13 Mar/14

If You Can’t Voice-Over, Subtitle!

multilingual voiceoverA recent marketing study found that consumers who view a branded video of a product or service are much more likely to make a purchase than those who only received static information. In fact, 73% of surveyed participants confirmed that the short product video was the deciding factor in their purchasing decision. As companies are looking to stretch their marketing budgets while maximizing impact regardless of location or language, voice-over and subtitling solutions have emerged as an increasingly popular and cost-effective alternative to in-market reshoots. In a basic sense, the process of localizing an existing video simply involves either changing the voice track or adding foreign language subtitles to the video. Though it may seem a rather simple process, we have all seen a badly timed voice-over track or read through lackluster subtitles. The devil is most certainly in the detail and the results of an incorrectly timed voice-over track can be funny at best and outright embarrassing at worst.

The process of properly subtitling an ad or a company video naturally begins with the video itself. First, the video is viewed and deconstructed, with particular attention being paid to each individual scene, notably the time spent in the scene and the message being conveyed. Once the video itself has been analyzed, the message has to be localized and translated. This part involves two separate steps. First the script of the message has to be reviewed and potentially modified to adjust to the target market. Puns and references might have to be rewritten and cultural norms respected. After the changes to the script have been implemented, the text will have to be translated and subsequently proofed by two professional translators and native speakers of the target language. Finally, the translated text will have to be reviewed again by a writer to ensure that slogans and product information transfer in line with the ad campaign. Once the translation is finished and the video segmented, the process naturally concludes with combining and, most importantly, matching the two, which involves ensuring that the reading pace of the subtitles is consistent, applicable to the scene, and correctly displayed/distributed to make reading as easy and understandable as possible.

Somewhat reversing the process of subtitling, voice-over work begins with the script translation itself. Once the language as well as the mood, timing, and tone of the language has been effectively translated and reviewed, it is time to select a voice talent appropriate for the campaign. This process, again, is heavily dependent on both the target market and the target audience. Finally, a voice recording is produced and subsequently aligned with the video. The most crucial aspect in the production of successful voice over and subtitles is adherence to the special cultural codes and preferences of each target market, its audience and language. For example, when subtitling media for the Chinese market, extra consideration has to be afforded for timing, as Chinese characters take longer to read and, therefore, require more display time than other scripts.

Overall, considering the intricacies of each language, the needs and desires of each individual client, and the constraints of time, voice-over work and subtitling is far from easy. Inherent in the process, though, is a high quality translation of language, which can only be obtained by working with a translation company that has the experience to navigate the process and the standards to deliver effective results. From start to finish, EVS Translations is your ideal translation partner for multilingual voice-over translations and multilingual subtitle translation services. We offers dedicated professional multilingual translators to translate your script, broadcast-standard voice-over artists to convey your message in style and substance, in-house experts to post-engineer all your digital assets and multilingual subtitling translation services for polished visual communication.

If you would like to discuss your upcoming multilingual voice-over and/or subtitling translation projects, inquire about prices, delivery times and our additional translation services like multiple translator in-house teams:

Call our Atlanta office today at +1 404-523-5560 or send us an email: quoteusa(at)evs-translations.com.

Call our Nottingham office today at +44-115-9 64 42 88 or send us an email: quoteuk(at)evs-translations.com.