Services Spotlight: Localized Subtitling

Content localization can be complicated; there are several different methods to localize your content, and many different elements to consider for your project’s scope. It’s very easy to be intimidated by the possibilities. That’s why we’re here— to make things simpler for you.

There are three primary ways to localize your dialogue: subtitling, voice-over and dubbing. We have dedicated a separate page to the voice-over and dubbing process, so we’ll get started with subtitling.

Subtitling

Immediately, one thing should be clear: localizing media through subtitling is not the same as the document translation that you may find in a product manual. Translation of text is only one building block on the path to creating localized subtitles for your video assets.

Simple translations cannot provide the audience experience your content deserves without added expertise and effort to localize that content. Proper localization can mean the difference between entertainment and confusion. There are several factors you must consider when localizing your content via subtitles, such as:

How brands translate to new markets (are they familiar with your brand or any other featured brand?)
How names of characters are presented in alternative languages (Will viewers outside of the home country be able to pick up on these nuances?)
How pop culture references or wordplay in the source language may leave an audience lost in different geographies

  • How brands translate to new markets (are they familiar with your brand or any other featured brand?)
  • How names of characters are presented in alternative languages (Will viewers outside of the home country be able to pick up on these nuances?)
  • How pop culture references or wordplay in the source language may leave an audience lost in different geographies

The technical specifications of the final deliverable are dictated by how and where the content will be delivered to the consumer, be it a platform-specific (such as Netflix) format or a client-specific one.

What does this mean as you think about adding subtitles?

Gold standard subtitling and localization begins with you. Think about how your content will be delivered in each market: what is your global branding strategy? Are there certain concepts or dialogue pieces that need to be protected through the localization process? What platform are you using to broadcast your content? Can viewers choose between multiple languages?

Here’s a checklist of things you need to consider when adding voice-over or dubbing to your project:

✓ Project Name✓ Number of videos✓ Source language(s) – more than one?✓ Target language(s)
✓ Total runtime✓ Subtitles or captions required?✓ Specs (standard, Netflix, or custom)✓ File type(s)deliverable
✓ Preferred due date✓ Existing materials? (Scripts, glossaries, etc.)✓ Brand and artistic intentions clarified✓ Content/Genre of video(s)

Captionmax’s project management teams are more than happy to help you work through these and all of the other facets to be considered when scoping your content localization project.

That’s why we’re here— to make things simpler for you.