Business Translation Center

Top 5 business video translation tips

by OFER TIROSH 17/04/2019

Whether you’ve only just conceived the idea for your video project or you have an existing video that you would like to translate, it’s important to get the very best translation that you can in order to maximise the return on your investment. YouTube alone has over one billion users, while 82% of those using Twitter watch video content on the platform. Your video has the potential to reach a global audience – so make sure you get it right! These professional video translation tips should help. 

Use a specialist video translator

Let’s start with the obvious. Don’t use a general purpose business translation professional to translate your video. Video translation is a specialist task, so requires a translator who has specialist skills. You need an individual who can transcribe, timestamp and prepare subtitles, as well as translate flawlessly into the language that you need. This is not an area in which to cut corners if you want your video to have every possible chance of attracting attention from foreign audiences. 

Engage a localization expert 

It doesn’t matter whether your translation is of an existing video or whether you’re still mapping out your video project. In either case, using a localization expert to help guide the process will be of benefit. They can review both the visual content and the dialogue from the viewpoint of the intended audience and advise on any elements that might not be well received. This can include anything that might offend religious or cultural sensitivities, or that will simply be something that the new audience won’t understand. A good localization expert and an accurate translation can result in a video that feels as though it has been created specifically for the foreign audience. 

It’s also worth considering globalizing as much of your content as possible. Making your video universally appealing so far as this is practicable will maximise potential engagement – and you can still localize any elements that it’s simply not possible to globalize. 

Leave sufficient subtitle space

Different languages use different numbers of words to say the same thing. 500 words of English equates to 484 words of German, or 531 words in Russian. This is something that you need to factor in when undertaking a business video translation. It’s essential not just to leave enough space on the screen for the subtitles, but also to leave enough time between frames for viewers to read them. 

Speak slowly 

If you know from the outset that you’re going to translate your video, be sure to speak slowly when recording it. This will mean that there is plenty of time for viewers in other languages to read the subtitles that the translated versions of the video will include. It will also avoid the need for you to add any kind of ‘filler’ content to space out the video in order to leave time for the subtitles. 

Avoid on-screen text

While you might need to use some on-screen text in your video, avoid using it as much as possible. This is because viewers in other languages will already be reading the subtitles that you have included. Expecting them to also have to read screens full of text as well as subtitles before the frame changes doesn’t make for an enjoyable viewing experience. 

Final thoughts 

Video can be an excellent means of connecting your brand with new customers around the world. Indeed, given our increasing appetite for video, some would say it is absolutely essential for any forward-thinking video these days. As such, make sure you produce the very best video that you can, no matter which languages you choose to share it in!