Best Practices: Preparing Communications for Video Graphics Localization

Have you ever been frustrated about spending a great deal of money on your videos and multimedia presentations only to have an unexpected revision require additional resources or even re-recording at a later date? If so, then you understand some of the complexities of video graphics localization and adaptation for multilingual communications.

video graphics localizationOne way to reduce unexpected costs and make translation and localization of videos easier is to follow the recommendations of multimedia experts when creating your original videos. Adapting a suitably designed existing video will probably cost less than producing a whole new one. Let’s discuss best practices for your video graphics localization.

What do we mean by graphics?

Before we dive into the recommendations, it’s helpful to get clear on what we mean by graphics. Simply speaking, when audio and visual professionals discuss graphics, they are referring to images, words, or graphic forms that appear on screen.

Images: These could be photos, drawings, infographics or any other static visual used to illustrate a point.

Moving images: Videos and other types of multimedia include moving images in the form of animation or physical objects in motion.

Graphic text: Your video may also include on-screen text, graphics with overlaid text, animated text, or text elements in animations.

When adapting a video for multilingual use, experts will analyze each of these types of graphics and offer recommendations based on an understanding of your audience. The goal is to reach your key audience through communications that convey accurate information in the most relatable manner.

But you will also want to work closely with your translation professionals to make sure you are getting your money’s worth. So, understanding a bit about the process is helpful.

Help Your Translation Experts Help You

At the time your video is put together, you and your creative team can take some things into account that may not only make the material suitable for more than one market in terms of content, but also more easily adaptable. In this section, we share rules of thumb and tricks of the trade for managing graphic files and avoiding encoding nightmares during the localization process.

1. Rules of Thumb.

Online Text Considerations:

Text that is very relevant to viewers will generally need to be translated for video graphics localization. While the translation itself is fairly cost efficient, editing the translated text into the original video can be expensive depending on the layout, styles, and animation effects used.

Keep in mind that the more on-screen text you have, the less likely you’ll be able to use subtitles with ease. If there is little on-screen text, e.g., only an occasional fade-in section title, this may not need to be translated. But the position of the text on screen comes into play.

Subtitles placed over on-screen text look terrible and can confuse views. There are solutions, like having some text appear at the top, instead of the bottom; or having them all underneath the filmed footage on a separate background instead of embedded within. But you may not like the look of this. So keep positioning of text in mind.

Graphic Text Software Considerations:

When it comes to text software, the most important thing to consider is keeping your original source-language files editable. This increases production speed and keeps production costs lower. Depending on file complexity, multimedia specialists may be able to remove the original text or graphic elements, have them localized, and then re-create and replace them in your target language video file.

Remember that every introduction of a different application presents an opportunity for file corruption. By limiting the number of unique software applications used to open and save original files, you (and your extended team) can significantly lower the risk of data corruption from encoding mismatches.

Unicode Compliance:

It should go without saying that any project with a global perspective, whether it’s video, multimedia, or a web application, should be Unicode compliant. But did you know that there are multiple Unicode character encodings out in the field (UTF-8, UTF-16, and UTF-32 are among the most common)? For more information about converting and making your files Unicode compatible, checkout this article.

Timing and Synchronization:

In the case of a video graphics localization, the timing of the narration must match any on screen visuals and the overall length of the video. While some adjustments are possible during the recording session, getting timing and synchronization right requires the video translation to be carefully timed from the start.

Have your narrator, speakers, and interviewees talk at a natural, conversational pace. Pausing between sentences not only enhance clarity in the original version, but also help when it comes to graphic adaptation. Whether viewers are listening to the audio, reading subtitles, or following visuals, extra seconds can make a huge difference.

2. Tips and tricks:

Following the above rules of thumb will ensure that your video graphics localization turns out to your satisfaction. But if you are looking for results that exceed your expectations, be sure to consider these tips and tricks.

  • Check with your video editor about graphic styles, text placement, and software that makes graphic adaptation easier.
  • Instead of embedding text in your graphics, use HTML overlays or a sliding-door image display.
  • Create a library of locale-specific media assets and graphics for your target locales that you can easily add to videos, send to your multimedia experts, or even use of your website.

For additional tips and tricks, take a look at this informative article. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t worry. Ask your video graphics localization expert to walk you through the process and before you know it, preparing your multilingual communications will feel like second nature.

Alpha Omega Translation has comprehensive multilingual multimedia production capabilities for clients who want to create multi-language versions of any combination of text, audio or video content. We would love to talk with you about your multimedia project. Contact us today!

Category: Translation Services

About Alpha Omega Translations: Alpha Omega Translations specializes in providing foreign language solutions to all industry sectors. Our services include multilingual translation, multilingual website development, localization, interpretation, transcription, editing, glossary development, desktop publishing and design, writing, publication management, and marketing communications. View author profile.

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