Multimedia has the power to create a magical impact on the audience. No one realizes this better than business owners do or marketers do. It is why they go all out to advertise their products/services/online shops/events, etc, in the most innovative ways possible on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, etc. To illustrate, a survey by Render forest concludes, “78% of users got more traffic to their website after using videos. Besides, 71% of them claimed that thanks to videos the average time on their website has increased. 69% of users generated more leads with the help of video content, and 54% of users increased their sales.”
However, not everybody can follow every language. Many people prefer the presentation of content in their native tongues, rather than in English or an alien language. Therefore, innovative software programs have come into play to translate content from one language to another.
Multimedia localization has become very popular with the rise of audio-visual content being consumed worldwide through the rapid availability of internet penetration. And since the content is consumed worldwide, ensuring it conveys exactly what it intended in the original language becomes crucial for building brands and businesses.
There are 5 distinct steps involved in the multimedia localization process:
Transcription of text
The translator gathers all the source material in one place. The material could be in audio, video or mixed media format. Whatever is the format, the transcription converts it into on-screen content. In other words, the text acquires the format of a written script in the targeted language. After that, processes such as editing and proofreading come into play. They could be manual in nature. Alternatively, automation tools can take over followed by human editing, also referred to as Post Editing(PE).
Localization of content
Localization involves converting the multimedia material from original to that which is specific with due regard to cultural nuances of the destination. During this process, the person takes into consideration the currencies, units of measurement, format for writing the time and date, etc. in alignment with the demands of the target culture.
In reality, multimedia localization is not an easy task. A slator 2018 Media Localization Report highlights the importance of this aspect by focusing on the media entertainment industry. Difficulties arise when translation involves uncommon language combinations. As the report observes, the cross-cultural exchange has increased the demand for localization of content that does not include English. E.g. localization from Hindi to Chinese, as Bollywood goes to China.”
Conversion for audio
Sometimes, the receiver expects the translation in audio format. In such cases, the translator finishes converting the text matter into the targeted language first. This translation goes to people proficient with the target language for review. There is deep checking for errors in grammar, distortions in meaning, following cultural conventions, and many other parameters. Finally, the proofread content goes into a voice file.
As the name suggests, it refers to recording one’s voice with the aid of a recording device and storing it on a digital system. The linguistic variables, dialect, enunciation, tone, accent and diction must be perfect. Towards this end, the recording manager gives training to the artist, as well as, takes charge of the audio production process. Voiceover artists receive training and certification from reputed institutions. For instance, a translator trained at ActiLingua would have “excellent knowledge of German: problem-free and fluent communication in situations of all kinds, understanding of complex written and oral passages of all kinds, the ability to discuss complex topics.” The artists are trained to use a broad range of language devices. It also follows that expert technicians will be on hand to take charge of setting up the desired equipment in a professional manner. When everything synchronizes, the outcome is splendid!
It is not possible to bring together translated text content and recorded voice/audio/dubbing via a simple process. Merely using editing software (even of high quality) to combine two files, will not do. It is important that the writing (script) and the verbalization (spoken words) match perfectly. It is all a matter of excellent timing. Otherwise, the output will fail to be flawless. Thus, audio-visual publishing tools come into play.
Sometimes, the receiver of the localized content might desire to save on costs or focus on the use of subtitles in the target language. Naturally, synchronization is easier in such cases. The text matter has to undergo adjusting and editing in alignment with the video timelines.
The next time you undertake an exercise with multilingual translation, refer to the steps above for a smooth process.
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