Increasing Your Audience Numbers Using Video & Film Translation

And what to know before you do it!

Published on in Advice / Tips & Tricks

Video & Film Translation is now more important than ever before.

If you are a video production company or an independent producer, you’re part of an exciting time in our industry. Each year, the amount of video on the Internet increases exponentially. This year, Cisco reports that 80% of Internet traffic will be generated by video content.

How can you take advantage of this? In my opinion, it’s about reaching out past your local audience and targeting a global audience. This can radically expand your reach and your client’s reach. Research shows that 60% of the views on YouTube come from users selecting languages other than English as the site’s display language. 

What does that mean for our industry? It means that if you or your clients are only producing your videos in English, you’re leaving out huge numbers of viewers. By offering to have their videos translated into other languages, you’re helping them reach and impact so many more people! You’re also adding another service to your business.

Here are the top reasons all of your videos should be translated:

  • You’ll be able to reach more of your audience, especially the 60% who are searching in other languages. If you don’t translate your videos, you’ll lose out on the opportunity to reach foreign speaking viewers.
  • If you’re big into SEO, you should know that search engines like captioned video. They can utilize the keywords, but as I’ll discuss below, you should not use an automated service so that your captions or subtitles are accurate.
  • More people will understand your video fully, even if English is not their first language.

YouTube translation doesn’t work well.

If you’re producing videos that will be viewed on YouTube, and you plan to use their automatic subtitling too, it’s very likely that viewers will not get the right message. Sure, you can use the automatic subtitling service, but the amount of errors it tends to give is incredibly high! 

Have you tried to dictate a text or email into your iPhone or Android device?  How has that worked out for you? Recently I was dictating a text with some technical information for my graphic artist. My artist had no idea what I wanted, and I wasn’t sure why until I read the meaningless gibberish I texted him.

Well, that’s how automatic translation services work!

Here’s another example that happened to someone I know. Their video was describing the fact that it takes 5 years for a business to become successful. They used automatic translation software to translate and subtitle their video into Spanish. In Spanish the word years translates into Años. But somehow their software left out the “Tilde” (ñ). So it became the word anos, which is a very bad word in Spanish!

Now that was very embarrassing! To avoid situations like this, you should really budget for and have your videos professionally translated.

Should you use dubbing or subtitling?

This is a question that you really need to answer. Here are just a couple of things to consider when deciding.

Dubbing is more expensive. While dubbing is easier for the viewer, it also tends to cost more. Consider the fact that you must pay a professional company to translate the video, hire voice talent, record the audio in a studio with engineers, and then mix the audio track. If you have music and effects mixed in with your video, you’ll either need to provide the translation company with those tracks separately, or you can just take the new audio track and insert it into your editing timeline.

The video topic can matter. Subtitling is less expensive (sometimes ½ the cost of dubbing), but the topic of your video can come into play here. For example, if your video is designed to train the viewing audience on some technical activities, having subtitles can be distracting, since they are now reading the video as opposed to watching exactly how something is done.

One other thing to remember as you produce your videos.

Keep in mind that it usually takes longer to say something in another language than it does in English. So it’s best to know if you may be translating your video before you shoot. This way you can plan your shots so the English version is a little slower than normal. This will allow all languages to be dubbed or subtitled at a pace that’s easy for the viewer to understand.

I hope this has helped you consider whether to translate your videos into other languages.

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About the Author

Greg Ball
Greg Ball
Greg Ball is the founder and President of Ball Media Innovations, a full-service video production company serving Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach and Orlando areas of Florida. The company specializes in business video production and video/film translation. Before starting this company, Greg was the Manager of Worldwide Video Communications for Burger King World Headquarters. To contact Greg, call 954-432-1274, or email greg@ballmediainnovations.com.

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