With the rise in localization, there has been a lot of attention surrounding translation services. In addition to communicating with different audiences in their mother tongue across the globe, you can easily increase sales and engagement
According to this article from Phrase, more than 50% of all queries on Google are in languages other than English. This statistic alone shows the importance of translation services, not to mention localization.  
To better understand the importance of translation services for your videos, and the role they play in localization, this guide will go through it all! Maybe, it’s time to step up your global strategy.

Translation services vs localization services: What’s the difference?

Whilst localization and translation are used interchangeably, they are different. In fact, in order to localize videos, translation plays a large part.  However, localization is more than just translating content. A large part of localization is cultural adaptation and using the right dialects. 
  • The end goal of localized content is that it appears to a new audience, as though it was the original version.
  • Whereas, translation is the process of changing dialogue or text into another language. In fact, it is a step in the localization process.

Notes: Translation services

Now, we’ve gone through the difference between translation vs localization, it’s important to note a couple of things:

  • In certain cases, simple translation is appropriate for some content. For example, a YouTube tutorial.
  • Often, localized content is reserved for creative marketing content, films, etc. This is mainly because the adapted content needs to resonate with a new audience on a more creative and emotive level.

Why should you localize and translate your content?

There are many benefits to translating and localizing your content. In addition to reaching new markets through translated content, you can go a step further by localizing. As a result, this tailors your media to national or regional market preferences. Certain localization techniques, that don’t require translation, adds an element of accessibility. 

What are the benefits to using verbal and visual translation services?

  • Reach a wider audience
  • Increase sales
  • Increase in engagement
  • Act as A Resource for Non-Native Speakers
  • Improve SEO
  • Stand out against competitors
  • Improve accessibility
  • Show your customers your care
As you can see, there are many benefits to translating your content. Obviously, the technique you choose will impact the benefits 
  • For example, a movie wouldn’t get improved SEO benefits from being dubbed. Whereas, a YouTube video would reap SEO benefits from transcription and subtitles 

It also depends on the type of content you’re translating.

  • For example, you wouldn’t be able to translate a small kid’s learning video with subtitles, as they might not be able to read the subtitles. So, the best option would be to go with dubbing or voiceover.  

What types of video translation services should I use?

Whether you decided to localize and translate with dubbing, subtitling, or recording a new voiceover, the technique that you choose will be based on your specific content. If you aren’t sure what technique is best for your content, speak with the localization and translation provider. See our article for more information on How to select a video translation Services company.  

Video translation services

So, even if you don’t know the right video translation service yet, you do have options. It’s good to have a basic understanding of the techniques before speaking with a localization or video translation services provider.  

Video Voiceover Services

  • A voice-over, is literally how it sounds. A voice over a voice. In addition to the technique itself, there are different styles, such as UN-Style, narrative, and lektoring.
  • A translated voiceover consists of a voice recording that is then put onto the original video. The original dialogue is then muted or turned down.
For a deeper look at the voice-over technique, see our Ultimate Guide to Voiceovers.  

Audio Dubbing Services

  • Dubbing is a technique that removes the original dialogue audio from a video. After, the newly translated recorded dialogue is then closely matched to the video. Lip-sync dubbing is a precise translation technique, that aims to make the translated audio fit the character’s on-screen lip movements, as close to the original as possible.

For more information about dubbed videos, see our Guide to Dubbing.

Subtitling Services

  • Subtitles translate dialogue audio into text. Often, they are found on the bottom of the screen. They are timed so that viewers can read along at the exact moment the dialogue can be heard. As a result, viewers can hear the original audio whilst reading the subtitles.

For more information about subtitles, see our Guide to Subtitling.  

Accessibility Services: Closed Captions, SDH Subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing and Audio Description

  • Closed Captions are intended for the deaf and hard-of-hearing community in the original language of the content they are applied to, and use lines of text including any audible information from the video. This isn’t only dialogue, it also includes noises such as coughing, sound effects, and music cues.
  • Closed captions are never translated as they do not include non-audible content. The translation service intended for the deaf and hard-of-hearing community is subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing (SDH), which is often confused as “translated captions”.
  • Subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing include non-dialogue information, such as background sounds, music descriptions and any other non-verbal sounds. SDH combine audio and visual information in one file, that is then translated for foreign-language audiences, making it accessible for those in the deaf and hard-of-hearing community in foreign-languages. See our article about subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing.
  • Audio description is a technique that is used to describe what is happening in a video. You can still hear the original dialogue, only a voiceover is added in-between to describe what is happening visually. Audio description allows blind and visually impaired viewers to enjoy video content through the description.

    It’s a little bit more complicated to translate audio descriptions than SDH. Once the video is localized and the audio translated, a voiceover in the foreign language must be added to replace the original language audio description.

Why should you add accessibility services to your content?

Accessibility features should be added to your content to comply with different laws. Once audio description is added to the original content in the original language, it can easily be translated. So, when you localize or translate your content, you will want to also translate your audio description as well as adding SDH.

What industries should localize and translate their content?

There are many industries that are using professional translation services. As a result of the benefits localization offers, we are seeing all sorts of content reaching new markets. It’s no longer just movies, TV, and video games. Other industries are starting to reap the benefits of video translation. Here are a few popular examples of video translation:
  • Marketing and training video translation
  • Educational video and E-learning translation
  • Health and Fitness video translation
  • Tutorial video translation
  • YouTube video translation
You get the point! In fact, the list of video localization and translation examples could go on forever.  For corporate videos, see our article on Foreign-language translation services: Corporate Video Dubbing and voiceovers. 

Do I need to translate video content if I am not a large Corporation or brand?

Absolutely! It’s not just large companies that have a global strategy. More recently, whave seen many translated videos on YouTube, the largest social media platformSo, translation isn’t just for blockbusters, Addidas adverts and Call of Duty! There are so many specific benefits to translated video content, no matter the size of your project 
  • For example, if you translate your YouTube video, not only does it target a new audience, but gives you international SEO benefits. In fact, on YouTubetwo-thirds of watch time comes from viewers who are living in places other than the creator’s location.  

Which market should I target in my global strategy?

This is very specific to the content that you create. Whilst there are so many different options, it’s best to speak with a service provider about your specific needs, goals and vision.


Localization is more than just taking your content to global markets. Brands, corporations, and politicians localize content for their domestic market to reach specific demographics as well. Also, governments localize content to serve the needs of their citizens that don’t speak the language.

The type of content you want to localize will impact this decision. As well as the localization or translation technique you choose, and of course your budget.
For example, if you want to translate a movie from English to Polish with video dubbing, it might not be the best idea. In Poland, they use a voiceover style called Lektoring to translate foreign-language films.  The audience might not resonate well with a dubbed movie.  

Here are some points to consider: 

  • Check your data- Data doesn’t lie. Check the audiences that currently watch your video content. Is there an overlap or any data you can mine to draw some conclusions?
  • Finalize a total budget and stick with it. If you want to dub your 45min video but have a budget of $100, it’s likely not going to pan out with this technique.
  • What goals do you have for your video content and business?
  • Do you want your video localized or translated into one language or many?
  • Is there more than one type of translation you would like to add to your video content? Do you need video dubbing services as well as subtitling?

SPG Studios: Video translation services

SPG Studios offers the highest quality video translation services for your needs. We have thousands of happy clients, who have reached audiences around the world. Through our network of native translators and linguists, we can provide a service that matches your global strategy. Contact us for a quote here.