Translating videos for foreign markets

So many of our clients are large multi-national corporations that its more important than ever that their marketing can be viewed by people all over the world. Companies such as Unilever, Brightwell and ShopperTrakåÊwho we regularly work for operate in many different countries meaning therefore that their videos often need to be translated into different languages. This may seem like a small thing and something that you can easily change right at the end when you‰Ûªve completed the initial English language video but it is in fact quite time consuming and can be very expensive. However, with a bit of aforethought you can plan to make your video easily translated into multiple languages. I thought I would quickly run over some of the options for translating videos for you.


You might relate dubbing to bad martial arts movies from Asia but it is still a massive part of film production to this day. In European and Asian countries, audiences prefer to see the latest Hollywood release dubbed than to read subtitles. Actors in these countries makes careers by being the voice of one particular famous actor. However, in our line of work we very rarely get asked to re-dub any dialogue and I must say that I‰Ûªm quite pleased. Having spent time and money to film a great looking interview with a CEO of a big company, it would be a real pity to slap a foreign voice over the top of it.

Voice overs

If you‰Ûªre planning a video that is likely to be translated into different languages then you might want to start by using a voice over. The script can then be easily translated and the voice over audio replaced. It might take a little tinkering with the edited video to make sure that the timing of the video remains consistent with the voice over but generally this is one of the best options. There is an example of a Spanish voice-over we used for a large corporate video project –


Using on screen text is certainly preferable to over-dubbing the audio but has the big disadvantage that it can cover up interesting or important footage. It seems a pity to carefully light, shoot and edit your video only to cover up part of the screen with text and you also need to make enough time for people to read the subtitles which could affect the timing of your video. The big benefit of subtitles is that, like voice overs, they an be quite quick and easy to replace and translate.


I thought I would include this to highlight the possibilities of what you can do to make videos understandable all over the world. There are certain images the are universally understood, so with a good amount of planning you might be best off producing a video that doesn‰Ûªt need a voice over, subtitles or dubbing but just relies on pictures to get the message across.

If you need help or advice with translating your video into different languages then please get in touch with Echo Video on 01273 911345.

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