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How to Translate Videos Efficiently: A Step-by-Step Guide

Posted by Chloe G. on August 25, 2023.

There is no denying of the increasing power of videos in the content strategy of companies worldwide. It is estimated that the purchase decisions of 90% of customers are influenced by videos that they watch. This is why 81% of businesses are using video for marketing purposes.

Video translation services, therefore, play a more and more important role in making your corporate and marketing video content more accessible to audiences in different countries. How to translate videos efficiently, however, remains a challenging task for many businesses.

In today’s post, let’s go into the steps required on how to translate videos and to guarantee you a successful and cost-effective video translation project.

How to Translate Videos: Define Which Markets Are Your Strong Suit

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Video translation services are not cheap, making it impossible for businesses with limited budgets to translate video content into the languages of all their target markets. The limitations of resources mean companies have to make the hard choices of translating their video content into a limited number of languages. Some companies make this decision by translating their content into the most popular languages in the world like English, Spanish, French, or Chinese.

While this is not the wrong choice, it is not necessarily the best one. Companies should define which markets they are doing well, and which markets have the potential to do better with the support of the videos. The demographics of your viewers and analytics tools can shed light on the geographic areas where your content is most popular. You can give priority to translate your videos to these markets first.


Work with Experienced Video Translators

The answer to how to translate videos effectively heavily depends on the video translators you are going to work with. Thus, you need to pay extra attention to the recruitment of video translators for your video translation projects. Here are some qualities you should look for in your candidates:

  • Language Proficiency: Like any other type of translation, video translation requires translators to have high proficiency in using both the source and target languages, along with a solid understanding of the cultures and the industry your business is operating.
  • Technical Skills: One challenge of video translation is that translators are likely to work on different file formats than Word. In many cases, video translators work on SRT files with timestamping. To translate the video faster and more efficiently, translators must be able to use different file formats.
  • Related Experience: You should work with translators who have experience in translating video content that is similar to the field of your business. Carefully reading their portfolio will give you a sense of what they are capable of doing and their working styles.

Decide Whom to Work with: Translation Companies or Freelance Translators

In most cases, working with freelance video translators comes with a lower cost. Thus, it is a more affordable choice for companies with a limited budget or smaller tasks. However, when it comes to big-volume tasks, you will have to work with numerous independent translators, requiring more coordination efforts from your side.

Meanwhile, a video translation company has the capacity to handle both small and big projects and smoothly coordinate all relevant teams as they have a specialized team of project managers. They also have the capability to support the technical aspects of your translated videos. However, you should expect a higher translation cost, compared to freelance translators.


Discuss with Your Shortlisted Video Translation Providers

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Having a discussion with your video translation providers is a crucial step for them to understand the project’s requirements and your expectations. It is also an opportunity for you to evaluate your candidates’ compatibility and capability to work on your video translation project. Besides skills and experience, work attitudes play an important role in the efficiency of your project. Through discussion, you can make sure your candidates have the right work attitudes.

You should ask your video translation providers to do a small test before making the final decision on whom to work with. Most translators are happy to do a 200 to 300-word video translation test for free.


Agree on the Project Scope

To avoid any misunderstanding, you should clearly define the scope of the project with your video translation service provider before the project starts. Key points to agree on how to translate videos should include:

  • Type of video translation: Make sure you mention clearly which services you need from your service providers. Is it subtitling, closed captioning, or voiceover?
  • Technical requirements: Define your expected video format, resolution, or time restrictions for the subtitles/captions.


Start Translating the Video

How to translate videos? Once the project starts, the key to an effective video translation project is communication. You should frequently check on the progress of the projects, discuss and find solutions for any problem and challenge that emerges in a timely manner to make sure the deadlines are met.


Format and Publish the Translated Video Edition

Besides guaranteeing the accuracy of the translated content, you shouldn’t overlook the technical and visual quality of the translated video.

  • Quality Control: The translated video needs to be checked to make sure the text is aligned accurately, the captions or subtitles are timed correctly, and the voiceovers are clear and understandable.
  • Video Visual: You should pay attention to the appearance of the translated content, making sure it is consistent with the original one. Elements such as text fonts, sizes, colors, and images must be aligned with your brand’s identity and design.
  • Platform Optimization: Once your video is up and running on different platforms, make sure that it is optimized by adding the video’s description, metadata, and keywords. These elements help your video reach a larger audience.


Need Professional Assistance for Your Video Translation Project?

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Video translation can be overwhelming due to numerous linguistic and technical requirements. You can always get help from a professional video translation service provider like GTE Localize. With a team of video translators specializing in different areas of business, we provide reliable video translation services for all major languages in the world.

Simply contact our team for a free consultancy and a quote for your upcoming video translation projects.