Friday, April 6, 2018

Netflix and Large Scale Subtitle Translation




Netflix is working on an incredible, but complex, solution to a very difficult problem. As one of the largest digital media and entertainment companies in the world, Netflix is working on being able to bring its content to users around the world. 

Netflix’s international business will soon account for more than half of the company’s revenue, so the company has begun to invest massively in its ability to translate and subtitle content for users outside the US. However, Netflix is in a difficult position for translation, since all of the content produced by the company (TV shows, and movies) contains the most difficult parts of language to translate, jokes, idioms, sarcasm, cultural references, slang, etc. 

How does one go about handling, and ensuring quality translation on such a large scale for such difficult content?

Last year Netflix revealed the HERMES tool, which allowed thousands of translators in hundreds of languages the ability to test their translation skill, in order to be an approved resource for the company. The test consisted of several rounds of multiple choice questions which were meant to measure the translator’s ability to:

  • Understand English
  • Translate idioms, etc. into their target language
  • Identify linguistic and technical errors
  • Subtitle proficiently

Through the completion of the test (which consisted of thousands of randomized questions, so that no two tests were the same) Netflix was able to produce scores regarding a candidate’s skill level in translation, and match candidates with projects that would suit their skills.
This will also allow Netflix the ability to self-manage and work with translators directly rather than having to go through 3rd parties like us. For an enormous company with deep pockets, this was a rather incredible solution to a difficult problem. Within the coming years we should see Netflix content available in just about any language, as their international sales will no doubt soon surpass their US market.

Video and Audio Translation – How it Works




Does your company have training videos, marketing ads on YouTube, a company introduction video on your website? In the past year we have seen a large increase in the number of requests for video subtitling and voice-over work, and we would like to extend our services to you! 

Click here to see a video sample on our website!

Creating multimedia content in multiple languages can be a daunting task for companies who are looking to diversify their content. Our job is to streamline that process for you, and provide turnkey solutions for your video and audio translation. 

Having a video subtitled or dubbed with a new language can certainly be a more expensive service than translation of a document, but it can also be an extremely effective way to bring new and important material to your multilingual staff and clients. It also displays another layer of effort and inclusivity to all those who may take interest in your product or services.

There are 4 key components to the subtitling/voice-over process:
  1. Transcription – First we need the script from the video, if you are unable to provide this we can simply watch the video or listen to the audio file, and copy down the text.
  2. Translation – As with all of our projects, the next step is translation. This can get a little tricky when it comes to multimedia content, as languages often lengthen or shorten the amount of text after being translated. With video or audio files, however, we have to stick to a narrow timeframe. Translations that are too long or too short will throw off the flow of the video, or will bleed over into different scenes/slides. 
  3. Voice-Over/Subtitling – with as much preparation and timing considerations brought into the translation process as possible, our team then moves on to creating the subtitles or voice-over itself. This process again, requires some careful editing and timing, as well as hiring appropriate voice talent to record the script. 
  4. Quality Review – All videos have to go through a strenuous quality review before being delivered back to the client. The translators and project manager carefully go through the finalized file to ensure the translations flow properly, are not cut off anywhere, and convey the appropriate meaning at the right times. 

If presenting your company in a global light and offering multimedia content in multiple languages is important to you we would be happy to chat further about how we can help!

Friday, February 9, 2018

Top 3 reasons to translate your company content


If you are receiving this newsletter you have either used our services in the past, or have at least inquired about potentially using our services. In this globalizing economy companies are finding it more and more necessary to localize their content for different markets. However, those of us working in the translation industry are often met with skepticism as to why it would be necessary for a company to be able to provide their content in multiple languages. 

Let’s review some of the top reasons our clients ultimately decide to translate their material with us.

1. You sell your product overseas.
This may seem like an obvious answer, but many of our current clients have been selling their products abroad for years, and have only just begun to translate their user manuals, or marketing material to help drive those markets. In today’s market potential customers expect to be able to get information about products quickly, easily, and in their own language. While not impossible to sell products overseas without ever translating the literature that comes with it, our clients have found great success in being able to provide multilingual content. Consumers are far more likely to invest their money and trust in a product that comes with instructions in their own language, or marketing material meant specifically for them. 

2. You are looking for ways to keep growing. 
As with any business the key to success is continual growth. Our top client’s don’t see translations as a necessary evil; they see translation as an opportunity to grow their brand. Through the translation of their websites, marketing content, user manuals, software interfaces, etc. our clients are able to push their business to new heights. Markets they thought were stagnant or had a hard time penetrating have opened up to them through the ability of their company to promote themselves in multiple languages. Their business and products are instantly viewed with more credibility and trust by their potential customers who are able to read information in their native language, while providing even our smallest clients the appearance of a more global presence.

3. You have to adhere to regulations
Another no-brainer it would seem, but many of our small or up and coming clients go to sell their products abroad only to find out that the laws of that country require them translate their content. One of the biggest areas we see this is our clients selling products in Canada, and specifically Quebec, who quickly discover that the province is very strict on its rules regarding French translations being not only available, but given equal prominence on packaging and instruction sheets. In cases like this our company is always poised to quickly step in and make sure your product is ready to hit the markets running. 

Regardless of your reason for translating your content be sure to use a vendor you trust! Our staff is standing by to help with your next project, so give us a call!

2018 Winter Olympics


The 2018 Winter Olympics began this morning in Pyeongchang, South Korea, bringing together athletes, volunteers, spectators, and press from all around the world. Over 200 participating countries will be sending young athletes to compete this year, which begs the question, how will so many people from so many countries will communicate?

The primary languages of every Olympics are English, French, and the language of the host country, in this case that would be Korean. Of course, not every competitor speaks one of those languages, so South Korea has organized over 2,000 volunteer translators and interpreters to help facilitate communication between athletes, coaches, the press, and the game’s judges, organizers and staff.

Additionally, a local South Korean software firm developed the official translation app for the Winter Olympics. The app, named “Genie Talk”, is usable on Apple and Android devices and can translate English, Spanish, French, German, Russian, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, and Arabic.

In a funny translation related “egg-cident” this past week the Norwegian camp attempted to order eggs for its athletes from a local grocery store in Pyeongchang. Unfortunately for them, when attempting to place the order they turned to some help from Google Translate which made a minor translation mistake. Instead of ordering 1,500 eggs, the Norwegians received an order of 15,000! Luckily they were able to sort the matter out and return most of the unneeded eggs, but we are sure they will be more careful next time they use a machine translation tool.

As a very diverse company, with translators and staff from around the globe we will be cheering for many different countries in the Winter Olympics. However, we will all be inspired by the act of people from so many different countries, religions, cultures, and languages to come together in friendly competition.