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Translating video into multiple languages.

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Tom Schneider
Translating video into multiple languages.
on Aug 14, 2014 at 12:20:46 pm

Hi, I need to translate a large quantity of software tutorial videos into multiple languages and i don't know where to start. The scripts should be no problem, but I am not sure how to handle the voice over work. Can anyone give me some advise?

Thank you!

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Mads Nybo Jørgensen
Re: Translating video into multiple languages.
on Aug 15, 2014 at 8:11:11 am

Hey Tom,

It really depends on where you are based and whether you need this work done remotely?

How many videos are there?
How many different languages are you dealing with?
Are there a mix of nat-sot and music, or is it speak only?
Does it involve people speaking on screen or off screen?
Does the Voice Over need a professional artist, or does the client have people who speaks the target language?

Some countries are happy with subtitles, might be worth considering.

These are just the starter questions. Once you have those answered you can determine whether to do it "in-house" using remote speakers (many have a home studio) or whether to go to a professional audio facility.

All the Best

@madsvid, London, UK
Check out my other hangouts:
Twitter: @madsvid

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Thomas Leong
Re: Translating video into multiple languages.
on Aug 22, 2014 at 7:12:32 am

Apart from being able to find a voice in a particular language, one main problem in foreign language voice-overs is a professional read. Fluency and intonations, etc play a major role in delivering a convincing VO.

The other major problem is the language itself. A short English sentence may require several words in a particular foreign language to convey the same meaning. This creates time/duration problems in re-syncing to your English cuts/footage.

Years ago, I had to do a Japanese VO sync and client had a local 'friend of a friend' who had volunteered to do the VO for free. We used a pro studio and recorded the voice. Fine. I then hired someone from the local Japanese Language Institute to sit with me and help me with the re-sync session. Went well. But when finished work was presented to some 'test subjects' who knew the language, the main comment was "The voice sounded amateurish". And this was a presentation meant to sell tourism promotion to Japanese tour agencies. In the end, client heeded the advice of the 'test subjects' and I had to contact a Japanese colleague in Japan to re-record the script with a professional voice-over in Japan. Cost was obviously higher, but it did sound much better.

So be aware that just because it sounds, say, Greek, does not mean it sounds convincing for the intended audience in that particular language. Then again, it may be alright for a non-formal presentation like a software tutorial, but if the software costs $thousands, a professional read is what I would recommend.

Thomas Leong

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