Le blog d’Amaïa

Translation and subtitling: entrust the localisation of your videos to an expert

Feb 25, 2019

Do you wish to broadcast your corporate videos to all your subsidiaries and clients?

When it comes to documents in Word or PDF format, it’s easy to send it to your translation service provider to obtain a multilingual version, but what about audiovisual content? How should you proceed? Several choices are available to you.

In this article you’ll discover the key to find the solution adapted to your needs.

The solutions for multilingual audiovisual content

Off-camera voice over, voice over, dubbing, subtitling, the Amaïades unveil the techniques that are available to localise your videos.

  1. Subtitling is based on transcribing video dialogues until they are translated. Subtitles are then embedded into the video. This is the least expensive and most common solution as it does not require the intervention of a comedian and the use of a recording booth.
  2. Off-camera voice over corresponds to the voice of a person who is not in the video. The script is transcribed and then translated into the language of your choice. A comedian, native of the language chosen, records his voice by following the scripts and adopting an appropriate diction. For example, this is the case of a journalist commenting off-camera during a report.
  3. Voice over consists of replacing or overlaying the original voice by the translation of the transcript, but the person’s lip movements presented in the video is not taken into account.
  4. Dubbing attempts to replace the original soundtrack with the one in the desired language. This process is the most complex and most expensive since the linguist must first analyse the lip movements so he can adapt his version without making the dubbing noticeable. The public appreciate the quality of the dubbing when they think the person is speaking in their native language.

Zooming in on subtitling, a methodical process

Today, translating subtitles is within everyone’s reach. However, to do it in the rules of art, that’s a whole different ballgame. In fact, subtitling is a very particular translation exercise that requires specific skill.

To better understand the need for an expert, the Amaïades reveal what goes on behind the scenes when they receive a subtitling request:

  • receiving the file, analysing its format, selecting the export format (.mp4 or .mov) and the resolution;
  • all dialogue is captured, the essence of the message is preserved;
  • the video is cut sequentially and prepared, it’s a question of defining the subtitle entry points (beginning of display) and the exit points (end of display). In other words, our teams are “timecoding” the source file;
  • every video is different, the technical constraints must be established in advance: the number of characters per line, duration of display, typographic data, placement of subtitles according to shot changes;
  • the translation is then entrusted to linguists trained in these constraints to ensure legibility and understanding by your target audience;
  • our experts work on a platform to preview their subtitles directly on the video and make the necessary changes before the final version;
  • after proofreading and validation, the subtitles are embedded for good in your video file or delivered in a separate file.

Good to know

The audiovisual expert linguists adopt a concise and oral style while adjusting the text to meet the technical constraints. The translation must correspond only to what has been said in the video, in a summarised form, in order to be read easily. No additions can be inserted in a subtitle.

According to your specifications, you may decide to display two languages in subtitles with different colours to distinguish them when reading. You can also choose the font and size of the subtitles.

If text appears in your video when someone speaks, it cannot be subtitled at the same time as the dialogue, but video editing can be done to insert the translation.

For all other requests and to guarantee a quality translation, please do not hesitate to contact us, the Amaïades will guide you, step by step, in your subtitling project.