Valuable Techniques for Multimedia Localization

463682571Senior Multimedia Localization Engineer at Welocalize, Michael Anderson takes a look at some of the popular and emerging techniques being used for multimedia localization.

One of the main barriers to localizing high volumes of multimedia has been cost. To generate high quality multimedia output in multiple languages involves high investment in studios, talent, specialist engineering and editing. Multimedia, especially video, now plays an important role in many global organization’s content strategy. Marketing, training, product information, corporate communications, health and safety content are all popular for using audio and video. Primarily, it is because all these content types and initiatives often have to reach a global audience.

Video continues to grow as a key tool used to communicate brand and product benefits. According to Cisco, by 2017 video will account for 69% of all consumer Internet traffic. There are a number of emerging options and techniques used at Welocalize for global brands to accurately localize multimedia and video.

#1 Text-to-speech (TTS). TTS techniques are becoming increasingly popular for video localization and synthetic voice software has improved dramatically over the years. Click here to see latest updates on Welocalize TTS.

#2 Green Screen Live Action Shooting. Using green screen technology, you can superimpose talents of your choice onto virtual backgrounds. We recreate the source by shooting with native actors. We sculpt the script content from the source so it matches and can weave in screenshots and sections from the original production. This avoids lip-syncing recorded audio to English, which can look disjointed. Shooting the video using a green screen allows you to change backgrounds, setting, animations and even people to suit the intended local audience. This prevents having to recreate the video for each language variant. You can alter images and messages to suit each target market by green screen technology.

#3 At-Home Recording. Using voice talents recorded in a remote, home studio can be a cost-effective option compared to hiring a studio. Studio hire can be expensive as it contains high end audio equipment and engineers. Providing the voice talent contractor meets the quality requirements for recording and experience. Recording “down the line” can deliver good results.

#4 Automated Transcription and Transcription Tools. Transcription is an important part of the overall video localization process and there are a number of new tools available to make transcription easier and more accurate. There are a number of options available for transcriptions services where source video and audio content can be quickly and accurately transcribed and provided in multiple language variants. Transcribed source content scripts can be reviewed and re-worked for subtitling and timings compared with scripts to ensure translated versions are synched with images, subtitles and source audio. A growing area is automated transcription. Once the source has gone through an automated transcription tool, the raw output can then be followed up with live human QA checks to ensure accuracy and context. This is ideal for live presentations that have been recorded and need to be understood quickly in other languages. In context editor tools can be used by translators to ensure they understand the purpose of the recorded content.

#5 Increased Use of Subtitling. Subtitling is a great way to produce multilingual multimedia. There are multiple styles used for subtitling. For example, custom fonts and color can be used for subtitled text to reflect the right brand values. Teamed with transcription, subtitling is a cost-effective way to professionally develop multimedia content into different language variants. New techniques using automated subtitling tools can speed up production and subtitles can be quickly viewed in real-time.


Based in the US, Michael Anderson is Senior Multimedia Engineer at Welocalize.