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Best Practices for Video Translation in a Multilingual World

Best Practices for Video Translation in a Multilingual World


by Elis Hayakawa

Apr 14, 20233 minute read

As the world becomes more interconnected, businesses are increasingly seeking to reach a global audience. Video content has proven to be one of the most effective ways to achieve this objective. However, with a multilingual audience, it's essential to ensure that the video content is translated accurately to avoid any misunderstandings. Here are some comprehensive best practices for video translation in a multilingual world.

1. Understand Your Target Audience

Before embarking on video translation, it's essential to have a clear understanding of your target audience. This includes their language, culture, and preferences. Understanding these elements will help you create content that resonates with your audience and ensures that the translation is accurate.

2. Use Professional Translation Services

Using professional translation services is crucial for ensuring accurate video translation. Professional translators have a deep understanding of the language and culture, which helps them to avoid any mistranslations or misunderstandings. According to a study by Common Sense Advisory, 75% of consumers prefer to buy products in their native language. This highlights the importance of using professional translation services to reach a multilingual audience.

3. Avoid Word-for-Word Translation

Word-for-word translation can often result in a mistranslation or misunderstanding. It's essential to understand the context in which the content is being delivered and translate it accordingly. This ensures that the message is delivered accurately, and the audience can understand it.

4. Consider the Length of the Video

When translating video content, the length of the video needs to be considered. Translating a longer video may require more time and resources. It's important to plan for this in advance and allocate the necessary resources to ensure the translation is accurate and delivered on time.

5. Consider the Use of Subtitles or Voiceovers

When translating video content, you have the option of using subtitles or voiceovers. Subtitles are a more cost-effective option, but they may not be suitable for all videos. Voiceovers may be a more effective option for videos with a lot of dialogue or narration. Consider the type of video and the target audience when deciding which option to use.

6. Choose the Right Translation Method

There are two primary methods for translating video content: audiovisual translation (AVT) and audio description (AD). AVT involves translating the audio and visual elements of the video content, while AD involves providing an audio description of the video content for visually impaired audiences. Choosing the right translation method depends on the type of video content and the target audience.

7. Localize Your Video Content

Video localization involves adapting the content to the local culture and language of the target audience. This includes using appropriate language, cultural references, and imagery. Localization helps to ensure that the video content resonates with the audience and is more likely to be shared and engaged with.

In conclusion, video translation is crucial for businesses looking to reach a global audience. It's essential to understand your target audience, use professional translation services, avoid word-for-word translation, consider the length of the video, choose the right translation method, and localize your video content. By following these best practices, you can ensure that your video content is accurately translated and resonates with your multilingual audience.