing can introduce errors so a revision of the final product is a must.  This quality assurance step is part of a well executed editing process.

#9  Once the translated video is completed, keep an editable version of your final video transcript.  We understand this may sound silly. After all who WOULDN’T keep the transcript? The question here is two-fold:

        Step One          Keep an editable version. Microsoft Word or some other widely “sharable” format will help greatly.

        Step Two:         Ensuring that it’s the FINAL format. Numerous times, existing video scripts are reviewed against the supplied video only to find they do not match. Once there is a deviation, the question arises as to how much more has changed. At this point someone must be tasked to perform a full review and possibly re-draft of the transcript. In the event the video translations, transcription and production is on a tight deadline, budgets can be quickly impacted. Ensuring your video transcript is in fact, the final one that was approved and produced is the surest way to keep translation costs contained.

At JR Language, we strive to bring the very best in translation, localization and acumen to our clients. When you’re in need of video translation services, call on us. Our translators work in their native languages and we focus on producing and delivering the most useful, accurate and relevant translations to you.

Jackie Ruffolo
Jackie Ruffolo
Jackie was born in Venezuela and 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. 20 Years of experience in marketing Jackie loves nature and to be outdoors.