Five Ways to Save Money on Video Localization
Many firms continue to ramp up for webinars, virtual presentations, and multilingual online events. If you’re on a mission to scale from two to five or even more languages for video content, managing your budget will be critical for success. Here are five actions you can take to gain potential cost savings.
- Create your own videos for local markets. Localized videos don’t always have to originate from corporate ones. If you find a multimedia localization partner that can help you navigate around budget constraints, investigate producing original videos from knowledge base articles, PowerPoint files, or even blog entries. A few animations and local language scripts can go a long way in saving money for your pre-sales staff and technical support team.
- Avoid localizing audio tracks when you can – go with subtitles. Retaining audio in the original source language – especially if it’s English – and enhancing it with subtitles may be enough for customers in several of your local markets, depending on the content type. For example, not all audiences expect that knowledge base videos will be available in local languages – China and Japan being the big exceptions.
- Never start recording or subtitling until you have a final, approved script. It seems almost too obvious to point out, but companies continue to jump the gun when they start localization with a script that is still in flux – especially for projects with very tight turnaround times. The additional voice talent, studio time, and subtitling expertise required to redo sections or an entire video will eat big holes in your budget.
- Pay special attention to text expansion. If the target voice-over goes beyond the timing for the source language, the video will have to be edited, the narration pace sped up, or the translated script shortened on the fly – all of which will increase your costs as breaks for discussion eat up precious studio time. Give your LSP advance guidance on what to do in these situations. Translation for voice-over that fits time constraints in the original language is a special skill. It’s not the number of words that matter in this case, but rather the length of time it takes to say those words.
- Decrease the time that audio engineers spend cleaning and editing files. To save time during post-production for audio files, clarify your requirements up front with the engineers: file naming standards, preferred directory structures, volume levels, normalization levels, and filters to be used. Sending a final compressed version of the video to the production engineers won’t be enough – they require all source files to efficiently edit components within the video, audio, and graphics layers. If you don’t provide them, they will have to spend additional time (and your money) to recreate missing components.
When a keynote script, product demo, or marketing video suddenly appears out of nowhere to be localized, don’t assume that it will break your budget. Invest some time to think about how this content fits into your customers’ global content experience and the best way to deliver it. Knowing how to handle various types of video will set you up well to handle more that arrive in the future.
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