4 common challenges you’ll face when translating your videos

We live in an era of digitalization where almost one-third of internet users use YouTube. Around 1 billion users in 91 countries watch YoutTube content in its localized version. The biggest video-sharing platform’s content is also distributed in 80 different languages. If we take note of the total hours people spend watching videos on this platform, it amounts to one billion. 

Remember, this is the data of only one video website. People are also watching videos on other platforms such as Vimeo, Twitch, Hulu, Livestream, TikTok, and more. Since users prefer consuming videos in their mother tongue, many companies that want to make the best use of this medium, consider video translation services

Why video translation matters a lot

The world is more globalized than ever before. Modern businesses today have their subsidiaries, employees, and potential customers spread around the world. Therefore, these companies use videos to educate them, train them, and market or sell their products and services in different parts of the globe. With video translation, they can target any market in any part of the world regardless of what languages they speak.  

Although video translation holds a huge potential for every sector, one sector that’s making the most of it is marketing and advertising. Since the translation of videos is not an easy job and includes various challenges, many global businesses take the assistance of professional translation services to help overcome any hurdles. Once the video content is available in multiple languages, they use it to generate revenue from previously untapped markets. 

The other advantage of video translation & transcreation services is that they uplift your brand awareness. By considering these services, every business is able to advertise its service offerings in extremely far-off places which were out of reach for advertising before. This builds a strong brand image which not just helps to attract new customers but to engage the existing ones as well. Similarly, various companies in the field of manufacturing use video translation to guide customers on how they can use their products or services. 

All in all, translating content provides a lot of benefits. You are able to connect with a wider global audience. Which in turn sets the tone for increased sales and revenue. Now you must be thinking that translating a video is easy as one needs to convert the content from one language to the other. But there’s so much involved. Here we’ll discuss some top challenges that video translation comes with. 



Common video translation challenges

If you need to translate your video content for multiple audiences, you should know the various challenges involved so that you can overcome them effectively.

i) Text Expansion

Long, wordy sentences are usually difficult to translate. They might take up your entire screen when you translate them into other languages. This is due to text expansion which happens because some languages take more words to say the same thing. Similarly, some languages take fewer words so the text contracts. But the real problem arises in the case of text expansion. It becomes hard to accommodate the longer translated content in the given space. This also creates issues when you include subtitles and captions in your project. Therefore, the best practice is to not get too wordy, rather keep the sentences short in your video script. This way, you can avoid any translated-related problems later. 

ii) Audio Expansion

Just like text expansion could be a problem for captions and subtitles, the same thing can happen when you try to use voice-overs for your videos. If you translate your dialogues and the translated sentences are ten percent (10%) longer than their counterparts in the original language, you might face problems due to audio expansion. The situation will become more severe if you have multiple dialogues in your footage. The voice actors generally have a hard time making sure that their lips sync with the conversation. 

iii) People can’t read so fast

Long sentences are too difficult for people to read along in a limited time. For instance, your videos contain subtitles and you’re dealing with text expansion. You can imagine how difficult it can get for your users to cope with. Even if there is no text expansion in your project, still people will be unable to keep up with your content. If it includes long sentences with complex words. Having this in mind, it’s always good to write your script using short, sweet sentences with no jargon or fancy wording. Because you simply can’t go back to the development process and make changes after scenes are already shot.

iv) Tight deadlines

Unlike other translation tasks, videos take a lot of time. If you don’t allocate enough time to translate your videos, chances are your social media or advertising videos can have mistakes. Therefore, don’t opt for rushed video translations even if you have time constraints. Because any sloppy work can damage your brand reputation and have a negative impact on your search rankings. 

How to overcome challenges in video translation?

The short answer to this question is proper planning. Plan things nicely and in advance so that there is no need to overdo the technical side of your video. Remember, users around the world are investing time to consume your content. Therefore, you should ensure that they get the best viewing experience. Tailor the content according to their linguistic and cultural preferences. For this, you also need to be aware of the different languages your target audience speaks. 

If you know these languages in the early stage of your creative process, you can accommodate the needed space accordingly to avoid problems such as text expansion and contraction. Last but not least, only rely on expert translation agencies to make your project a true success within your budget and timeline constraints.

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