Depending on your budget, there are several options for translating video files. As with any other translation project, the client must identify the target audience and what they want to achieve with the translation. Once that is established, everyone will have a better understanding of the scope and will be better equipped to determine the best option for their needs.
There are many options to accommodate any video and multimedia project and budget. The key is to know your options and to have a thorough understanding of your project.
- Subtitles- the text that appears at the bottom of a video file providing the translation of the audio.
- Close Captions- text that appears in a black box as a transcription of the original spoken language. It is usually destined to help the hearing impaired.
1. Voice Over
a. On camera narration
-UN Style- the original language of the speaker can still be heard underneath the voice talent’s translation.
a. Lip Sync-the replacement of an original voice on a video in synchronization with the lip movements.
*An alternative to lip synching (when there are budget restraints and you don’t want to use voice over), is to add images related to the narration that could “cheat” time making it look like you actually lip synched the narration.
b. Looping- a very expensive type of dubbing. It consists in recording tiny fragments of the speech at a time. A machine then determines the amount of time that takes saying that fragment on the source language and the machine will continue to loop back to the beginning until the voice talent renders the translation in the same amount of time.
c. Lock-to-Picture-the voice talent sits in a recording booth with a headset where he can hear the original audio on one ear and his voice on the other. This allows the voice talent to take visual and audio cues.
d. Time Match- the length of both, the source and target language recording will be identical but, there the lip movements will not necessarily match meaning that, both recordings will be 20 minutes long, for example, but sometimes it would take either the original speaker or the voice talent more or less time to finish a given sentence.
e. Off-camera narration- the replacement of a voice recording for which the speaker is not visible. Such is the case of some National Geographic or Discovery documentaries.
We hope this quick tips will help you better understand the media and video translation business and point you into the right direction when seeking professional services. At JR Language, we always try to inform our clients and provide them with the services they really need to achieve their goals.
First, video killed the radio star and now, it is taking over everything else. With the emergence of youtube, video has confirmed that it is here to stay. The use of video is also reaching the global world and there is a growing need to localize video files. In the world of translation, video comes with certain specifications. Clients have many options when translating a video dialogue. It is kind of a grey area that should be cleared out to help clients pick the best options for their needs.
There are three main techniques to translate a video dialogue:
1. Subtitling- This is the best known technique of the three. It consists of inserting the oral dialogue into words on the video file, without altering the audio file. Different countries have different ways of placing the subtitles on the screen: many Asian countries place them in the right corner of the screen as a column (as to simulate their writing format), while other countries place them in the upper-centered part of the screen, but the most common method is to place them at the bottom of the screen.
Elements that determine proper subtitling location:
- How many words the audience will read
- Over what length of time
- How fast the subtitles replace each other
- In which country will the video be viewed
2. Voice-over- This technique does not completely replace the original voices, but rather new voices are recorded over the original ones. Here, the original dialogue is muted slightly to allow the voice talent to perform the translation, yet one can still hear the original voice recording.
3. Dubbing- This is a complete replacement of the original voices. We do not hear them at all. A voice talent will translate the original dialogue transmitting the tones, emotions, and other elements of the original dialogue or speech.
If you have a need for video translation, contact us to talk more in depth about your specific needs and provide you with a free estimate. We would love to help you translate and localize your video so that you can communicate with the world.
Even though we are not changing languages but media, transcriptions are a type of translation. As with any other translation, there are several elements we have to consider before providing each client with a price. And, this is exactly where the headache starts.
We always consider these elements:
- Audio quality – Is there loud background noise? Is the recording new or old?
- Participants – Who are the parties involved in the exchange?
- Speech speed – Are they talking slowly or quickly?
- Media – Is it an audio file, which makes it difficult to recognize the parties if there are more than two, or is it a video file, which makes it a hundred times easier?
- Vocabulary – Even if the conversation is held in the native languages of the translator, are they using daily life vocabulary or is it technical or, perhaps, slang?
- Setting – Are they in an enclosed setting (a solitary room) or outside (at a park, university campus, etc.)?
Imagine this situation:
A group of three couples is dining at a restaurant, three men and three women. And, let’s not forget the server. They will have a normal exchange of words, as all of us do at a restaurant, which means no one will introduce themselves when speaking. Even if we have a man with a very deep voice and a woman with a very high pitch (both easily recognizable), the translator will still have four other voices that are hard to recognize; the server’s voice should be recognizable. To that, add the fact it is a Saturday, so the restaurant is PACKED! The background voices of other customers will make it difficult to recognize your target characters. Also, not everyone is familiar with culinary terms, which means that the speakers probably will not pronounce the dishes properly; therefore, the translator may not be clear on their discussion. A complete nightmare, right?
So, next time you find your translator a bit hesitant about giving you a price before analyzing your material, please understand why!
As students, we’ve needed a transcript at some point in our lives. And maybe this is the reason why the first thing that comes to mind when talking about transcripts is an academic transcript. However, in the translation world, there is another kind of transcript that sometimes can be a real headache for translators.
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a transcript can either be:
- an official document of a student’s academic records, or
- a written copy of dictated or recorded material
In this post, we will be talking about the latter transcript.
There are many instances in which one could need a transcript, for example:
- Legal - A lawyer may need a court activity transcript to review a case, or counsel may need the transcript of a potential client’s interview performed at a police station to build a case.
- Marketing - A marketing agency may need a transcript of a focus group’s conversations or interviews in order to take their suggestions and create a successful product or campaign.
- Academic – Subject interviews are the main source of study for linguists, using them to determine different linguistic phenomena.
Transcripts are treated basically as legal documents in the sense that they have to be a verbatim copy of the original and should not be modified, unless otherwise specified by the client. One of the most important things to know is that, given the oral nature of these documents, you have to make sure that the person performing the transcription can identify the speech of the speaker(s); if not, you will end up with an unsuccessful transcription.
In an upcoming post, we will discuss what to take into consideration when pricing a transcript.