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Translating your video content: 5 top tips

By Josian Phillips, 

There’s no denying the usefulness of video when marketing your business. According to a report by Cisco, consumer internet video traffic will account for 80% of all consumer internet traffic in 2019. Many businesses already use videos to engage with their customers, but why limit this valuable marketing method to only English speakers?

Using our 5 top tips, you can start translating your video content and use this popular medium to engage with customers on an international level.

1. Think about globalisation from the start

When you’re planning your marketing videos, keep in mind that you’d like them to be translated for an international audience. You’ll need to consider every element of your videos including sound, images and colours. Try to avoid any English idioms or gestures which might mean different things in different countries. For example, a thumbs up may be a positive thing in the UK, but is a very offensive gesture in other places around the globe, such as South America or the Middle East. By considering how your video will come across to other cultures, you can make a video that can be translated at a later date and shouldn’t offend your international customers.

2. Leave some pauses in your video

This may seem counterintuitive when you’re trying to sell your company and want to fit as much as possible into the video, but leaving a few pauses between speech gives you space to allow for the expansion of other languages, whether you’re translating via audio voiceover or subtitles. German, for example, typically takes up 10%-35% more space than English, so for your video to work in German, without the voiceover speaking very fast, it could be helpful to have a video with a few pauses built in. Many languages around the world do actually expand when converted from English, so it’s important to bear this in mind.

3. Avoid on-screen titles

If possible, it’s a good idea to avoid on-screen titles that come up to emphasise what the speaker in the video is talking about. They can be costly to translate. Also, if you decide to use subtitles rather than voiceovers to localise your videos, you could find that you have too much writing on the screen.

4. Leave subtitle space

If you do decide to localise your videos with subtitles, you’ll want to make sure that they don’t obscure any of your video content. If you can, try to leave space for them on the lower half of the screen. This means that most of your action should take place in the top half of your screen.

5. Don’t neglect to translate old videos

Although it’s best practice to incorporate globalisation plans into your videos from the start, you don’t need to neglect your existing ones. With the right professional translators who have in-depth local knowledge of your target country, you can successfully translate your existing videos to engage with international customers.

The popularity of videos with web users has seen an explosion in recent years. By incorporating your global strategy into the planning stages of making your videos, you can save yourself a lot of time and money in the long run, by producing videos that would work well in most parts of the world.

Brightlines Translation offer global translation services for any business looking to translate their video content. If you’d like to know more about how video translation could help your business to maintain its international presence, or expand across the world, please Call 01225 580770 or click here for a quote. We are happy to help, and advice is always free.

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