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Video Translation from A to Z

Video Translation from A to Z

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With over 4 billion internet users globally, online video content happens to be the most effective marketing tool. Statistics show that over 50% of business owners rate videos as the number one type of marketing content in terms of return on investment (ROI).

Bearing in mind that about 80% of YouTube viewers are non-native English speakers, there are quite some untapped opportunities in the global market. Since a majority of this global market spends a substantial amount of time on YouTube, how do you localize and translate YouTube video content to target, engage, and sell to global consumers? Read on to find out how to translate YouTube videos.

What Does Video Translation Involve?

This is the process of translating your video content from its original language to other language versions meant for different overseas markets. For your video content to engage the new market, it has to be understandable and relatable to that specific market. Video translators play a significant role in the content localization process.

Voice-over vs Subtitling

Voice-overs are preferred when your video does not entail people talking to each other. If you are preparing a video on some hiking adventure, for instance, a voice-over is a smart option. On the other hand, subtitling is best suited for videos with people speaking their native language. The subtitles are used as a translation to the target audience’s language. The translation is often displayed in text form at the bottom of the screen.

How To Write Translation-Friendly Video Scripts

You do not have to be a seasoned writer to create translation-friendly scripts. As a matter of fact, all you need is some best-practice tips. Firstly, you need to understand your audience. How a piece of content is created depends on who it’s being created for. Are you targeting industry professionals or laymen?

Secondly, stick to short sentences. You want to avoid unnecessary verbiage. The best practice for writing short sentences is by sticking to one idea per sentence – easy, right! This helps you sidestep ambiguity.

Another thumb rule is to use your terms consistently. Avoid using too many synonyms. Consistent use of terms and formulations renders your video scripts translation-friendly.

Lastly, proofread your script!

How To Translate Subtitles

If a video has subtitles in its original language, Spanish, for example, you might want to translate your video to English when targeting an English-speaking market. To achieve this, you can use the original subtitles which have already been synchronised with the voice-over. Before sending it to the translation provider, you might need to put together a brief prepping the translator to observe the specific length requirements, and instructing them how to embed the text in the timecode.

The translated subtitles are then uploaded to replace the original ones. As they are time-coded, the translated version will be perfectly synchronised with the voice-over.


This is when the actor’s original voice is replaced with the target audience’s language. In this case, the lips movement will not match the voice, but the voice-over is appropriately time-coded so that the actor starts and finishes simultaneously as the original.

If you opt for dubbing, it would be advisable to look for professional voice-over actors who are also native speakers of your target language, to ensure that your audience’s language expectations are met 100%.


When your target audience does not speak the video’s original language, the best solution is to translate the voice-over video to the local dialect.

For both voice-over and dubbing, you would not only require a good voice-over actor who would need to be a native speaker of your target audience’s language, but also a proper studio to record the sound and a video editor to ensure that any sound effects, voice-over, and film scenery are in sync.

Localized Metadata

You want your videos to rank for local searches, right? Well, if that’s the case, local search engine optimization is inevitable. Local SEO means using local keywords in your video’s script and metadata.

When ranking videos, search engines algorithms such as YouTube scan through the videos’ metadata in a bid to understand the content contained therein. That being the case, you want to make sure that you have used all the relevant local keywords in your metadata.

With Local SEO, we recommend working with professional localization and video translation services providers such as Pangea Global.


In its original version, your video is created to address the concerns of the native market. When transcreating your video for new markets, you will have to make sure that it’s adaptable to these new overseas markets. That means ascertaining that the content resonates well with the target audience.

Some old British humour might not cut it for the Asian market! Video adaptation highlights and seeks to address issues with your script that might be problematic for the specific target audience.

Adaptation is also vital because it allows you to cater for the needs of the deaf and those with other hearing impairments. To get it right, consider hiring the services of professional transcribers.

Get Started Today

Are you wondering how to get a video translated? Search no further because Pangea Global is a renowned professional localization agency. Talk to an expert to find out more about our localization and voice-over services.

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