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Translating on-screen text

How translating text contained in a video works

Our Account Management team spend a fair chunk of their time explaining translation processes to their clients. The processes are not always simple and can be difficult to explain over a phone call or in an email. So given how often we talk about how important video content is, we though what better way to explain the processes than visually!

We started with the video linked below: How translating text contained within a video actually works. 

Please take a look, we’d love your feedback.

But what is text contained in a video?

The technical term for this is ‘on-screen text’ which you will hear a lot if you are in or work closely with the translation industry.

It comes in many forms but can be seen in titles, you know when they introduce someone on the news e.g. ‘Kenneth Burns CEO of Green Juice Ltd’. You will also see a lot of on-screen text on promotional animations or in eLearning multimedia content.

Why would you translate on-screen text?

The demand for video content as part of a company’s marketing strategy has dramatically increased in the past five years and brand’s don’t want to just limit their audience to one language. It’s no wonder that we’ve seen a direct correlation with video translation services on the up!

It’s one thing translating the spoken language in a video i.e. replacing the audio with a foreign voice over version. But to enhance the user experience, on-screen text translation should also be prioritised. There’s nothing that says ‘mixed message’ more than an English speaking video with Arabic text that randomly pops up!

How do you translate on-screen text?

Translating on-screen text isn’t always simple but our engineering team are a savvy bunch and always have a solution at hand.

What will make the biggest difference in how easy and how time consuming the work will be is if the client has access to the the source files (explained in the video above).

  • With source files – We can directly edit the on-screen text and change the language within the source file software or application.
  • Without source files – Alternative solutions will be undertaken and each video will be reviewed as a unique case. Solutions may include colour matching the background or adding a dark box before overlaying the new language text.

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