Multimedia and Video Translation: 7 Considerations

Nov 11, 2022

More and more businesses are turning to multimedia, such as videos and eLearning modules, to educate, inform, and train their customers and employees. Movie clips and other multimedia are easy to consume since they can be viewed at leisure, and they can be quite entertaining. In addition, the tools used to create the content have evolved to include many options, which allow companies to present their brands in new and innovative ways.

Translating and localizing multimedia content is a great way to reach global customers as well. However, the content must be customized for a particular global audience, as not all content, messaging or images are appropriate for every audience. This is where a translation company that offers specialized video and multimedia translation and localization services comes in. We understand global audiences, and we have the technical expertise to produce high-quality, accurate multimedia files in over 100 languages. Our processes also meet the requirements for ISO 9001 (quality management system) and ISO 17100 certifications (quality standards for translation service companies).

Before you begin a multimedia project, it’s important to consider how the options you chose to create multimedia files, such as adding on-screen text to your video, will affect localization. Many of the options will affect the video tempo, and the flow and speed of content. Here’s a list of seven considerations with your multimedia project.

#1 Provide a Transcript

A transcript is a word-for-word written version of an audio file. You can use a transcript of the multimedia file to add captions to the file or provide as an additional document for your audience. If you don’t have a transcript, we can provide a transcription service. We can also translate the transcript into whatever language(s) you need.

#2 Consider Timing Options

There may be variations in the timing of translated audio versus the original. In many cases, the narrator directly speaks to the content on the screen, in which case the localized versions will have to adapt and sync to the events in the video or clip. Sometimes the timed segment isn’t long enough for the localized version since it may take longer to record due to the nature of the language. In this case, we’ll provide recommendations on how to fit the localized content into the time frame.

#3 Hearing-Impaired Option

Some eLearning tools have a built-in caption/subtitle option. If you use this option, the captions/subtitles may get sent to translation automatically, depending on the tool, unless you don’t want to include it. If the captions are timed and synched to the audio, we’ll adjust this for the localized version. If the captions are simply written on the slide where the audience can read them, we don’t need to plan the timing.

#4 Subtitling Option

If you choose to add subtitles to your file, we can provide a subtitle translation service. We’ll translate the transcription from the voice over (VO), and then prepare it for the open/closed captions option. Our localization engineers will synchronize the translated subtitles with the spoken recording. Always make sure to keep a backup of the original materials so that we can use them for the localized versions.

#5 Select Voice-Over Translation Talent

You can provide us with requirements for VO professionals, so think about the characteristics (age, male or female, language, tone, etc.) that you want to have. Based on your criteria, we’ll present you with options of VO specialists, and you can choose which one you want.

#6 Provide Separate Text for Visuals

Some types of multimedia files like eLearning modules have many visuals, such as illustrations, graphics, pictures or animations. Any text on visuals should be localized. The text needs to be separate from the visual so we can translate it. If it isn’t, we can work with it, but it may add time and/or expense to the project.

#7 Testing Localized Versions

After localizing and placing all the content where it needs to be, we’ll test each language version to make sure all the moving pieces are in the right place. Testing is the step that puts it all together to make it right for the audience.


Understanding the factors that will affect localization before starting your project will make the localization process go more smoothly.

If you have any questions about what we’ve suggested, please visit our website or email us at today, and we’d be happy to help you.