“It is no secret that Asian languages have become an important part of the global cultural and economic landscape. Given China’s position as a dominant economic force, with its 1.411 billion population – the largest in the world, it is no surprise that businesses strive to establish their presence in the Far-East markets.”
Successful international expansion cannot be achieved without localizing content for foreign audiences. Consequentially, we have witnessed the increased production of media content, to be released and distributed within the Asian-Pacific markets. Translation companies are therefore at an advantageous position of being able to offer screen translation, including subtitling and dubbing, along with post-production services. However, with this being a relatively new field of practice, how can a translation company establish an efficient operating model and gain a reputable name? Based on 1-StopMedia’s experience as a leading media service provider, these are the steps you need to take to ensure your work makes an impact:
Assemble the right team
Translating media-related content requires more than being an expert in the targeted language. Your team needs to consist of translators, each of which an expert in a particular part of the translation process. When it comes to providing media services, you may need to hire a Subject Matter Expert (SMEs), specializing in the translation of specific types of content. Having a transcribing specialist working in your team is also essential, especially when it comes to the production of subtitles. Once having assembled a team of translators possessing the right skills, it is useful to set specific roles for each team member, streamlining the company’s operations. While every project requires a unique approach, it is useful for your translators to follow certain style guidelines, that will ensure consistency in the quality of work.
Learn More: United Nations Editorial Manual Online
Execute an efficient project plan
Film and TV translations are complex projects, comprised of several categories. From the translation of scripts and articles supporting the film production to the process of subtitling and dubbing, to creating marketing materials and translating reviews- these projects call for collaboration between multiple translators, which can make meeting deadlines difficult. Completing a plan prior to the commencement of the project is therefore required, so that Project Managers can have a clear view of the progress their team is making.
Things to be considered when coming up with a plan of action:
- the digital medium the content is intended for
- assess risks and potential complications and risks that can deter the completion of the project
- the client’s deadline requirements
- the complexity of the text
Empower your translation team with the right software
Providing translators with specialized tools can significantly enhance their performance and productivity. There is a variety of cloud-based software programs available on the market, ranging in price and capabilities. Depending on your budget, you can choose a solution that will enable translators to work in graphic elements containing embedded text, such as illustrations and animations.
If you provide the necessary training for translators to work in graphics programs like Photoshop or Flash, you can eliminate the additional costs from hiring external talent to execute a project.
Subtitling or Dubbing
Dubbing is a complex process, requiring significant time and resources. While it can bring your translation house significant revenue, it is also labor-intensive and requires additional workforce in the face of writers, linguists, voice actors, post-production editors. Dubbing audio-visual content can be challenging, as it needs to convey not only the meaning of the text but the emotional charge of the script as well.
Subtitling requires just as much attention to detail and expert knowledge; however, it is a less expensive option, since its production, the process is shorter and it involves less personnel. Potential issue translators might face when subtitling is meeting the character limit of 35-42 characters per line. Combine this with them having to sync the audio speed with the speed of the subtitles, and the process becomes more labor-intensive and time-consuming than initially thought.
Key factors to consider before you decide
A combination of factors is at play when it comes to deciding between dubbing or subtitling audio-visual content. A translation company should consider:
- the cultural preferences of the geographical location – the market for which the content is intended for influences the decision between subtitling and dubbing. In countries where the majority of the communities speak the same language, dubbing is the more popular solution. Subtitling, on the other hand, is adopted by locales with a more restricted market, such as the Scandinavian countries.
- the digital platform the content is intended for – the choice between dubbing and subtitling can be influenced by whether the final product will be streamed online, shown on TV or in cinemas.
- the client’s budget and format requirements – as a reputable media service provider, it is your responsibility to familiarize the customer with the cost differences between dubbing and subtitling.
Providing media services is an effective way of attracting new, foreign customers and establishing a global market presence. Translation companies can target both providers and buyers of media products, who can benefit from the translation and localization of content, intended for the big screen or for online streaming to foreign audiences.
1-StopMedia is a pioneer at providing services tailored to your content, audience and digital medium. Our experienced screen translation and post-production teams are committed to understanding our clients’ requirements and delivering high-quality content that will resonate with the targeted audience. Our language service expert works together to ensure that the content retains its original meaning and is able to evoke the desired emotional response within audiences.