languageAre you preparing to grow your potential audience on a global scale? The amazing thing about the age we live in is if your product or service is portable, you can market to the world. Have you had your animated explainer video translated into all of the languages you are looking to launch your product or service in? No? Why not?

That’s the great thing about marketing animations and explainer videos is usually there is no onscreen talent speaking in front of a camera, it’s graphics moving and reacting to the story the voice over is telling. So you can translate that video into a multitude of different languages quickly and efficiently in a few easy steps:

Step 1: Translate

The first step of translating your video is, well, to get it translated. You can have a friend do it who is fluent in the language but I recommend that you use a professional translation service. Some translation services that I recommend are Compass Languages, Gengo and The reason is, if you ask a French speaking Canadian friend to translate a script into Parisian French, it will be ‘French’ but might not have the same ‘message’ as if a professional translator did it. That’s because professional translators know how to keep the tone and pace the same as your original delivery and not get caught up in the details of making sure it is correct word for word. Some phrases and metaphors might not translate well, but a professional will know how to keep the intent the same but make sure that all important tone is translated the most effectively.

Step 2: Voice

Now that you got the script translated your next step is to find a native speaker who can deliver your message in their language as effectively as the original. A great resource for finding that talent is Voice123. You simply post a project with your budget for the voice over and language specifics and Voice123 will notify qualified voice over artists about the project. I use them frequently to find native speakers of a language, some voice over artists can even do regional dialects within a country for even more specificity and targeting. You can ask them to do a sample read for you as well during the casting process so you can get a feel for their pace, style and delivery.

Step 3: Tweak the animation

Now that the voice over is done, you may need to move around concepts and graphics on your video timeline based on where the new voice over is. Some sentences take longer to say in one language than another so you just want to make sure that the impact of the graphics timing is in sync with what is being talked about in the voice over. Also did you incorporate any words into your video graphics? If so, make sure that your language specialist also did this translation work for you. If you haven’t started production on your video yet and are planning for this video to be distributed globally, it would be a good idea to keep the onscreen text content to a minimum as you storyboard out the visuals. That way you can keep the translated version editing process streamlined and keep the revisions needed in the graphics to a minimum.

Step 4: Distribution

Once you’ve finalized that video you also want to make sure you get it distributed correctly. So if you have multilanguage versions of your website catering to the local audience (strongly recommended) you should include the newly translated version of your explainer video. Want to put it up on YouTube? Go for it! Have the translators rewrite the title, tags and descriptions for you as well.

As an alternative to redoing the full voice over, or in addition to, you can also add multiple caption tracks to your YouTube video. Caption tracks automatically detect the viewer’s language browser setting and can deploy the transcript in their language of choice. Once you get your script translated, the process of uploading it to YouTube on your video is fairly simple. You can read the detailed caption translation process on their blog. Translating and uploading the captions also has an added SEO benefit, because the transcript becomes data that Google indexes and includes in search. So no matter where people are searching, your information will come up in their language (as long as their language is one you have translated content of that is).

How do you know you’re ready for global domination? Taking a quick look at your Google Analytics is a simple and easy way for you to see and gauge whether your audience is already expanding beyond your borders and if you need to take the next step to cater and nurture that audience by translating your content.

So what about you? Have you started translating any of your web content or videos?



Eric Guerin is the founder of Adelie Studios. He chooses to use his creative powers for good and not evil by helping businesses to better market themselves using animated marketing videos. He can easily be bribed with coffee. Read more of Eric’s posts