The Smart Manufacturer’s Guide to Translated Video

August 8, 2020

As a manufacturer operating in the digital world, there are many videos you could create for your business. Training videos, product videos, marketing videos, onboarding videos… the list goes on and on. 

And videos are increasingly required across the industry. According to one survey, 81% of manufacturers already incorporate video into their marketing strategy. Within a few years, it is predicted that the majority of internet traffic will be video. 

The problem comes when you need to serve that video to international markets. 

How do you translate so many videos in a cost-effective way?

How can you ensure they remain on-brand in your other languages?

How will you know that the translated videos actually work?

In our experience, manufacturers often get burned when they try to translate their video content. Their translations arrive late and over budget, using far more of their internal resources than they had initially anticipated. To make matters worse, the videos never seem to work as well as they should in their international markets.

Why is it apparently so difficult to translate video content!?

Why most manufacturers misunderstand video translation 

Many manufacturers misunderstand what is required to produce quality translations that truly meet the needs of their business. This is understandable — after all, we can’t all be experts at everything — but it can have far-ranging effects on your business.   

The misunderstanding is that localization only happens after you create your English content. 

People assume that they first need to create the videos, then send those videos to the translators, and then the job is done. They view translation as an add-on cost to the content creation itself. 

In reality, most of the work that goes into creating a great translated video happens before the video is even created. The way you create your English videos hugely affects the translation process. If you don’t recognize this, you will end up paying exorbitant prices for the translations and your team will have to do a lot of extra video engineering work themselves. 

Most translation companies won’t tell you this. They just translate whatever video content you send them and bill you for it later. 

You end up with more work, less budget, and a nagging feeling that it’s just not worth it to translate your videos.

This is not how video translation should be, but it is unfortunately what often happens. 

A better way to understand video translation

At Rubric, we look at video translation as an entire process. 

And I encourage you to do the same. 

This process starts before you have even made your English videos. 

It starts when you first make a decision about what type of video you will make and how you would like to make it. Each decision you make about the video creation will determine how easy or difficult it will be to translate the content — and thus affect the cost and complexity of the translation. 

Most of the work involved in video translation is engineering (e.g. video editing, adding or changing images and icons, audio recording). The translation of the words themselves does not usually require much work. However, the engineering required to fit the translated content (both words and other content) to the video can become astronomical if the source content isn’t prepared properly. 

When you understand how the process of content creation affects translation, you can make choices that will ensure an efficient, smooth, and pain-free video translation process. 

As an added bonus, your translated video content will work much more effectively in your international markets. 

3 tips to get the most from your translated video

How do you ensure that you are being smart about your video translation process?

There are various ways to improve how you approach video translation, some of which can learn about in our whitepaper Video Localization Best Practices.

Here are 3 fundamental tips that you can use to take control of your video translation process: 

  1. Translate only the right types of videos

If you wanted to (and you had the capacity) you could create hundreds of videos a day for your manufacturing business. 

There are just so many different types of videos that can add value to your company. Training videos can improve your employee engagement. Marketing videos can increase sales in your international markets. Testimonial videos can improve trust in your brand. 

It only makes sense to translate those videos that align with your global content strategy. 

If you haven’t decided on your global content strategy yet, this is a good opportunity to start thinking about it.

  1. Use the correct type of translation

Most people don’t realize that there are different types of translation. Some translation jobs are more complex than others and, as a result, require a more complex, labor-intensive form of translation. 

One type of translation is “transcreation,” where the translator has to be creative and recreate the content from scratch based on the intended meaning of the original author. As a result, it is more costly and time-consuming. 

Transcreation is sometimes required in videos that don’t need it, simply because the source content hasn’t been created properly. 

When you look at video translation as a process, you can make better choices about the type of translation you might require.

  1. Ensure your translation partners can handle the engineering 

As I mentioned above, a lot of the work involved in creating videos for an international market comes during the video engineering steps. 

This can be a problem with many translation providers who either don’t have the capacity to deal with such engineering or would only provide it at a ridiculous cost. For example, some of our clients have told us that their previous providers would only send them the translated text, requiring their team to do all of the engineering work to fit it to the videos.

Make sure that your translation partners can handle the engineering required for video production. 

At Rubric, we can provide whatever engineering our clients need for their projects and we pride ourselves in being able to interface with all their existing technology.

So, think about your current videos.

How could you improve your video translation process?

In our guide Best Practices for Video Localization you will learn actionable tips to reduce the cost of video localization.

Download our free ebook

Best Practices for Video Localization

In this report, we share the lessons we’ve learned for creating high-quality videos that are easy to localize. Whether you work with audio, subtitles, graphics or tooling, learn how to translate video that resonates with a global audience.
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