Translate video subtitles
Your specialist for video localization
Translation of video subtitles and video scripts
Your audio and text material translated for YouTube, Vimeo and other video portals
More and more companies are turning to videos for their international marketing strategy and, in this context, face the challenge of localizing video content quickly and affordably. Our full service, from the creation of transcripts to the translation of subtitles or the delivery of voice-overs in foreign languages, is the solution for this!
While the need for subtitling and translation services is increasing, some companies are struggling to find the right, experienced service provider who can deliver quality at a reasonable price. By necessity, many YouTubers rely on poor automatic (machine) creation of transcripts and translations.
However, in a professional environment, this is not a viable solution. A faulty or even ridiculous translation of video content immediately rubs off on your business and can render some promotions ineffective.
How we translate
Translations by native speakers
We translate into all languages
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This is important for subtitle translations
Options when localizing your videos
The steps to the finished translation of subtitled videos
Videos or movies consist of image and sound stored on separate tracks. There are different scenarios for preparing the information for different target groups and countries.
Figure 1 Localization workflow for videos and language files
Some producers of videos already offer subtitles in the original language as an aid for people with hearing problems. Keyword here: “Web Accessibility Directive” – EU Directive 2016/2102 on barrier-free access to websites. Depending on their preference, users can turn on subtitles or not.
While subtitles are optional for the original language, translation requires a written form: a transcript or subtitles. So if the original text is not available as text, the spoken material must first be transcribed. A transcript is a verbatim transcription of a spoken text. It is then the basis for the further steps in the translation process.
Often the creation of a transcript is accompanied by the construction of a glossary in order to optimize the quality of the transcript and the translation.”
Then comes the translation, in which we must adhere to certain rules. Depending on whether the final product is to be translated subtitles or a spoken translation (voiceover), there are again different work steps and specifications.
The translation of videos
As a rule, translation proceeds similarly to many normal text translations. Here, too, the technologies used in translation projects come into play.Translation memory systemsrarely bring advantages in terms of reusing existing translations in the case of video translations, as spoken texts are characterized by a high degree of individuality.
However, they have advantages in terms ofconcordance(searching for translated expressions in already translated content) or terminology integration. Also,machine translation combined with post-editingcan bring advantages for extensive content and certain types of text.
Before each project, we review the content, both linguistically and content-wise, to identify features to which we need to pay special attention. For example, in aproduct video, it’s usually important that product names are consistent and match the corporate terminology – if it is available. In individual cases, the pronunciation of a word must also be aligned. For example: is the acronym “SaaS” pronounced as “S-A-A-S” or “sæs”?
In videos where speech sequences follow each other in very short intervals, the length of the translated subtitles can be a problem. For an average reader, a time of 5-6 seconds is considered for reading and understanding two subtitle lines. If the translation is 20 or 30% longer than the original, the viewer of the video may not have enough time to reasonably read the text.
You cannot lump all readers together, as age, education, and content affect reading speed. To keeptranslated subtitles in sync with the pictureif necessary, a strategy must be agreed with the client, such as shortening thecontent of the translationso as not to exceed a certain time frame. When the translation is subsequently spoken, certain translators are used who have mastered thisspecial know-how. Audiovisual translators are masters of what is known aslip-synchronous translation.
The localization of videos
In some cases, commercials or videos may contain elements thatmay beproblematic either in thelinguistic or non-linguisticdomain for the purpose and target audience abroad.
They can be symbols, politically interpretable motifs (such as maps and borders), technical aspects (e.g. the recommendation of a browser for a product advertisement that is difficult to access in the target country) or linguistic expressions and examples. These are aspects to which we draw attention during editing.
SRT and VTT subtitle file
Differentfile formatssupport subtitlingsuch as SRT (Sub Rip Text), VTT (WebVTT – Web Video Text Track). SRT format is the most commonly used format SRT files are supported by many video programs like the open-source Subtitle Edit.
SRT files are text files which can be read and edited in a normal text editor. Each subtitle sequence (usually 1-2 lines) appears in a paragraph along with a sequence number and time information (timecode). The switching time is given in the form “00:00:02,142 -> 00:00:04,101″. If you want to edit the switching time as well as the subtitle text, it is recommended to use a subtitle editor.
Once the translation is complete, it is integrated into the video as subtitles or, if necessary, as a new audio track that replaces the original track(dubbing) or as a second audio track that overlays the original track (voiceover).
Testing of the translated or localized version by a native speakeris recommended. We offer this service for customer projects on request.
We translate for these industries
We regularly translate videos and subtitles for the following industries:
We offer these languages
We regularly translate videos and subtitles into a variety of languages:
This is how we proceed with video translations
Quality and time saving
Transcript and subtitles in videos
The difference between subtitles and transcript is that subtitles are another editing step after the transcript is created. The transcript is used to form small units that appear on the screen in sync with the audio. Typically, the subtitles of a video are located at the bottom of the screen and take up a maximum of two lines of up to 43 characters, although this number may vary for some languages and output media (e.g., 23 characters for Chinese, Japanese, or Korean).
The linguistic and technical quality of the spoken material can vary widely. In interviews, the speaker will rarely speak fit to print, and his or her statement will contain quite a few “Um…”, slips of the tongue, or grammatical errors. Background noise can also affect the content of the transcript. In professional corporate videos, improvisation is rare. The speaker reads a text aloud or takes inspiration from it. Therefore, in the case of freely spoken texts, the question of how much adaptation is allowed or desired in the transcription must be clarified. Is it permissible to correct slips of the tongue, eliminate grammatical errors, omit superfluous words, or insert missing words? These are questions that we clarify with you in advance for certain projects. Otherwise, we follow the recommendations of the practical book Dresing & Pehl (2018) for freely spoken texts.
Before the translation starts, we ask the client to approve the transcript for problematic texts.
Reference and example projects
Do you use content management systems (CMS) such as TYPO3, WordPress, Drupal or Joomla! to manage your websites? Do you regularly update content in multiple languages? Then you can benefit from our experience and from the software products of D.O.G., which efficiently support you in the implementation of your internet strategy.
This is how it works
How to produce a video translation
We translate and localize your videos into multiple languages. A typical project proceeds in the following steps:
- We analyze and evaluate your source material.
- For large and complex projects, we develop a project plan and schedule.
- We create a transcript of the video if one is not available. The transcript is reviewed before it is given to the translators.
- Here we have two alternatives that we coordinate with you:
a. The translators receive the videos and transcript and translate it.
b. The transcript is machine translated and then post-edited.
- A quality control checks the quality of the translation as well as the length of the sequences and the synchronization with the images.
- For some projects, a voice-over is made in the target languages with professional dubbing actors.
- Depending on the type of project, you will receive the translation as an SRT or VTT file or as a fully localized video.
Accepted file formats
Technical integration & file formats
We can read and edit various formats used in connection with videos:
RTT is very common and is usually used to create transcripts of video files.
VTT is another format for subtitles.
AVI is a video file format developed by Microsoft. It is a popular format for storing videos, since it can be played back on a variety of different devices and computers.
MOV is a video file format developed by Apple. It is used by iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.
WMV is a video file format developed by Microsoft. It can be played on a variety of different devices and computers.
MP3 and MP4
MP3 is a format for storing audio files. MP4 is a format for storing video files.
Questions about translating videos
Texts that are too long can certainly occur during translation. This is especially the case with languages that are longer than the source language. This is called language expansion. For example, French or Spanish is about 20 to 25% longer than German. This can obviously have consequences for the usability of the video or sometimes cause the translation to be unusable. Here are some examples of the consequences of language expansion:
- The overly long text obscures important elements of the video.
- There is not enough space for the translation on the screen.
- The viewer does not have enough time to read the full translation.
A voice-over is a recording of a speaker who is not visible on the screen. Voice-over is used, for example, in connection with translations. In this case, the translation must be lip-synchronous, i.e. as in sync as possible with the actors' speech actions.
Automatic translations are tempting because they are fast and cost little. For personal use they can be a help in some cases, but for professional videos they are very problematic. First, because automatic transcripts often don't recognize words correctly. Second, because the translations contain errors. Third, because the texts are often too long or out of sync with the actors speaking.
D.O.G. services at a glance
We offer our clients a carefree full service for the translation of videos and commercials:
Would you like to have a video professionally translated?
Get in touch with us! We will be happy to advise you and select the best option for you. You will then receive a binding offer in the shortest possible time.