5 Things to Look for in a Video Translation Agency

Video translation

Have you been tasked with overseeing a video translation project? Do you feel overwhelmed and/or unsure of how to begin? The most important thing for you to know is how to select the right video translation partner for your project needs and goals. In this post, we'll review five criteria to consider.

YouTube and Your Global Marketing Strategy


When people think of streaming video, they likely think of YouTube. And not just in the United States. Far from being a repository of mere feline frolic, YouTube is an extremely robust platform with a huge global footprint. With two days’ worth of videos being uploaded every day in five dozen languages, your global marketing and social media campaigns can benefit from folding YouTube into the process. But how do you get started? Today’s post and our newsletter article give you some tips to consider.

Go Global, Speak Local: Voiceover Localization for Global Content

April 11, 2013 by Acclaro
Category: Multimedia, Language Translation Services, Localization

In any market, you want your audio and video content to speak to the audience. But you don’t always want to create all that content from scratch for each market. So how do you take your global content and give it local flavor? Great voiceover localization can make your global training video, radio spot, TV ad or multimedia project speak eloquently in any language. Whatever style of voiceover you’re working with — from off-camera narration to carefully choreographed lip-syncing — there are some best practices that can make or break your project.

Here are some of our best tips for making sure your voiceover localization project speaks in a voice your target language market understands.

From the Runway to the World: Fashion-Forward Video Localization

January 31, 2013 by Acclaro
Category: Multimedia, Localization

While heel height, skirt length or on-trend colors might change from season to season, the principles of successful video localization are truly timeless. Multimedia involves more components than traditional text translation and it can be a challenge to get the script, audio, and visuals to all combine seamlessly, much like putting together all the components of a stunning outfit or runway show.

You won't see us on a runway anytime soon, but you might see some of our clients. Last year Acclaro worked on video localization projects for the likes of Ralph Lauren, Tiffany & Co., and Saks Fifth Avenue. Read on to learn more about how we adapted their multimedia (while making sure they still looked good).

Localization of eLearning: Voiceover vs. Subtitles

November 27, 2012 by Acclaro
Category: Training & eLearning, Multimedia, Localization
voiceover translation

When localizing your eLearning materials, don't forget about the audio! Either voiceover or subtitling will both serve your needs as well as those of your users; however, there are some considerations that may sway you one way or the other. In this post, we give you a rundown of what to keep in mind. 

Of Donkeys and Dubbing: Adaptation for the Quebec Market

Adaptation for the Quebec Market

Although small, the vibrant and vocal market for film and television in Quebec has made the studios stand up and take notice. After years of screening entertainment dubbed in France, the film industry in Quebec began to call for market-appropriate products.

Today, more and more studios are double-dubbing films and TV series, creating one version for France and the international francophone market, and another for the Quebec market. If the trend continues, the dubbing and subtitling industry in La Belle Province may well become a serious contender against competition from France and Belgium.

Tiffany & Co.: An eLearning Localization Mini Case Study

online training and elearning localization

Over the past ten years, corporate eLearning and online training programs have become increasingly sophisticated and popular. So it's no wonder that Tiffany & Co., one of the premier American luxury brands, turned to an online model to train their thousands of employees around the globe.

As part of our 10th anniversary series, Ora Solomon, Acclaro vice president of sales and operations, looks at the surge in popularity of eLearning and then discusses a mini localization case study on "The World of Tiffany", a visually stunning and complex multimedia training video by the famed jeweler.

10 Tips for Preparing Multimedia Scripts and Files for Localization

Multimedia Localization

The cost of localizing training programs, product demos, commercials, eLearning modules and other scripted pieces can add up pretty quickly. When it comes to multimedia localization, it pays to prepared. Or rather, it costs more to be unprepared! The more pre-production prep you do, the more time and money you can save in the studio.

In this post, we’ll take a look at 10 pre-production tips that can make multimedia file and script localization quicker, easier and less expensive. 

Disposable Films from Around the World

The 2012 Disposable Film Festival, a wonderfully "lo-fi" yet decidedly global short film event, took place recently at San Francisco's gorgeous Castro Theatre. The requirements for consideration are that your film be shot on "anything you might have on you" (according to the submission guidelines), and have a runtime of under ten minutes, Our intrepid in-house cinephile, Stephanie Engelsen, reports on the best of the shortest from around the world.

The Acclaro Blog Is Two Years Old

The Acclaro blog is two years old! Two full years of snippets of localization savvy, language, and international business, all for you, dear Mr. or Ms. Acclaro Blog Fan. Since 2010, we've done our best to bring some pizzazz to your international business life, and we hope we've succeeded. Come with us as we take a trip down blog memory lane.

Localization Cost Savings, Part 2: Best Practices

When it comes to translation on a budget, less is more, as we saw in Part One of Localization Cost Savings. The more you can reduce the word count of your content, the bigger your savings—25% fewer words, for example, will earn you a no-nonsense 25% translation discount.

So let’s say you’ve already taken a knife to your content; you’ve gotten rid of verbosity, eliminated text repetitions and honed in on the most essential content for your specific markets. How can you shave additional dollars off of your localization budget and finally secure that executive buy-in to move forward with your project?

Q&A: Subtitling and Dubbing

November 29, 2011 by Acclaro
Category: Multimedia, Q&A

Ever wonder how the subtitling and dubbing process actually works? It is a far cry from the sometimes badly-produced televised kung fu movies from the 80s and 90s that you may remember. As mentioned in our recent blog post on the art of subtitle translation, there's more to this than meets the eye.

Frankly, my dear, eso no me importa: The Art of Subtitle Translation

September 29, 2011 by Alyssa Paris
Category: Multimedia, Culture

movie subtitle translationWhat’s the secret behind a film that’s able to make viewers laugh, cry, screech or sit in quiet reflection at the very same moment in theaters across the globe, irrespective of language and culture?

Besides blood, sweat and tears, the quick answer is: talented translators (and voice talents). Movie translators truly do make or break a film.

Is Machine Translation Right For You?

Language is a fluid and dynamic means of communication. Historically, translation has been best performed by human beings who can accurately adapt and express this fluidity and dynamism in the face of the logical contradictions and irregularities that most languages present. However, in recent years, “machine translation” (or MT) has started to come into its own, as its once-stoic technology – the realm of 0s and 1s – catches up to human adaptability.

Ora Solomon, vice president of sales and operations at Acclaro, describes how machine translation can complement human translation in an article for Marketing Profs:

1. Human Translation


A professional linguist (most often, an in-country native speaker) reviews your project and, using guidelines agreed on beforehand, translates it to the language you require. The goal is to speak to your audience in the most natural, effective way. You can expect human translations to be free of idiomatic errors and to flow naturally and fluently.

Localization Cost Savings, Part One: Away with Words

piggy bankIn Spanish they say, “Lo bueno, si breve, dos veces bueno.” The good, when brief, is doubly good. Brevity is considered a virtue in most communication circles. In the world of translation, however, brevity is even more: it’s a money saver.

The first thing any localization vendor will tell you about the cost of translation is that it's a direct function of word count. The more words your document, brochure, program, app or website contains, the higher the cost for translating it. Rather straightforward, right?

Containing your localization budget through reducing word count at the pre-translation stage requires a challenging time investment on your part, as no one can really perform an “audit” of your resources in your stead. To execute this effectively, you need either to distinguish between must-have and nice-to-have content through a complete content review, or pare down all of your source texts across the board through avid and diligent editing. It would definitely be easier to simply send all of your files to your language partner and hope for the best.

Yet when implemented, this phase of content review will ultimately pay off two-fold: it will save you a good sum of money on translation across all target languages, and it will make your end product better, since content that has been reviewed with a global audience in mind can be rendered more accurately.

Here are a few ideas for reducing your content as you go global with your program or product.

A picture is worth a thousand words.

What are some ingenious ways to do away with words in the context of your product? You may have the ability to substitute appropriate imagery, for example. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words. Take the example of the Apple iPhone OS. English has the wonderful benefit of offering two practical and short words for the settings buttons: on/off. But in most languages, the translation would occupy the whole width of the phone screen and result in what we call TVA: total visual awkwardness. Here is what Apple did to solve that problem:

Writing For A Global Audience

The Content WranglerWriters these days, whether for websites, software, or documentation, face interesting new challenges when communicating technical material and product info to a broad-based international audience. In a recent article for the Content Wrangler, Acclaro President Michael Kriz offers up compelling insights and ten useful tips to help you create content for your diverse global audience.

As we become an increasingly global economy, there is increasing demand on writers — particularly those who work with technical language that describes products and services — to adapt to the changing needs of companies’ customer demographics. When a product is slated to launch in 20 new markets, and over half of the markets require translation of documentation, it completely changes the game for the technical writer.  So, to effectively scale a global business, you and your writers should keep a few things in mind.

1. Use global English – For every native speaker of English, there are about three non-native speakers. It’s important that your communication in English is understandable to all English speakers, which means short, simple sentences and no idiomatic expressions or cultural references.

Smooth Multilingual Voiceovers: Five Ways to Avoid the Do-Overs

April 1, 2011 by Acclaro
Category: Multimedia, Localization Tips

Remember those badly dubbed Pippi Longstocking movies? A generation of Americans will never forget the way her out-of-synch mouth movements made her misadventures seem even more comical.

Mic Successful voiceovers are nearly imperceptible – they can make you think you’re watching a film in your own language. Such inconspicuous dubbing isn’t easy. But with the right localization partner and the right process, you can achieve flawless voiceovers for local appeal in your target-language markets.

Just follow these five tips to maximize your studio time, and avoid expensive re-recordings.

1.  Determine your voice style. For each language market, do you want to convey happiness, expertise, excitement or professionalism? For example, in the U.S., enthusiasm and hyperbole are standard, but such pep could be seen as overdone in Germany, where a factual, instructional tone establishes more credibility.

2.  Choose the right voice talent.

  • Prevent embarrassing, expensive casting blunders by outlining character profiles with first names, gender, ethnic background, age and basic personality traits.
  • If budget allows, get voiceover artists to record a small sample of your translated script, acting as one of your characters.
  • Are your voice talents are already "branded" in your target countries? For example: would the French voiceover artist for Sylvester Stallone help or harm your business objective in the French market?

Q&A: What's Included in a Glossary?

We’ve already written about the importance of a glossary and why it’s important to create one before copyright symbolstarting any major translation effort — whether it be for technical documentation, marketing communications, web, software, eLearning, or multimedia projects. Now, let’s look at what should be included in a glossary.

What goes into a glossary?

  • Corporate/product nomenclature
  • Abbreviations and acronyms
  • Metaphors or compound noun phrases.
  • Terms that remain in English (i.e. perhaps anything with a copyright, or a product name, etc.)
  • Generally accepted “lingo”

What should a glossary look like?

A glossary can be a complex database or a simple spreadsheet. It depends on your global reach and the size of your overall globalization efforts. If you are just starting out, you may just want to use an Excel spreadsheet. Then you can work your way up to a more complex database.

The Importance of a Glossary

colorful-booksThose of you who are new to localization may think that a glossary is only used for term papers and reference books. You have yet to discover how this very simple item can revolutionize your daily work life by sparing you countless redundancies and/or inconsistencies in the original English, as well as in the foreign language versions of your products and documents.

Creating a glossary of approved terms in each target language at the beginning of your translation project is essential. It will not only save you time and money (not to mention headaches and sleepless nights), it will also guarantee successful branding of your products in foreign markets.

A glossary (from the Greek glossa, meaning obsolete or foreign word), ensures a consistent style and voice, an accurate rendering of the original text and a level of translation quality that is even throughout. Glossaries are especially critical in the case of technical translations and marketing communications, but should really be employed for any localization project.

YouTube Adds 4 New Languages

September 7, 2010 by Acclaro
Category: Website Translation Services, Multimedia, Technology

YouTube, which already supported two dozen languages, has added four new languages (Croatian, Filipino, Serbian and Slovak) to its lineup, Wired reported last week. The supported languages are supplemented by a script translator that allows viewers to see machine-translated video captions in over 50 languages.

The Google-owned video sharing site was English-only until as late as 2007, when it expanded to Europe, Brazil and Japan, adding a slew of languages (image courtesy of Wired):

youtube's languages

YouTube apparently intends to continue this global expansion trend, hoping to add as many as 12 more localized versions by the end of 2010. (Hebrew, which didn't make the cut this time around because of the complication of its bidirectional script, might get another chance.)

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Smart, fun and useful. Acclaro shares news and tips on translation, localization, language, global business and culture.


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