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4 tips for repurposing your content for international audiences

If you’ve put the time and resources into producing quality video content for your organisation, you may be thinking about how to maximise your return on that investment. One great way of doing this is to change your content for speakers of a different language. This can give your business exposure to new audiences, and help you to operate internationally.

Of course, translation can be fraught with errors. Even the biggest companies in the world have suffered embarrassment at the hand of misjudged translations. So, putting your content in a different language is a great idea, but it's important to not rush into it. Here are four things you'll need to keep in mind when repurposing video content for international audiences:

a picture of the earth, the home of international audiences

Repurposing voiceovers for international audiences

Don’t attempt to translate an existing script if you’re not fluent in the chosen language. Services such as Google Translate can give unpredictable results. Get someone fluent in your chosen language to translate the script. Ideally, you will also want to use a native voiceover artist. With freelancing platforms like Fiverr, it's never been easier to find and work with quality translators and voiceover artists.

Captions and subtitles

You may have to subtitle videos when there are people speaking on screen. In this case, the same applies - get someone fluent in the chosen language to translate and type up the text. With any written text, it’s particularly important to use the correct characters when spelling words and names on screen. For example, the German umlaut changes the sound of a vowel.

Cultural references

Don’t confuse your audience - you need to be sensitive to what they are used to seeing and hearing in their own culture. A good example of this is currency. For a French video, any image of money should be of Euros, for America, it should be dollars. Market references are also important, like considering anything referring to the FTSE 100 in the UK and the Dow Jones Index in the US.

Think about signs and body language, too. What may be an instantly recognisable symbol in one culture may mean nothing to other cultures. Worse still, it could have a completely different meaning.

Think about timings

Saying ‘I went to the shops and purchased a ham and cheese sandwich’ takes a marginally different amount of time depending on whether you say it in English, Italian or Japanese. If a contributor is articulating something over 50 or 60 words, the timings will certainly be different. Remember, putting video content into another language isn’t purely about translation. It can involve re-editing sections of video so that the timing is right between voiceover and footage, or footage and subtitles. Also, this may change the length of any text graphics, for example a contributor’s job title. When planning a production schedule, it’s worthwhile allocating time to allow for these amendments.

So, it's worth looking into. Are any of your current videos suitable for repurposing for a new audience? This could be of huge benefit to your company. If what you’re doing strikes a chord, organisations in other countries will be keen to work with you. When you’re trying to access new markets, it’s more important than ever to make sure that the quality of your video is high. So invest in getting the right people to do the translation work, take care with the re-edit, and watch out for those cultural differences.

If you'd like to work with Ember Television on a project, or simply hear more about our insights on content and video production; don't hesitate to contact us.

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