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Video Subtitle Translation and Why Human is Best!

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Dodgy video transcription can cause problems!

Technology is an amazing thing. It seems almost every day, a new app or advanced technology is developed to fix some key problem or need for either an individual or company is facing on a day to day basis. This applies to not only the translation services and transcription services world, but indeed, in every sector. So with all of the subtitle translation software out there, why would you choose a human translator for your projects? Well, here’s just a few reasons, and we think they’re pretty big ones!

Video Subtitle Translation and Keeping the Meaning

We all know that the English language and other languages for that matter, have words that have the same spelling, but can mean completely different things. If a linguist is translating audio or translating video for subtitles, they will have the intelligence to make an informed choice about which meaning is the correct one. They will also have the ability to watch the video to apply context to what is being said to further help them to understand the meaning. This ability to understand what is being said, make sense of it and reinterpret it effectively is what makes a good translation service. In speech, sometimes the words that are said are not arranged in a grammatically perfect way, but by the intonation of a speaker and the correct context, a person can still make sense of what is said.
An automated programme may have an algorithm that allows it to make choices as to which meaning is most likely to apply to which sentence, but this code will be flawed as different people speak in different ways, and context or further understanding cannot be applied by listening to the tone of a speaker, or seeing what is happening in a video translation. Also, computer software will likely make mistakes in reinterpreting sentences that have flawed grammar, such as double negatives, which very often occur in speech.

Video Subtitle Translation and Keeping it Short

Translating subtitles in .SRT format takes more than just substituting word for word from one language to another. In different languages, sentence structures can be completely different and a line by line substitution does not always work. Linguists will look at the overall sentence when translating subtitles and split the final lines equally for the subtitles. Computer software will not be capable of making well informed choices on where to cut out text that is not necessary, in order to make subtitle lines the correct length, or how to rearrange the words to fit within the .SRT lines. High quality subtitle translation services are those taken on by translators who have the confidence and the understanding of where to split lines of text, and how to arrange the words to retain meaning.

The Case for Human Subtitlers in Video Subtitle Translation

In the digital age, video content is king, and its reach knows no bounds. However, for content creators and digital marketers, the true crown of video content lies in a particular detail often overlooked — its subtitles. Subtitles are the silent powerhouses that bridge language barriers, enhance accessibility, and boost SEO. But, when it comes to the art of video subtitle translation, human subtitlers are reigning champions.

Why Choose Human Subtitlers

Contextual Understanding and Cultural Nuances

The task of subtitling is not as straightforward as transcribing spoken words. To truly resonate with global audiences, a subtitle must consider the context and cultural subtleties of the content. Human subtitlers possess the wisdom to not just translate words, but to convey the right meaning.

In instances where language is deeply entwined with cultural innuendos and idiosyncrasies, automated tools fall short. For instance, the Spanish phrase “Mi casa es tu casa” is a warm invitation in a house; however, an AI translation of “My home is your home” may not carry the same hospitable tone.

Accuracy in Language and Tone

The subtleness of tone is vastly important, especially when the character or speaker intends a message with a specific emotion or intention. Human subtitlers are adept at altering pace and choice of words to match the energy of the scene.

Furthermore, they can ensure that even the most complex of idioms and metaphors are accurately transposed, preserving the artistic integrity of the original dialogue. This level of precision is what elevates video content from good to great.

Adherence to Industry Standards and Guidelines

Subtitling is a craft that requires adherence to strict guidelines. Professionals are well-versed with industry standards, such as optimal line duration and maximum character count per line, which are designed to minimize on-screen clutter and optimize readability.

Unlike machines, human subtitlers are vigilant about observing these rules without compromising on the viewing experience, ensuring a harmonious integration of text and image.

Professional Subtitling Services

Choosing to outsource to professional subtitling services that employ human subtitlers can bring a host of benefits. These services offer the expertise of a seasoned team that have honed their language and subtitling skills through experience and training.

While the initial cost may seem higher compared to automated solutions, the long-term value in quality and customer satisfaction far exceeds the upfront expense. An investment in professional subtitling is an investment in the reputation and brand perception of the video content.

Examples of Errors in Automated Translations

Automated subtitle translation software may still be in its infancy, but it is not immune to common pitfalls. These include mistranslations, syntax errors, and awkward phrasing that can disrupt the viewing experience and detract from the content’s message.

An infamous example of this is the “automated captions fails” trend, where screenshots of bizarre translations, such as “We will arrange fruits for room service,” instead of “We will reimburse you for room service,” have circulated on social media, providing ample comedic relief at the software’s expense.

Impact on Viewer Experience

Enhancing Accessibility for Diverse Audiences

Accessibility is a cornerstone of modern content creation. Video content with accurately translated subtitles caters to a wide range of viewers, including those who are hard of hearing, have auditory processing disorders, or are learning a new language.

Human subtitlers can go the extra mile to include sound descriptions of significant audio elements, such as music and environmental noises, to provide a comprehensive viewing experience that is inclusive of all audiences.

Improving Engagement and Comprehension

Beyond catering to specific audience needs, accurate subtitling enhances the overall comprehension and engagement of viewers, irrespective of their language capabilities. It is well-documented that viewers tend to watch videos with subtitles longer and are more likely to retain information presented in text formats.

This additional support in understanding the content engages viewers on a deeper level, leading to increased brand recall and a more positive consumer experience, underscoring the importance of human involvement in subtitle translation.

SEO Benefits

How Accurate Subtitles Boost Search Rankings

Subtitles and closed captions are text-based assets that search engines can index, providing a wealth of data for semantic and keyword analysis. By incorporating relevant keywords, descriptions, and additional context in the subtitles, content creators can significantly impact the discoverability of their videos.

Search engines place a premium on quality content with accurate metadata, and subtitles are a powerful, yet often underutilized, aspect of video SEO strategies. High-quality, human-translated subtitles can lead to improved search rankings and a higher likelihood of the video being surfaced in search results.

Importance of Metadata Optimisation for Video SEO

Optimising metadata, including subtitles, for search engines is crucial in an increasingly competitive digital landscape. This involves not only the inclusion of relevant keywords but also the strategic placement and formatting of the text to improve search visibility.

Professional subtitling services offer the expertise to craft well-optimised subtitles that bolster the video’s SEO, making it more searchable and attractive to a broader audience.

Contact us for Subtitling

Quality in video subtitle translation is more than a mere afterthought — it is a strategic advantage that can transform a good video into an exceptional one. The dedication, attention to detail, and nuanced understanding that human subtitlers bring to the table are irreplaceable.

Whether it’s for the sake of profoundly connecting with viewers, enhancing accessibility, or boosting SEO, the choice is clear. It’s time to prioritize the human touch in video subtitle translation.

Content creators and marketers who understand this principle and take action to integrate human subtitling services into their video production processes will harness the full potential of their content in the global marketplace.

Discover the Power of Human Subtitles!

When it comes to your video content, don’t settle for anything less than professional human subtitling services. Experience for yourself the significant impact that human subtitlers can have on your video’s reach, engagement, and resonance with your audience. Invest in the proficiency of human subtitlers, and the dividends will speak for themselves in the universality and success of your video content.

Good, effective translation is an art form. It requires a high level of intelligence and understanding in order to reinterpret what is said. Think of it this way: A chef and a scientist are both asked to attend a lecture on microbiology. They listen to one sentence and then are asked to repeat what they have been told. Who do you think would more effectively relay the information? The biology student, of course, because they have an understanding of the topic, of what is being said. This being so, why would any professional company trust a computer to reinterpret important information over a qualified, professional translator with true intelligence and understanding of a topic?
If you would like to know more about our video transcription services or video translation services, why not get in touch today?

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Transcriptionist and Virtual Assistant. View all posts by Samantha