A note from the TextMaster Team: This is the second part of our series with Transifex on how to localization. For the first post on software localization, click here.

Video usage is growing faster than almost any other type of content on the internet. Why? Because it is engaging and entertaining, and because people learn better through storytelling. That’s what video is – a visual way to tell your story.

If you also consider that more than half of internet users are non-english speaking, then the next logical step is to think of ways to localize all this video content. When planning on translating video subtitles or voice overs, a good rule of thumb is to create your multimedia content, such as graphics and videos, with localization in mind. We have compiled a set of five tips to remember when you begin localizing your video content.


1. Subtitles expand

If the source is created in English, assume that the text and audio will generally expand when translated. What do I mean? Most languages are longer than English by about 15%. Russian for example, take up to 40% more space. Post-translation text expansion and contraction can significantly impact the end quality of your finalized product and needs to be taken into account.


2. So do voice overs

When you go about recording the source audio, you should allow extra time for the voice over language to expand, and to create space in a video to accommodate the potentially longer localized audio. How do you do this? When creating your voice over, utilize pauses or a deliberate slower speaking cadence.


3. Time your scripts

You should use accurately timed audio scripts to keep the voice over language expansion to a minimum. If the translator is aware of the time limits, he or she will be able to make better decisions during the recording. This means that if the translation is longer than the source, the voice artist can compensate with increased pace during the recording process.


4. Localize the soundtrack too

If you are integrating music into your content to run alongside the spoken audio, you should double check to see that the style of music is appropriate and will adapt seamlessly to support the expanded localized voice over track.


5. Choose fonts carefully

When you are considering a font to use for the subtitles, you need to take into consideration the target language(s) for localization and the associated character sets.

Keep these things in mind and your localized video content will be top notch.

About Transifex
Transifex was founded in 2009 after being incubated while founder and CEO Dimitris Glezos participated in Google’s Summer of Code. The company is, at its heart, both global and digital—with engineers on two continents and customers in over 30 countries representing over 17,000 projects with 170,000 users, localizing content in more than 150 languages.

SubTitly: revolutionising subtitle translation

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