If you maintain a website that contains content in two or more languages, then you are probably already aware of some of the issues involved with translation. You have to decide which sections to translate, whether you want to have ongoing translation of your new content, and how often you need to update your translated versions. One of the more involved issues that you need to consider is how to translate your audio and video content. Having various types of media can make your website more engaging; however, you want to make sure that all of your visitors can access your content by having translation options available.
Know the Difference Between Transcription and Translation
Transcription involves recording your audio in written format, exactly as it is. This means that if your content is in English, your transcriptions will also be in English. Translating is the process of converting the language in your audio to another language, either written or spoken. Many translation agencies will offer to translate an audio file into another written language, such as making a written Spanish document of an English video.
But in many cases, you may want to have your audio transcribed in its primary language and then have it translated into whatever secondary language you choose. This way you will have a transcript in English that you can use for hearing impaired viewers or those unable to turn on the sound on their computers. Also, the combination of transcription services with written translation services are often less expensive than the cost of directly translating audio files into a written file.
Consider Recorded Translation and Written Translation
You must decide if you want to record an audio translation or whether you want to provide a written translation that can be read with the audio or on its own. Recording audio in a second language can be a good idea because it creates an immersive experience for your audience. However, it means that you have to hire voice talent, which can be more expensive than having your audio directly translated as a written transcript or transcribed and translated.
Consider Various Ways To Include the Translation
Once you have your translation, you need to decide how to include it in your website. A common option is to upload a PDF of the transcription and translation below the audio or video. This is probably the most simple approach. However, you will need to make sure that you make your PDF SEO-friendly by using the title tag and making a plain text PDF.
The next way to include a transcript or translation is to embed the text in your website below the video or audio it relates to. However, for long videos or audio, this can take up a lot of space and make your page intimidating to visitors. To negate this, you should create an expandable link that automatically hides the translation for visitors who are not interested in it and makes it easy for people who are interested to find it.
The third way is to provide the translation in the form of closed captions directly on your audio or video. While there are several programs that automatically place captions into videos, if you are using translated captions, you may have to manually adjust them to get the timing right.
Label the Translation In Its Own Language
One common mistake many website owners make is to label a translation in their native language. For instance, you may label a document as, "Podcast Translation in Spanish." However, to make sure that your visitors can easily find it, you should label the translation in both the original language and the translated language.
If you have audio or video on your website, talk to a professional translation service, such as Liaison Multilingual Services, Inc, to discuss your options for making the content available to your entire audience.