It’s happened to you—you’re intrigued by a video online and when you click play, you don’t understand a word spoken. And worse still? No subtitles. You click away from the video a little disheartened and a little frustrated. Feeling like you just got cheated out of good content. This article outlines video translation tools you can use to help with this issue for videos you want to watch and videos you’d like to create for multiple audiences.
As a business that leverages video content, you want to make sure you’re delivering accessible and inclusive content for your customers, so they don’t walk away from your videos feeling like they don’t belong.
When your work is online, you have a global audience that speaks many different languages. And when you create a high-quality video you keep their attention. You know attention is the most scarce and sought-after commodity. And when people feel seen and understood, they stick around.
You have several options when it comes to language translation—we share a few of the main routes you can take below. Whether your budget is expansive or you’re just starting to dip your toes into video translation tools, subtitling, and localization, we have the details you need.
What is Video Translation?
Video translation refers to the elaborate process of transforming your videos into content that incorporates multiple languages. This could look like using:
- Video transcription – which includes timestamps that organize topics discussed.
- Translated subtitles – so non-native speakers can follow along easily. For subtitles, this article by HubSpot on SRT files is quite helpful. SRT files can be uploaded along with your video to YouTube and Vimeo.
- Closed captions – which capture the attention of people who are hearing impaired and those who prefer reading instead of listening.
- Synchronization of voiceover narration – with the flow of the original video to create a clean and succinct final product.
- Dubbing – to replace the original audio with the original language of your target audience.
- Localization elements – to intelligently incorporate cultural norms into the final delivery.
The translation process may include one or more of these (depending on your intended outcome). When you start by analyzing your existing content, you can set up an appropriate plan to include the best options for your business.
Free Video Translation Tools
The best way to ensure your video is engaging in multiple languages is to fully localize and translate the video - recording a new voiceover track, and updating all of the on-screen text from the initial language to the new language you’re translating into. When you don’t have the budget for this comprehensive video translation but want to ensure accessibility across your video content, there are several free web apps you can choose from. You can decide between cloud-based tools or downloadable desktop tools.
It’s important you know right off the bat that unedited machine translations can result in a low-quality experience for your customers. This is because editing functionality is usually limited and intelligent features, like storage of your frequently used words and phrases, are not made available.
This translating tool allows you to upload subtitle files—they’re capped at 80 different languages but offer support for six different file formats. You can also translate up to 20 files at a time, which allows you to transform existing content with just a few clicks.
This website permits you to upload your subtitle file, choose your preferred language, and edit your file before downloading. It uses Google Translate’s machine translation technology, which allows instant translation into over 100 languages.
Subtitle Translator Wizard
Features include multiple supported formats, subtitle merging, and the ability to add sentences to the dictionary for easy reference later. And it’s available for both Windows and Mac computers.
Although functionality is limited with these options, they’re suitable starting points that support subtitling and broaden your reach online.
Paid Video Translator Tools
Veed allows you to translate your existing videos into any language directly through their website. Although they offer a free version, it’s highly limited and includes a watermark, which throws off your branding.
You can explore different tools that include adding audio to video, transcribing, translation services, audio to text, video to text, and more. Try the free option to test out the functionality, upgrade to the Basic plan ($144/user annually), or take advantage of the Pro plan ($288/user annually).
This solution was created to simplify multilingual subtitling for all your online videos. Your tutorials, social media videos, and presentations can all be translated and subtitled into 50+ languages. You start by sending them a video, describing the project scope in detail, and your content is created by audio transcript technology.
They deploy professional proofreaders to clean up the subtitles. And you can download the final product in a variety of formats. They don’t list pricing, rather invite you to request a quote for the type of project you’re looking for.
Video Translation Tools: 3 Must-Have Features
To create a consistent and comprehensive experience for your international audiences, you should prioritize the following key features when incorporating video translation:
High-quality video translation demonstrates your commitment to connecting with a global market. Having access to native speakers who proofread and edit the output sets you up to provide a seamless customer experience.
Search Engine Optimization
Tools that use artificial intelligence can be programmed to consider best SEO practices. Since you are translating to a multitude of languages, a high-quality tool along with a support team can help you identify nuanced language and incorporate appropriate terms and phrases.
A careful translation that identifies opportunities for incorporating cultural references is a must for localizing your existing content. Additionally, dubbing allows your audience to listen to their native language, without having to scan through subtitles.
The more options you provide to your customers, the better you can leverage your video marketing to reach global audiences. While choosing a free tool can help you save, you could also end up with the kind of translations that make your audience laugh—and not in that fun, “with you” way.
You’ve probably laughed at poorly translated content before. And while a good chuckle in the middle of your workday can be a nice reprieve, it’s not exactly the kind of reaction you want your prospective customers to have when they come across your videos online.
Ultimately, automated tools have their merit. But there’s nothing like working with a team of experts that knows how to humanize your content. You can have a look at some of the various ways we’ve localized and translated our client's videos below:
If you’re ready to expand your online reach by upgrading your video content, contact us to pick our brains. We have the tools, tips, and insights to make your life just a little easier.