If you want to deliver a video to an international audience, you need to make sure that it is 100% understandable to your audience. Taking into account the cultural norms, beliefs and values of a culture is crucial to making a good impression on a target audience.

90% of consumers believe that product videos are useful in the purchase decision process. And today, 82% of all content will be in video format.

There are many types of video:

– Tutorials
– Vlogs
– Interviews
– Product reviews and demos
– Live
– Event recaps and video presentations
– Video announcements
– Testimonials
– Webinars
– Video meetings
– Product presentations…

When you invest in video, including translation, you need a return on investment for these (sometimes) expensive projects.

Video localisation in a nutshell

It is essentially the process of taking your video content produced in a specific language for a specific audience and transforming it so that it is understandable by other foreign audiences. Localisation is often confused or used interchangeably with translation, but in practice translation is only one part of a good localisation strategy.

Translation takes content from one language and makes it available in another. However, to truly localise it, you may need to rewrite part of the script (if there is speech) or change some of the visual references to make it understandable for a new audience. When we talk about localisation, we are essentially referring to a process of making your communication and content relevant to a local audience – and adapting the language of your content is one of those ways.

Leverage your video creation efforts through localisation

With only 20% of the world’s population speaking English, there’s a good chance that the majority of the markets you’re expanding into won’t be able to understand your video content! But re-doing videos for every language you want to expand into can be prohibitively expensive.

Here are some simple ways to effectively localise your existing videos:

  1. Multilingual subtitles are the best option for brands and companies on a tight budget. Viewers will visually see / listen people speaking in the original language, but subtitles will be visible.
  2. Dubbing or voiceover – overlaying the original voices with the language your target audience is comfortable with – is a process that is generally more expensive than subtitling but easier for the viewer to absorb.

While each method of video translation has its advantages and disadvantages, a decision must be made carefully and take into account multiple considerations: budget, quality, speed, digestibility, time to market, etc.

Ensure your video content is well referenced by localising the video’s metadata

Metadata is the information that search engines, like Google, use to discover and determine exactly what content is. Depending on how your content is classified and defined, it will appear in different search results. This is also known as video SEO.

In fact, video metadata is an important aspect of getting your content discovered not only on Google, but also on YouTube and other platforms.

YouTube makes it easy for owners to add localized metadata to their videos, including translated titles and even subtitles. According to YouTube, localized metadata allows your fans to find your videos by searching in their own language.

YouTube can then display all of the video’s info, such as the title, and even subtitles when they are offered in that user’s language.

Developing a video localisation strategy

  • Understanding your audience

Understanding your audience is probably the most important factor. Analyse your international markets, see where you are gaining ground and identify opportunities. With a little research, you may be surprised to learn more about how your videos are consumed.

  • Determine which content to localise

All your content can be localised. But you need to make the investment in localisation profitable. So start slowly, experiment, and adopt localisation where you gain popularity. For example, if you create cooking videos and publish them on YouTube, you can start with short videos with Spanish subtitles or voiceover and see if that attracts people before considering mass localization of all your other video content.

  • Choose the right tools and services

Now that you’ve determined which pieces of content and videos you’re going to localise, you can start choosing the right tools and services to get started. In the section below, we review the options available to you, indicating which ones to use, when and for what expected results.

Different approaches to video localisation

As we have learned so far, different types of localisation serve different purposes. When it comes to video localisation, there are several key methods which we will review in detail.

  • Creating subtitles

Did you know that approximately 37.8 million Americans use subtitles to watch television? That’s a very large number! There are different types of subtitles:

  • Subtitles vs. closed captions

Subtitles can be open or closed. The first type is encoded in a video, while the second exists as a separate file. In English – mainly in the US and Canada – the terms “subtitle” (translation of foreign dialogue) and “caption” (text version of dialogue and additional information for the hearing impaired) have different meanings.

Subtitles are often not an appropriate tool for deaf and hard of hearing viewers, as they do not include the appropriate non-speech sounds and descriptions to provide a good viewing experience for people who cannot hear.

  • When to create video subtitles

The future of the internet and especially social networking is video. But many social media platforms mute their videos by default. So to hear the video, as a user, you either need to turn up the volume or add subtitles. You should also consider whether your content is suitable for subtitles or whether dubbing is a better option.

Subtitles are an inexpensive way to localise your video content for audiences who speak other languages. There are a number of automated or semi-automated tools that allow you to create subtitles fairly quickly in several languages. You can then test which languages and content types are gaining popularity in the new territory you wish to enter before turning to more professional localisation methods.

How to create subtitles

  • Manual subtitles

There are many free software and tools (such as Aegisub or Subtitle Edit), which help you type in subtitles yourself and associate them with a specific time code so that they match the visuals. It is worth remembering that adding subtitles manually can be very time consuming.

  • Automated subtitles

Video content producers or owners who already have a YouTube channel can use the platform’s speech recognition technology to generate subtitles automatically after a video is uploaded. Currently, this option is only available for Russian, Japanese, English, Portuguese, German, Spanish, Korean, French, Italian and Dutch. You must use more manual methods to create subtitles for your YouTube videos if your language is not currently supported.

There are also other speech-to-text solutions that can help you automate the creation of your subtitles. Most will also do it for you in multiple languages!

  • Automated subtitles + supervision

This is the solution we have opted for at LenseUp. Indeed, a 100% automated solution is prone to errors: on the one hand in the automated speech recognition (ASR), on the other hand in the neural translation which is also prone to errors. In both cases, a professional native speaker will correct the automated audio transcription and the neural translation.

How do you create voice-overs and dubbing?

This involves dubbing and creating voice-overs in other languages, a process that can reach new audiences.

Both voiceover and dubbing are techniques for conveying a message or speech to a new audience. The main difference is that while voiceover is narrative in nature without restoring the emotion and tones of the original audio, dubbing is considered much more accurate as it generally maintains the tones, emotion and richness of the voice track.

Voiceover and dubbing are considered to be two sides of the same coin. However, they are more like two levels on the same scale. The higher up the scale you go, the more local your content sounds.  This is why you need to ask yourself the following question:

How to create voice-overs in other languages

When it comes to creating voice-overs or dubbing, three processes are usually involved. Translating the original speech into the target language, creating a new voiceover in the new language and then editing the new voiceover into the original video.

  • The traditional approach to creating multilingual voiceovers

Traditional dubbing and voiceover involves working with an external agency to handle all three stages (translation, voiceover and editing) or at least the voiceover part. Choosing the right voiceover artist in your target language and asking them to create a new recording for your video can be quite expensive and time-consuming, but the result is worth it.

This is why traditional voiceover and dubbing methods are usually reserved for high-value content or companies with large budgets.

  • Artificial voices using AI

Thanks to the latest AI technology, there are now solutions that can automate this dubbing process.

LenseUp uses machine learning to train a text-to-speech system that can transcribe voices in a video, nd then translate them into the target language and create a synthetic voice-over that sounds like a natural voice in the target language.

Adapting a video for different regions

The process of localising videos for a foreign audience does not always stop at linguistic or even cultural translation. In some cases, the video is completely redone from scratch with new actors, new sets, a new script and even scenarios within the original concept.

Versioning could simply be a cost-effective way to update marketing campaigns, advertisements and video content in the short term, using ia. The term is often used in video post-production and can mean, for example, working on digital video ads and cutting them into different versions. For example, a post-production team might take the ad agency’s production masters and re-edit them to make two versions from a 60-second spot. And the rapid developments in ai will allow this approach to be used on a large scale!

What is video transcreation and how should you use it?

Transcreation is the process of adapting video content from one language or region to another while maintaining the existing message, intent, tone and style.

While translation will usually include some of your original content (audio, visuals, on-screen text, set design, etc.), transcreation will often be a complete reimagining, and creation, of your content so that it better resonates with the target territory and culture.

Unlike translation, which starts with the original script, audio or video, transcreation starts with a creative brief, just like other creative projects in your main language

Transcreation encompasses much more than simply swapping the images in your video, some of your visual content or changing the speech track in your video. Instead, transcreation is about creating new elements that capture the brand’s voice and message in an entirely new language. Transcreation is typically used for highly strategic content, such as marketing campaigns and advertisements.