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    Four Ways to Translate a Video

    Julia Ventskovska
    CEO MK:TRANSLATIONS 30.08.2021
    Four Ways to Translate a Video

    Video and audio translation is used not only in the film industry, but also in business problem solving. We often receive orders to translate ads, audio books, fairy-tales, public service announcements, presentation films, videos for YouTube etc.

    Today, we are going to share some tips that would help you translate your video or audio files effectively and achieve your goals.

    How to do video translation for the international market

    There are four ways to translate video content:

    1. Translation and cultural adaptation for the target audience, i.e. localization;
    2. Voicing in the target language;
    3. Professional dubbing;
    4. Subtitling.

    Here are the details about each way.

    Translation and cultural adaptation

    This is the most effective way to achieve a goal — to make a video understandable for the foreign audience. In this case, not only sound, music and voices are to be adapted. Visuals can also need to be changed. For example, video inscriptions adaptation, timing change and synchronization with new audio track. This need is caused by different phrases length in different languages. Therefore, inappropriate pauses may appear, or speech timing may be longer than the visuals.

    Translating an advertisment or video presentation, the attention of the audience should be drawn to the product itself if its package or design are localized as well. For example, to add a close-up of the product or emphasize it in another way.

    The key condition for quality video localization is the availability of the source file and all audio tracks. Otherwise, work on the project will require more efforts, and therefore, will cost more.

    Video voicing in a target language and professional video dubbing

    These are more simple and cost-effective ways to translate video or audio content than localization as only audio track is adapted. When voicing, it is to be changed completely, including music and sound effects. And in dubbing, only the voice is changed.

    Video voicing in a target language and professional video dubbing


    This is the most simple and saving tool for video translation. It is usually used when time or budget are limited. However, more expensive translation methods may be of no use in some cases due to the project goals.

    In order to subtitle, the text is first transcribed, i.e. transformed from audio format into typed one. Then it is translated and adapted to the visuals, adding time codes.

    We install the ready-made subtitles in video at the client request, however it is not a good idea in practice. Having subtitles as a separate file, you would be able to use them for existing videos, for example, for those on your YouTube channel.

    Subtitles are often used for video tutorials, when it is important to listen to the speech in one language and see its translation in another one. Or when it comes to video adaptation for hearing-impaired people.


    Still have no idea how to do audiovisual translation? Choose one way of four ways above or contact us — our managers are here to help you choose the best option based on the goals and budget of your project.


    See also:

    Transcription for business

    Translator’s Glossary: Video Localization

    Read more

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