How to provide high-quality
yet time-efficient multimedia translation services
Multimedia translation is a time consuming and difficult process. Every project can be different depending on the types of deliverables and clients’ demands. Localisation agencies must satisfy such a wide range of requests, but it is more efficient if the clients can understand their demands better.
Help your clients to understand their demands
One fundamental insight into multimedia translation and multimedia localisation is that every project is unique. Each client has unique needs and deliverables. Some clients have been equipped with an in-house script and a native-language voice artist. Therefore, those clients can record and edit the voice-overs by themselves. On the other hand, other clients require the multimedia translation service provider to arrange the recording, editing and syncing the voice-overs for them. On some occasions, clients only require a subtitling service. Consequently, to provide high-quality and time-efficient multimedia translation services, you must ask as many questions as possible at the briefing state for resource arrangement and quotation allocation.
The first task to provide a high-quality multimedia localisation service is to ensure the multimedia content is localisable. If the video has been intensively targeted to a particular domestic audience, it needs to be remade to match with the audience in another country. For example, in many cultures, it is appropriate for a video to include an image of a man sitting casually with his legs crossed. In contrast, in Arab cultures, it is offensive to display the soles of your shoes. The most efficient approach is to consult your localisation team before beginning production on a video you intend to adapt for foreign audiences. The consultation enables you to develop a video that can be smoothly localised.
Script translation is the backbone of multimedia translation, whether you use subtitles, voiceovers, or dubbing. It will be less challenging if you have a script already. You can translate directly from the script. If you do not have a script, for example, if you are using “talking heads” or interview subjects speaking to the camera, you need to transcribe first. This is when time-stamped transcription becomes handy for the video editor later when adding either the foreign-language voice track or the translated subtitles to the video.
Subtitles or voice-overs?
Subtitles are significantly cheaper than recorded voice-overs. However, the cost is only one of the possible factors for consideration. There are three scenarios in which voice-overs are the optimal choice:
1) You need to build the audience’s emotions, particularly in creative advertising or e-learning.
2) You need the audience’s attention to be on the visual, for example, in video manuals or demonstrations.
3) You want the video to have an original look and feel as if it were made specifically for this audience.
When your client asks for a quote, the quote will generally include all of the elements in the process. For subtitles: In case a script is not available, transcription is priced per minute of audio from the sourced video. For translation: the cost is priced per word and depends on the number of editing tasks such as shortening or adapting. For the creation of subtitle files (.srts): the cost of creating subtitle files is priced per minute of video. Encoding hard subs will be an additional charge at an hourly rate. For voiceovers: this is the most expensive part which includes voice talent and studio time. In this part, the cost depends on the number of voice talents and the amount of acting needed.
At elionetwork, we provide full multimedia localisation service including multimedia transcription, video translation, voiceover and subtitling services. With more than 20 years of experience in working with agencies and clients around the globe, we commit to provide services that are tailor-made for specific audiences in different countries and cultures. Contact us today to get your localising jobs done!