Multi-lingual Video Production Process
The benefits of having a video in the client’s native language should not be underestimated. Just think of the last time you watched a film with subtitles – let’s be honest, unless it was Parasite, chances are you skipped it and went for something in English. It’s (a sad part of) human nature – we like and trust our own language, and stick to it when we can.
So, how to make a video in multiple languages.
Firstly, it’s great to have an idea of what languages you would like the video in from the very start, as these can significantly impact the edit process. Arabic, for example, tends to be about 1/3 longer than English – so a 3 minute video in English can easily turn into a 4 minute video in Arabic. This can significantly impact the budget, and needs to be thought about long before the camera starts turning, and the edit can be built to have some leeway for the other languages. Also, do you have a native speaker on your side who is an expert in your content? Consider that your content could be quite complicated, and the average translator on the street might not understand the correct nuance. See if you can find a native speaker in your company who can verify the right thing is being said.
Local dialects need to be factored in – will your British client be happy with an Australian voiceover? Will your French client mind if the voiceover is in Quebecois? Will anyone understand the voiceover if it’s in Glaswegian? These are things that you may not notice until your client tells you, and re-records cost time and money.
Generally after the above, we complete the English version first. When we say complete, we mean complete – it’s been totally signed off, locked and isn’t going to change. Get it past the finish line, then after that we can get the other languages completed. Remember, changes after this are time-consuming and expensive, as changes would have to be made to every different video, which will cause a delay to video delivery. Each additional language will always take time, but is always a fun addition to the creative process.