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Step-By-Step Guide To Effective Video Translation

A hand holding a vintage camera against a clear blue sky, demonstrating effective video translation techniques.

Language barriers are tough to overcome; translation, no matter the method, requires expertise in various areas.

Each choice demands thought and deliberation, from voiceover recording to transcription. 

Look no further if you’re wondering how much work goes into effective video translation. Detailed below are the nuances of translating audio and video into another language. 

Choose the Right Format

Video formats determine how your video’s data is stored and accessed. Understanding how they work is worthwhile but not necessary. What is a must-know, however, is how to choose the correct format for your needs.

Each video format comes with advantages and disadvantages. Some of the most common include but are not limited to the following:

  • MP4: The go-to for many industries, MP4 is the standard for video formatting. Easily accessible and well-compressed, MP4 is highly shareable and works on almost all devices. However, files in this formatting style require much processing power. 
  • AVI: This file format is known for producing high-quality audio and DVDs. AVI files are also accessible on various devices but are challenging to attach subtitles and captions to. They are particularly well suited to short films and advertisements. 

The type of format you use will correlate with how you intend to use your translated video. Whether you keep the same format as the original or change the format is up to you. Just know that sometimes audio and video quality can be affected when translating from one format to another. 

Determine an Active Speaker

Whether you have one or more active speakers, determining who is talking throughout the video is essential for video translation. 

The goal is to make the translation straightforward. Knowing who speaks throughout the video will help you determine context and create clarity. 

Create a Word Bank

This step is crucial if you are working with an external translating company rather than doing it off of your own back. If you’re not multilingual or well-versed in the language you’re translating to, companies like The Language Doctors provide services for translating into countless languages. 

Back to the idea of a word bank, often, when working with an external translator, the client compiles any context-specific or slang words and gives their definition. 

This word bank gives the translator ease and freedom to translate words based on their context and is especially useful if the speaker talks in a dialect or the subject is jargon-based. 

Translate Scripts and Text

The next step of the process is the meatiest part, the translation process. Each word choice can change the presentation of your video, so make them matter. Some general tips to follow when translating are:

  • Research: In-depth knowledge of the subjects mentioned in the video will boost your translation competency. Conduct thorough research before even considering translation.
  • Partner Up: Whether it be a friend or a translation company, another set of eyes can open up new perspectives and meanings in your video. 
  • Practice: Top up your chosen language to translate by reading, speaking, or listening before beginning. Make sure you are competent enough to embark on the task. 

Messages and connotations are often lost in the switch between languages. For your video to retain its original meaning, your translation has to be close to perfect. If you aren’t competent enough, invest in translation services. 

Record Voiceover in High-Quality Audio

Voiceovers are a powerful tool for developing videos for foreign markets, specifically if you want to sync translate. If you record several audio files in different languages, voiceovers enable switching between languages.

When voiceover recording, the aim is to make the audio as clear as possible. This includes recording in the most professional settings, preferably a specialized studio, and ensuring the speaker orates in the most precise manner possible. 

Timing is Key

The duration of the video and the effectiveness of what you’re trying to convey through the package directly correlate. 

So, choose your running time wisely. Consider how the translation affects your video’s message, and adjust the length accordingly. Shortening a video will overwhelm your audience; a long video may bore them. 

Finalize Video Quality and Format

Here’s where your choice of format will matter. Once your video is complete, you must render, compress, and upload. 

These steps can potentially harm the video quality, so ensure you have the perfect format and platform before you finalize things. 

In Conclusion

Translating a video is a complicated and time-consuming process, but if done correctly, the finished product allows you to tap into a brand-new audience. 

It is always worth the time, from sync translate steps to voiceovers, and if the task is too big for you, there are always companies offering specialized translation services.

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