The demand for international content is growing with the increasing globalization of the media industry. Content producers everywhere have recognized this demand and localization agencies, like SPG Studios, were born as a solution. SPG offers the answer to the globalization of media, in the form of audio and video localization services.
SPG is a localization company that uses processes referred to as video Localization or video translation to ensure that content is translated and adapted to the local language, culture, and audience; making it more widely accessible and engaging to people around the world. SPG localizes a wide range of content and media types, from corporate presentations, commercial spots, TV shows, independent and feature films, to video games.
What is Video Localization?
Video localization or video translation, refers to the process of adapting video content for different markets and cultures. To do this, localization experts translate and alter both the audio and visual elements of the original – including dialogue, voice-overs, subtitles using motion graphics, animations, screen-activity captures, and 3D rendering – all while preserving the content and ensuring it is culturally relevant and appropriate.
Video localization for Films and TV Shows
With video localization and video translation comes an increased reach and impact of whatever content is being adapted. More than ever, content producers, especially in TV and film, are recognizing the need for media to be more accessible in different languages and cultures, so that it engages more easily with a wider audience. International box office revenues are increasingly important, sometimes surpassing even domestic box office revenues, which allows studios to tap into new markets, generate additional profit, and build global recognition.
Though films and television shows have had their fair share of messily translated titles in the past, the problem has been much improved. For example, in 1988, the foreign distribution companies had a difficult time with a spoof of the 70s blaxploitation film titled ‘I’m Gonna Git You Sucka’. Because of the inherent nature of a spoof, which requires a deep understanding of the source material being satirized, combined with its job of critiquing specifically American culture, finding an equivalent title in foreign languages was near impossible.
In Spain, the title translated to ‘Overdose of Gold’, which was a pivotal plot point, but failed to capture the nuances of the original, satirical title. Similarly, in Germany, the title roughly translated to ‘Ghettobusters’, which feels reductive and offensive, completely erasing the social commentary. This is where localization companies like SPG come in.
Video Localization For Corporate Content
Corporate content and advertising are another two areas where video localization and video translation are essential when dealing with training videos and presentations. With multinational companies operating in different markets, it is crucial to ensure all content is accessible and relevant to its employees to foster a mutual connection and respect.
Similarly, in the case of ads, the consumer needs to feel connected and respected as well to get them interested in the product. With brands looking to expand their reach and engage with new audiences, localization services can help to create campaigns that resonate with different cultures and languages so the influence of the company is far-reaching. The process of localizing ads and corporate videos can include adapting visuals, voice-overs, and messaging to suit the local market while ensuring that the brand’s core values and identity remain intact. Examples of localization gone wrong include the Kentucky Fried Chicken campaign touting their food as ‘Finger-lickin good’. When the campaign was brought to China, the slogan was translated to ‘Eat your fingers off’, which is much less appetizing and loses the specifically Southern charm that the original intuits. While not all cases of localization will be so extreme, it’s a tough job best left to the experts.
Video Localization For Gaming Industry
The video game industry has also seen a significant increase in demand for localization and translation services, making the plot-lines, references, and dialogue interesting and accessible to non-native speakers of the source language. Similar to in TV and film, this can include translating the audio or visual elements, adding subtitles, and adapting the content to the cultural content of the target audience.
An example of this is a Japanese video game called ‘Fire Emblem Fates’, that underwent changes to account for cultural and linguistic differences between the United States and Japan. Some alterations included toned down elements of sexuality and other themes, not considered appropriate or digestible to American sensibilities. But other changes were less concerned with offending American culture and more about aesthetics and engagement, like the replacement of a traditional Japanese song about fishing that felt clunky, with a more relevant jingle that included clever Dr. Seuss references. Not all American players were keen on these changes, as they felt it lacked the idiosyncratic feel of the original, but there’s no doubt that localization had a positive impact on the reception of the game in the U.S.
How SPG Studios Add Value To Your Content?
SPG specifically, will comb through an extensive network of trusted professionals who actually live in countries where the target language is spoken, so that their contributions are credible and valuable. SPG will even take the extra step and employ individuals who specialize in whatever subject is relevant to the piece of content – for example, a chef to talk about food, or a businessman to talk about negotiations.
Advanced Solutions in Video Localization
The localization team at SPG is flexible and experienced, with the ability to work with any type of source asset, utilizing the most innovative and relevant technology like After Effects, Premiere, AVID, Final Cut Pro, and Cinema 4D to recreate animations and motion graphics.
Some nascent technologies employed during the localization process are artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) tools. These tools are designed to speed up the localization and translation process and reduce errors. AI and ML tools can automate tasks such as transcription, subtitling, and translation, allowing localization agencies to work more quickly with lower costs. However, nothing beats the expertise of localization professionals who are dedicated to making a final product that is not devoid of those human nuances and specificities necessary to create a truly impactful project.
In conclusion, video localization and video translation are critical processes in today’s global media industry. With the demand for international content increasing, it is essential to ensure that video content is translated and adapted to the local language, culture, and audience. The newest technology employed by localization agencies, including AI and ML tools, can help to speed up the localization and translation process, but it’s important to use these tools with caution, as they are still prone to error.
A leading global audio post-production provider, SPG is trusted by entertainment professionals, global brands, Fortune 500 companies to edit, mix, master, and localize their content for the best possible version that will resonate with audiences around the world. SPG Studios specifically works with individuals living in places where the target language and culture are prevalent as there is no substitute for the local knowledge of idioms and phrasing.
Video localization and video translation are necessary to increase the reach and impact of video content, engage with new audiences, and generate additional revenue. If you have a project in need of localization, talk to the professionals at SPG Studios!