Methods of Audiovisual Translation

Last Updated On: April 20, 2022

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Methods of Audiovisual Translation

Audiovisual translations are the translations of any audiovisual materials, such as e-learning materials, vlogs, promotional videos, and videogames. Before beginning an audiovisual translation it will need to be localised so it matches the needs of the targeted audience. 

Depending on who the recipients are for the audiovisual translation it will need to be culture-specific and tailored to a particular community within a country.  For example, despite the fact that Spanish is typically spoken in both Spain and Mexico, the audiences will have certain expectations of video localisation depending on which community they belong to. The Mexican audience is far more used to subtitling than the Spanish audience is.  

Also, there are some cultures that may find objective data more appealing, while others might prefer just to rely on user reviews. This may have a marked influence on the types of videos that would be preferred in video marketing campaigns.


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    The preferred translation technique that may be used could vary, depending on whether the video is to be viewed on social media, TV, cinema, or on web pages.

    Techniques for audiovisual translations 

    As soon as you have decided on the audience you intend to target you are now in a better position to decide on a localisation technique. If you prefer that your audience will see your product as though it had been tailored just for them and their specific culture, the preferred solution is to create new videos each time. However, creating a new video for each unique market is likely to be far too demanding and is also likely to be too expensive for most clients. There are other translation choices as described below.

    Subtitling and re-voicing 


    Subtitles are the written translations of words that have been spoken which are displayed on a screen concurrently with the original spoken words. If the videos are to be used on social media platforms, subtitles have extra value, because they can be displayed even if the video doesn’t have any sound on. Today, particularly when accessing social media on a cell phone users don’t always have the video volume on, so using subtitles will help to ensure that the public is getting the complete message immediately.

    The video SEO will be much improved when subtitles are used because search engines can’t easily understand videos, so they may use the subtitles to access more keywords.

    Subtitling is a good cost-effective choice, but some research will need to be conducted on the targeted market because there are a few countries that are either not used to or don’t like viewing subtitles on videos.

    The re-voicing technique

    This technique replaces the original conversation or words with dialogue in another language. The commonly used techniques are both dubbing and voiceovers. The re-voicing technique is a good choice when the targeted audience is children, the elderly, or viewers who are visually impaired.

    Dubbing is when a translated dialogue completely replaces any original sound. Dubbing also tries to adapt lip movement, so that the actor(s) appears as though they are really actually speaking the dubbed language. Dubbing is quite an expensive method but is often more effective as it doesn’t distract the audience in the same way that subtitles might do

    Voiceover is when there is an overlap of the translated dialogue above the original soundtrack so that the original voice may still be actively heard in the background. A voiceover offers a cheaper alternative to dubbing and is used when the audience doesn’t react positively to subtitles. 

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