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Content Production: Subtitling

27th August 2020
Reading time 2 min

Video has changed the way users spend time on the internet. In the past, social media served as a photo-sharing platform, however, it now shares just as much video. Vloggers are becoming increasingly more popular – even more so than bloggers. Cisco expects that 17K hours of video will be uploaded every second by 2021.

The sheer amount of video available to users makes it all that more difficult to be seen. It is extremely important for brands to create and distribute video that their audience can truly connect with. A big part of that is creating high-quality videos with translations that audiences can fully resonate with. This is where professional audio translation comes in. A specialised provider will transcreate voice overs that gives viewers the reaction brands anticipate.

In standard voice over methods, an omniscient voice guides the film along. This is mostly used in documentaries or training videos. Since there is no one speaking on-screen, it is easier to lay the voice over on the video. However, the audio translation must still be accurate, fluid and match the pacing of the video’s action.

”People spend a third of their time online watching video and that number is growing. Video has become vital for a brand’s digital content repertoire.”

Good audio dubbing is much harder to pull off. Not only must the message hold true to its original meaning, but the words should match the talent’s mouth when speaking. This audio style was used by news reporting. However, there, it doesn’t try to match the speaker’s mouth movements, or lipsync. In fact, the newscaster’s voice plays for a moment before the audio translation replaces it. This approach is used frequently when an important speaker’s (e.g. CEO or politician) speech is audio translated.

People spend a third of their time online watching video and that number is growing. Video has become vital for a brand’s digital content repertoire. Luckily, video can be used to interact with audiences in so many ways, emotionally, instructionally, persuasively and so on. Research shows that 90% of consumers admit that videos aid them in making purchasing decisions.

For brands with global campaigns, videos must be localised for different markets. Since audio production can be costly, multilingual subtitling can be a great alternative. Subtitles are not only affordable and can be created quickly, but also appeal to hearing-impaired viewers and many viewers who watch video with the sound off. In fact, 85% of viewers mute Facebook videos while watching.

Since Google indexes captions, subtitles can also bolster search results. However, SEO does not accept auto-translations, so it is not in a brand’s best interest to use a subtitle generator. Professional translation services can provide important, effective work when it comes to subtitles.

When planning for multilingual subtitles, marketers must first consider which markets the video will be shown in, and ultimately which language translations are needed. Even more, translations can portray the meaning of the text, but localised content can register personally with targeted audiences. So, marketers must also decide on translation versus localisation work.

Once translation and/or localisation is done, the subtitles must be time-coded according to the action. Since pacing in different languages can be tricky work, automated translations simply can’t do the job professional translation services can offer.

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