Having your video content be available in different languages is greatly beneficial. Providing more languages accessible means potentially reaching a far greater number of potential viewers.

Language translated captions

When it comes to the simplest option, captions are the easiest way to make your video more accessible in other languages. Even if the language spoken in the video is in English, viewers in other languages can read the translation at the bottom of the video. Captions can be embedded into the video, meaning they will always be played, or added as .SRT captions (or closed captions), meaning it can be toggled on or off.

Choosing closed captions gives you even greater flexibility, as platforms like YouTube will allow you to upload multiple srt files in different languages. This means Korean and Spanish viewers, for example, can view your content. If your goal is having a wide number of languages covered in your one video, closed captions are the most efficient route to take.

Other ways to adapt your video to another language

Sometimes, just captions are not enough. For example, your video may be largely text-based, which means that you will need to adjust the video itself if you want to properly connect to certain language audiences. As a need for more accessible content rises as well, you may want to consider “dubbing” spoken content in another language. This requires a designated voice actor to record the translated dialogue to be placed on top of the original speaker. Depending on the video content, your video production company can remove the original voice so that there is no overlap between the two speakers.

Challenges to be aware of when adding new languages.

We’ve worked for various projects where more than one language was required, and have had our fair share of the challenges associated with such a requirement. Here are some of the most common challenges we’ve faced that you will want to be aware of in advance for your project:

Some languages are spoken differently in certain parts of the world

It may, or may not come as a surprise that certain languages can be pretty different depending on geographical location. For example, you usually don’t expect a news report to be delivered in a Scottish accent if you live in Canada. The same goes for other languages. In particular, we’ve occasionally run into the challenge of ensuring we deliver French-Canadian translations. Many companies rely on third-party translation services if there is no one in-house to supervise the translation. When hiring a translation service from English to French, especially if you live in Canada, you want to make sure your translators can provide French-Canadian as an option, as there are subtle differences in certain situations. Confirming this early can save you from needing to re-hire a translator down the road.

Dealing with other languages takes time

You should also be aware that whenever another language is added to the mix, the expected turnaround is significantly longer than with English-only content. The important fact to keep in mind is that within a professional video production company, there are multiple people that play a hand in the overall production process. This includes talent, directors, producers, editors, animators, and more. Each one at some point provides their confirmation if the video is of the right quality to consider acceptable to be shown publicly. Naturally, not all would be expected to know different languages – and the slowed pace to ensure no human error should not be discounted. Keep this in mind when you’re expecting a rushed timeline.

We often suggest to produce and finalize an English version of the video content first – and once it’s set in stone it can serve as a template for other languages so that there is less “guesswork” involved.

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