Localising Multimedia – Content Software – Complex, But Incredibly Profitable!

Creating software with multimedia content is a highly complex endeavor. That is why IT companies typically invest enormous amounts of money when they develop software as they need to pay their own software engineers, as well as designers, actors, camera teams, testers, etc., depending on the type of software. With those efforts, the result will ideally be a software product that is user-friendly, appealing and engaging. The software might include audio and audiovisual content, graphs, interactive functions, games, quizzes, etc. All of those elements can increase the overall user experience – but of course they also mean higher development costs.


Why investing in localisation services pays off for software developers

Though professional IT companies usually plan carefully and do market research before they make investments in new multimedia software development, as always there is a risk that it will prove not worthwhile and that the significant development costs will make the whole endeavor unprofitable. Anyway, once IT companies have already developed their multimedia software in one language, it is often a highly advisable strategy to invest a certain amount on top to have the software localised. In fact, this might turn even an unprofitable investment into a profitable one. If, for example, you have your software professionally localised into languages of big markets, such as Chinese, Spanish or Arabic, you will easily reach millions of prospective customers who are interested in purchasing your software product.

Challenges in the localisation of software with multimedia content

As you can see, going global can be the most important factor behind the success of a software development business. But what are the typical challenges (and their solutions) in multimedia software localisation?

– Written text content: Translating written text content in multimedia software can be difficult. One of the main problems is space for text: A significant percentage of text content in software must fit into very restricted space, for example on small buttons, as legends to symbols, captions, etc. This can be a real problem, because some languages simply need more space than others. When, for example, a text is translated from English into German, it normally becomes significantly longer. Solutions can be found based on the language that you translate to. For languages, which use Roman script, reducing the font size might be a good option. For Chinese or Japanese, however, you need to be careful withsmaller font sizes, as they might affect readability. Besides space restrictions, there are several furtherpossibly problematic aspects, for example when text appears in images and needs to be re-designed by multilingual DTP experts, when it needs to be aligned from left to right for languages such as Arabic, when there are font display problems, which is often the case for languages such as Vietnamese, etc.

– Audio content: When audio-content is translated, the standard procedure involves transcription of the original audio text followed by its translation, which is then spoken and recorded by voiceover artists. Depending on the content, more than one speaker might be needed (for example one younger and one older or one female and one male speaker, etc.)

– Audiovisual content: Also for audiovisual content, such as video clips or interactive games, voiceover (as described above) can often be the best option. However, there are also cases, in which subtitling is preferable. Challenges with subtitling include, the need to get the time coding right, to find suitable solutions for cases in which several people speak simultaneously, etc. A quality linguistic service provider can suggest tailor-made options that work best for your audiovisual clips and also advise you if you should go for voiceover or dubbing solutions.


Increase ROI with software localisation

As you can see, the software localisation process is very complex and there is much more to do than simply translating text content. However, with the help of a professional localisation service provider, you can find customers in foreign markets, which means that you will see a much higher return on investment. Often, costs for localising software are very small compared to the original software development expenses, but it is localisation that will enable access to huge new markets and make the software development process as a whole much more profitable.


At elionetwork, we have in-house DTP experts, software engineers, designers and translators as well as access to a huge, global database of professional vendors to provide turnkey localisation solutions for your multimedia software. With two decades of experience, we are true multimedia experts and the preferred software localisation service provider for many globalcompanies. We are keen to learn more about your software localisation needs, so contact us now to see how we can help!