Article about translating

Video translation do’s and don’ts

Video translation is a smart way to repurpose a marketing video. Needless to say, when your business is crossing over, your sales message must come across as you intended. 

Here’s the deal: An excellent multicultural video translation always resonates with the viewer. Unfortunately, most translations are word-by-word repetitions that mean nothing in a different language. 

Here are a few things to ensure your sales pitch remains intact in a video translation:

Interpretation before translation

A good video translation maintains the exact nuances of your original script. It’s not about words; it’s about perception. 

Things like slang and jargon may be great for achieving a conversational tone in your language. However, delivering an expression in English that doesn’t exist in Spanish is tricky if you don’t find the right nuance. A good video translation requires creative skill and pop culture knowledge –in both languages. Therefore, always lean on an expert that can help you tweak your copy.

PRO-TIP: Confirm your translated technical terms

If your business vertical is within the technology and legal sectors, choosing the correct terms is of the essence. Verify terminology by hiring a professional consultant that can help you choose the right words. Even small things like “click” or “tap” vary from country to country.

Subtitling your video content

Subtitles are an effective way to get your video ready for different markets. In the old days, adding subtitles was a cumbersome and costly task. It required sending your video into postproduction to burn in the captions. But things have changed. Today, you can add subtitles without having to send them to a video editor. 

For instance, there’s this German-based startup called Typestudio. Their app offers a cutting-edge tool to edit your video by text easily, add subtitles and translate your video in no time. And if you’re video is short enough, you can even do it for free. I would suggest having the video reviewed by a native speaker before posting it to ensure you got the nuances right.

Embedding captions vs. burned in subtitles

If you need your video translation in a single language, then burning in subtitles is a good option. It means that you re-export a version of your video with the subtitles rendered into the picture. 

Conversely, if you’re looking to promote a single video in multiple languages, then embedded captions or CC are the way to go. You can use various .SRT caption files to upload to LinkedIn or YouTube. With the click of a button, the viewer can choose to display their preferred language, making this option extremely versatile. 

Captions make your video content inclusive for those who are deaf or hard of hearing. In fact, according to the NAD (National Association of the Deaf), you may be required to offer captioning to make audiovisual information accessible.

Keep an eye on licensing and territories.

When you create video content, clear usage rights across all territories, as you may find yourself in hot water for things such as voice-over, music, or video. Across publishing platforms, bots are constantly screening video content. To avoid having your video taken down, make sure you comply with usage and local laws. The last thing you need is to deal with copyright or licensing infringement.

About the Author

Alejandra Copeland cut her teeth as a visual communication expert by producing and editing video content for MTV Networks, NBC Universal, and Viacom. Since 2004, Alejandra has pushed Andromeda Productions as a premier marketing video production agency. She has created enduring client relationships with multiple Fortune 500 companies such as MasterCard and Sony Music US Latin.


Leveraging 20 years of experience with visual storytelling, I’ve created Ok, Yes! a toolkit for the early-stage startup. It’s loaded with how-to guides to creatively empower founders tackle things like:

🟡 𝚆𝚛𝚒𝚝𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚊 𝚙𝚒𝚝𝚌𝚑 𝚏𝚘𝚛 𝚢𝚘𝚞𝚛 𝚜𝚝𝚊𝚛𝚝𝚞𝚙

🟡 𝙿𝚛𝚘𝚍𝚞𝚌𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚊 𝚙𝚛𝚘𝚍𝚞𝚌𝚝 𝚍𝚎𝚖𝚘

🟡 𝙼𝚊𝚔𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚊 𝚙𝚎𝚛𝚜𝚞𝚊𝚜𝚒𝚟𝚎 𝚌𝚊𝚜𝚎 𝚜𝚝𝚞𝚍𝚢

🟡 𝙲𝚞𝚝𝚝𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚙𝚛𝚘𝚖𝚘𝚜 𝚝𝚘 𝚕𝚊𝚞𝚗𝚌𝚑 𝚢𝚘𝚞𝚛 𝚋𝚛𝚊𝚗𝚍

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