As multimedia platforms become more and more commonplace across all walks of life, the need for our clients to make their products stand out from the crowd has never been more apparent. Here at WhP, our experience of handling eLearning or other multimedia projects means we have built up a wealth of experience in this sector and can quickly and easily, help to find the best way of moving forward.

One of the more technical aspects of multimedia localisation is the translation of videos and visuals. Of course, you cannot simply “translate” a video into another language like you can with a document or a piece of software. There is a whole raft of processes and things to think about before even starting this sort of project.

Content localisation

The first thing to think about with video translation projects is what kind of video we will be working on. Is it a video of text graphics or screenshots, or does it contain real people interacting? Is there an audio track or just music? Or even both? Any step in the localisation of videos begins with the initial project analysis. This is where WhP will work through any visual media with a client to determine the best way of proceeding with the video translation phase. And also to let any client know either the limitations of their material, or how to get the best out of the material they already have.

There are two main things to think about when it comes to video translation – can I change the pictures themselves and can I change the audio track? We will look at the audio side later on but first, let’s concentrate on the pictures side of the puzzle.

There is almost a never ending list of things to consider when it comes to the visual side of any project. Firstly, in my video translation project, does my video contain screenshots of a software or something else country-specific? If it does, we can help convert those images into ones that will work in the target market, either by reworking the images, or in some cases, retranslating entire software applications to make them work in harmony with the end video. The same is true for any characters that will appear. Does the video need to have a localised feel – with new names and places – or can the original character be used? Again, WhP will be able to find a solution that meets your needs and make sure the video translation phase is planned properly.

And that is perhaps the most important thing to consider. WhP’s experience means we can offer a range of cost-effective solutions to match the needs of our clients. Because we take every aspect into consideration, we can give a precise and detailed review of the overall video translation project – and what the true costs will be.

Subtitling Videos

The most common solution in video translation projects is the simplest – subtitling.

Subtitle translation is one of the most important aspects of video translation or localisation. The translation of subtitling is more than a simple translation task. The subtitles themselves need to be prepared and thought about before the translation stage starts. WhP can prepare all text for subtitles ready for translation and share our experience of video translation or localisation. We can offer a full transcription service if a script of onscreen text doesn’t already exist. In fact, this means it will become even easier for us to prepare the text for translation.

With subtitle translation, the most important aspect to consider is length. That is, how many words the subtitles can actually display without losing their legibility. WhP has many years’ experience of analysing videos with, or without subtitles, and preparing all necessary media before translation, to avoid any nasty surprises afterwards. Our translators work within strict parameters to make sure all subtitles both match the original text while maintaining the perfect length for viewers to read. In order to do this, WhP breaks down the video into managed sequences each given its own codification. We can then match each piece of text to a specific part of that video to ensure both timing and way the text is displayed matches flawlessly.

The complexity of the subtitle text very much depends on the audio track that accompanies the video. The approach to subtitling these audio tracks with the video changes depends on the content of the audio. Things to consider for the audio track include how many characters are speaking at any one time and how should this be handled using subtitles. WhP has worked on video translation projects ranging from audio tracks with a simple narrator, to videos that include multiple voices in conversations or discussions. On top of this, labels, job titles, and slogans should also be considered, sometimes meaning that these have to be integrated into the subtitle space. These are just some of the many tasks that WhP can offer when considering subtitling or video translation projects.

The Audio solution

Of course, sometimes when WhP has been asked to look at subtitling a video translation project for a client, we have realised that the best approach is not to subtitle the video at all, but to rerecord the audio track into the target language. With this in mind, WhP has created a whole process dedicated to changing the audio track of any video – as well as utilizing subtitles if needed. Our in-house tools have been designed to handle large video projects that need multiple voices or characters and our processes mean that fitting it all back together is a smooth and painless task.

WhP has a large database of voice talents and actors who work with us to help transform videos into localised audio versions. We have recorded into most languages over the years and transformed videos completely to meet the end user market’s needs.

So whatever your company decides to do with your video translation project– subtitle, re-record audio tracks or both – your video project will pass off without a hitch. In short, our years of experience in the video translation market has left us in a position to say with confidence how any visual projects can be localised successfully, to suit any budget or need.