Multimedia Localization Best Practices
Providing localized multimedia content is one of the most powerful ways for a business to communicate with a variety of digital consumers. Cultivating a meticulous localization strategy with a partner, like Glyph, is guaranteed to effectively and accurately convey your brand’s unique voice in new markets. Excellent multimedia localization will allow your global consumers the opportunity to not only easily engage with your business, but truly enjoy an immersive experience with your content. However, localizing your multimedia content isn’t as easy as it sounds. Below are some of the most common challenges that arise during localization, as well as some of the best practices to help overcome them.
Here are three important clues to ensure your localization and translation vendor offers more than just a great sales pitch.
Top 3 Multimedia Localization Challenges to Overcome
1) Understanding the Target Culture
Conducting market research with an experienced vendor is crucial when expanding into new markets. Without a clear understanding of your target audience and their preconceived notions of your company and/or industry, you risk inadvertently being culturally offensive or insensitive with localization errors.
To ensure your business will thrive in new markets, be sure to conduct proper market research before investing your time and money on translating your multimedia content.
Research to consider:
- Geopolitical & Social Studies
- Laws & Regulations
- Ethnographic Trends
If you’re not sure where to begin, Glyph offers in-depth and comprehensive market research services that include consumer panels, focus groups, and more. Multimedia content may need global vetting not just for languages, but for branding, typography, colors, terminology, and more. Taking the time to work with a Localization Service Provider (LSP) will ensure you have a deep understanding of your target market and are ready to move forward with your project.
2) Timing Could Make or Break Your Quality
It’s easy to underestimate the time required to complete a multimedia localization project. Without allocating ample time for translation and localization, you risk diminishing the quality of translations and end up spending more money than necessary just to ensure a tight deadline is met.
There are a variety of factors to take into consideration when scheduling your multimedia project’s global release:
- Amount of localizable content within the project
- Voice-over needs
- Rendering time for videos
- Type of source files you are submitting
- Number and type of languages you are translating into
If you have any content-specific questions regarding scheduling a multimedia localization project, our team at Glyph would be more than happy to guide you through the process.
3) Proper Preparation for Internationalization is Key
The most costly mistake an organization can make within the internationalization process is locking code and content within the source files. This means source files won’t be editable and thus unable to support text expansion, bidirectional text, and/or necessary typography adjustments. When designing your multimedia content, it is crucial to ensure files are easily editable and your content is compatible with relevant languages.
Factors to be aware of when developing a multimedia localization project:
- Have editable files for all images within the project – including images contained in videos or animations
- For on-screen text, ensure 20% – 30% text expansion will fit within the given space
- For videos and/or animations, ensure to provide extra space between each action to compensate text expansion for voice-over
Please note; when filming a video that will require voice-over or dubbing services, make certain that the source-language speaker speaks clearly, slowly, and leaves time before and after talking. This will ensure the length of a voice-over fits properly within the allotted segment.
Ultimately, all of these challenges can be overcome by taking the leap and partnering with a localization vendor at the project onset to ensure proper internationalization practices are in place. With this partnership, you will avoid unnecessarily long turnaround times, expensive roadblocks, and an extreme headache.
Top 3 Successful Multimedia Localization Practices
1) Start Your Localization Partnership Early in the Process
- Proper consultation and in-market research
- Lowered expenses in the long run
- Improved project turnaround time
- A seamless localization workflow
2) Don’t Spare Us the Details
When requesting a quote from an LSP, be sure to be communicative and provide ample details about your multimedia localization project. This will ensure both you and your vendor have a clear understanding of your expectations for the final localized product. It can be easy to miss important details, especially if the creation of your multimedia content is still in progress. It’s natural to make assumptions when involved in a business partnership, for both LSP and client. Assuming your localization partner will know exactly what you want for the life cycle of your project isn’t best practice, in reality, every project is unique. On the other side of the coin, we work hard to ask all the necessary questions and avoid assuming our clients’ wishes. There needs to be clear communication about your expectations and needs. Be sure to provide as much information as possible, and to continue relaying any new information as it becomes available.
Here are some questions you can expect from your LSP at the beginning of a localization project:
- Is all the content you need for the project ready and finalized?
- What type of files will be submitted for localization?
- What is the deadline for this project?
- Would you like to include market review, desktop publishing, and/or media engineering services?
- What files/formats do you expect upon project completion?
- Do you need your vendor to perform any in-market research before the localization process can begin?
3) Ensure Compliance with Accessibility Standards
Last but not least, ensuring your multimedia content is compliant with accessibility standards should be a high priority, and of course, this extends to localized content. Digital consumers with disabilities may not have the opportunity to enjoy an immersive experience.
For audio-based content, providing scripts in an accessible format, either through a supporting document, subtitles, or closed captions, will accommodate someone with a hearing disability. For videos, providing voice-over options and descriptive audio will allow someone with a visual impairment to become immersed with your content.
Whether your content includes audio, video, eLearning, interactive rich media, or all of the above, proactively implementing these three practices early in the development process is the key to effectively and accurately creating an immersive experience for all your digital consumers.
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