Professional Translations of videos with subtitles

More and more Translation agencies today have to satisfy the request for translations of videos with subtitles and captions for companies needing to distribute a product or service abroad – often in the field of Fashion and Tourism, but also elsewhere – and who have chosen this new form of digital communication to fine-tune their marketing objectives.

It may seem obvious but it is better to repeat: in this specific context corporate translators should never rely on software programmes that provide automatic translations of subtitles in the form of text files in the main folder containing the video. This is because those who understand the translation of videos as subtitled files (in text form) are thinking only of the first stage in a slow process of translation. The final result of this process very often a translation with language adaptation of an advertising nature precisely in the subtitled text parts, bringing specific skills into play.

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Things to know in order to commission good Translations of Subtitles from English (and vice versa)

“Subtitling” is an art. So is adapting Corporate Videos. How to prepare in advance for this demanding (but fascinating) task? The translation of subtitled company clips does not call for the same kind of skill that comes into play when translating videos with subtitles in the classic English-Italian combination, or vice versa.

For example, if we are wondering how to prepare an estimate for translations in a video context we will also have to consider some elements that may be useful to dialogue with our language services agency:

  • The simple superimposition of subtitles at the bottom of the screen
  • The transcription of the spoken parts in audio-video documents
  • Dubbing and voiceover
  • The more complex synchronisation of dialogued segments
  • The need for voiceover by a professional with an expressive voice

Institutional clips and video are two distinct skills.

In the first case we are dealing with a product very similar to the classic musical video: here it may sometimes be legitimate to translate word for word, provided we do not encounter plays on words and false friends. When dealing with corporate videos, however, there is now a common practice of subtitling the so-called showreel only here and there, with words or short phrases that often have an advertising slant. Here evocative vocabulary is allowed or even recommended, given that the speciality of mother-tongue translators experienced in copywriting techniques for advertising videos is precisely the adaptation of key messages and payoffs without using banal “calques”, words of little impact from a marketing perspective.

Professional Translations of videos with subtitles ultima modifica: 2020-12-21T10:12:22+01:00 da Annalisa Occhipinti