We live in a multimedia world. In terms of translation, this means that more and more often we need to translate audio, such as the audio track for videos. Today, it is no longer a problem to get different outputs based on a video file – from a simple transcription of the original spoken word in the video, through creating professional subtitles with a translation following after voiceover using a voice we select.
How does it all work? Let’s first imagine some everyday situations
For example, the video needs to be understood better for our internal purposes and the text form will help us out. The translation agency will provide an expert in the given field, who understands the source language perfectly and will transcribe the original audio using the appropriate tools. The transcript can be submitted, for example, in Microsoft Word format, without timestamps or at least with indicative time stamps, where we can see above the individual full sentences the exact minute and second of the video in which a particular sentence is located.
Timestamps are characteristic of subtitle production. The advantages of subtitles in audiovisual works are especially evident nowadays, when it is no longer just a matter of being able to perceive the original sound in a foreign language while reading it, but also an interesting possibility to watch the picture without sound. Nowadays, this method is used more and more often, for example, by audiovisual content creators on social media. Thus, one advertising video with different language versions of subtitles can be successfully viewed in linguistically diverse destinations.
A different approach is therefore required when we need to transcribe audio and then translate the resulting transcript, but we want the output directly in subtitle format, most often SRT (SubRip Track) or VTT (Video Text Track). Subtitling is the process of adapting the text in subtitles to make it as comfortable as possible for the viewer to read. If you purchase this service from the Skřivánek translation agency, the timestamps in the output correspond exactly to the audio input and the two main criteria for creating professional subtitles that are easy to read: CPL (character per line limit, which is 42 characters) and CPS (character per second limit, which is set to 17 characters).
So if you need to read subtitles at the same time as the original video, ordering a subtitling service from a translation agency with transcription and translation at the same time is definitely worthwhile. Subtitles produced in this way meet the requirements for publication. In this respect, it can often also be useful to have fixed subtitles embedded in the original video (called Render).
But what if we want to convert existing text into audio?
A quality translation agency can also offer voice-over. The difference between voice-over and classical dubbing lies in the presence of the speaker directly in the video image – while in voiceover, the speaker is not present in the video, in dubbing the speaker is visible in the image, which would require an emphasis on professional synchronisation of lip movements in the video with the newly recorded audio. For most purposes, voice-over is now fully sufficient, as it is easier to produce and therefore cheaper to implement.
For example, the so-called Human-like Voice-over is fully sufficient for basic understanding purposes. The entire production process is greatly accelerated by special software based on artificial intelligence, which allows any text to be converted into spoken speech, with a choice of male, female or even children’s voices. The tool analyses the text and designs the audio track – the resulting audio can be modified in various ways (adding accents, pauses, breaths, etc.) before export, making the output virtually indistinguishable from Human Voice-over.
Thanks to the development of hardware and software, Human Voice-over can nowadays also be produced quite well in the home environment, provided that the basic acoustic rules are observed during recording. Again, such an approach can significantly reduce costs while maintaining sufficient quality. A common requirement is to mix the resulting spoken track with the original audio (the original source language speaker is “muted” in the background or the original audio track is directly replaced by the desired voiceover). These operations can now also be handled by a specialist in a translation agency.
So why entrust your audio or video format-related demand to a translation agency? Above all, we can rely on verified agencies to keep our data and materials safe at all times, as data security and sensitive information is an integral part of the process. Last but not least, from a linguistic and technical perspective, we will produce a quality output that was created in one place and that we can easily continue to work with.