These days, there are even entirely film-based training modules, and most companies publish some sort of corporate video on their home page. Moving pictures move – and not only the audience. Communication departments and translation industry get caught up in them as well. Videos released by the global head office are frequently relegated to the dusty drawers of local subsidiaries simply because nobody knows how to “translate” a film and what or who is actually needed to kick off its localization. Sometimes it’s even impossible to find out who possesses the original video file. With the well-trodden print and online media we had a lot of time to acquire adequate knowledge to handle a localization project with confidence and foresight. After all, these areas have been slowly developing over the last 15 years. In comparison, however, film landed rather suddenly on the LSP scene, and the know-how needed to understand the various production routes is complex as well as incredibly technical. Depending on the nature of the original film, a number of production routes lend themselves to localization. We can use subtitles, replace voiceovers with a local version or lower the volume of the original audio into the background and layer it with the dominant audio of the localized language in the foreground. Of course, dubbing is also an option. Depending on the original version and its intended purpose, it might even be a mix of all of the above. If we then add on the possibility of captions, perhaps even animated ones that need to flow onto the screen from right to left if the content is to be localized into Hebrew, we end up with a package that requires several specialists. Specialists who, again, won’t be able to deliver a polished, usable end result without engaging the support of language experts.
And we mustn’t forget the fact that every production route requires a specific translation method. The translation of spoken word that will be recorded in a studio can’t be compared to text used for subtitles. In such a scenario, the language-based project-management hub approach gains even more significance. Assuming that this linguistic hub can also handle technical matters, the above-mentioned advantages turn into the solution to a mounting challenge. After all, who is supposed to manage this kind of localization project? Who has the know-how to run an informed inventory analysis on a video and to ask the right questions? Who can identify the individual production processes as well as appropriately brief the translators and approvers to produce a linguistically and stylistically sound translation that remains in sync with the images on the screen? Not mention remains in line with the relevant regulations? Who forwards the translations to the individual technical partners and arranges the audio recording, subtitling and animation in the respective languages? And who delivers what and in which format to whom?