media translation

How Can Media Translation Benefit Your Business?

Do you have media content or products and services you want to introduce to a wider audience? Then you need media translation services! This blog will introduce you to the ins and outs of translating for the media industry, guide you through the common media translation types, and zone in on relevant translation challenges and their solutions.

What Is Media Translation?

Media content refers to anything from video and audio files, text documents, images, press releases, social media, websites, and so on. It is the type of content that is designed to engage audiences, either to educate them or guide them towards a specific action.

Quality Media Translation gives your brand real value in different markets. For example, CSA has performed research on how many languages it will take to reach the internet-accessible GDP. They state that, for example, to reach 90% of the eGDP 1, you will need to have your content available in 16 languages in 2022. 

media translation

When looking at data by W3Techs, we can see that next to English, Russian, Spanish, and Turkish are increasing their online presence.2 So, research which languages are creating an impact out there, but also make sure to check if these specific markets will hold value for you.

With Media Translation, you’ll also be able to boost engagement and keep up a consistent flow of communication with your audience! Just think about it. If you provide content in their original language, for instance through engaging social media posts such as videos, you will inspire them to interact with you. What is the value in this? When clients are interacting with you, you become more than just a faceless brand; you humanize your brand and become a friendly voice behind the logo. 

Let’s look into the specifics and how you can get real benefits from committing to quality media translations!

Media Translation Types You Need To Go Global

Digital Platforms

No matter what kind of media translation campaign you are running, whether you are pushing a multilingual social media campaign or publishing a press release, your potential new audience will need to be directed to a website that is fully optimized in their language.3 Here, website localization and app localization become vital.

Your website is the business card of your company; it shows clients who you are and how your message and products align with their needs. In fact, according to a survey, 76% of online shoppers prefer to buy from a brand that offers content in their own language.

From this perspective, offering your website in your potential client’s native language is vital. This is the essence of website localization, which involves the cultural and linguistic optimization of your website, while also keeping technical factors such as a smooth-running system in mind. This means that other than your content, graphics, videos, images, colors, payment methods, shipping options, and so on will all need to be adapted to the target audience.

Learn more about what the website localization process entails in our blogs: How To Use Machine Translation Post Editing For Your WordPress Website and Website Localization Quality Assurance (QA): How To Get It Right 

Next to your website, you should also give your apps the same attention. The world has gone mobile, and there are over 7 billion mobile users worldwide, which is only expected to grow.4 That’s why you should never underestimate the power of mobile app localization as part of your market expansion strategy and how it can generate real profit for you if you offer your users well-crafted content in their own language.

Learn more about this in our blog How To Use Mobile App Localization As A Smart Market Expansion Strategy.

Social Media

You are probably using social media quite a bit in your business strategies. But are you already posting targeted, multilingual posts for your clients around the world? If not, you may want to do so and you may also want to consider skilled professionals to help you. Why?

According to research social media can be a highly effective tool, but poorly translated posts can have an adverse effect and put clients off rather than have them connect with you.5 This is why connecting with a highly skilled Language Services Provider (LSP) is so important. Not only will they provide you with quality translations that connect with your audience, but they will also help you decide which services will help you get there. 

Let’s take Netflix as an example. The streaming platform’s annual revenue is close to 30 billion,6 and the way that they interact with its users on social media is a large part of its success. Netflix uses separate social media channels adapted to different regions. For example, they have a Netflix Latino Facebook Page created especially for the Latin American audience, which has over 80 million followers.

Netflix also fully embraces the multilingual quality of its platform and uses its social media channel to promote dubbed versions they have available, even on their English channels. This post on their Instagram account reached over 10 million views and features a character’s unique laugh in the Spanish-dubbed version of Money Heist. Similarly, a YouTube video featuring the hit series Stranger Things dubbed in a number of different languages inspired over 13,000 comments. 

What we can learn from this is that multilingual pages and posts on social media should respect the local language and culture, but also thrive when they are fun and allow users to engage with something unexpected. The only way to fully hone the power of multilingual posts is, as a result, most potent when you engage local experts to handle the translation of your social media content as they will be able to hit that language – culture sweet spot.

Pro Tip! Social Media Translation takes more than getting those words right. It is a strategy! Check out our blog Social Media Translation: 7 Essential Steps To Get It Right! for a detailed overview of the steps you need to take to get social media translation just right! 

Multimedia Localization

Media Translation can involve much more than written communications. It mainly includes any type of video and multimedia localization your business may need. The most important ones are the following.

Multilingual Voice-Over and Dubbing

Voice overs refer to any type of guiding voice you’d like to include in a video with images that support it, while dubbing refers to adding dialogue in a new language. While both of these are very different services, they matter for similar reasons. That is, to draw in the user by selecting a speaker with their own language and even their own regional accent. And offering this option next to the original version can make quite a difference for your business. Both of these come with their challenges, which is why it is so important to use a highly qualified LSP. For example, you will not only need a voice-over artist with the right qualifications in terms of accent, age, and gender, but the technicalities, including timing and synchronization, will also need to be spot onWhat if you hit the mark with timing and respecting cultural differences? Then you may alienate parts of your audience. For example, the cult movie Beetlejuice has quite a following but is perhaps less loved among Hungarian viewers. The Hungarian dubbing for the movie is widely recognized as one of the biggest dubbing disasters in history.7  The dubbing, although for the Hungarian audience, took place in Hong Kong, and the synching problems caused real distractions while the increased speed in certain parts made it difficult for viewers to understand the voice actors. 

Subtitles And Closed Captions

Subtitles offer a translated version of the audio to a video. Subtitles are an engaging way to interact with viewers. In fact, a survey has shown that in the US and the UK, over 70% of viewers prefer subtitled video content over dubbing.8 media translationBut with subtitles, both the language and the timing will need to be perfect, and in terms of feature-length projects, this can get quite complex. But with such complexity, is machine translation an option for subtitling? Learn more about it in our blog Machine Subtitling: Automation To Support Large Subtitling Productions.Closed captions, on the other hand, refer to a type of subtitle that is provided in the same language as the speakers in the video. Why does this matter? Think about social media and how video ads are thriving on the platform. Now consider that according to the Content Marketing Institute, 80% of video ads on Facebook are played on mute.9 media translationThis is where closed captions can make a real difference, especially when your content gets right to the point and can grab the viewer’s attention instantly, motivating them to watch on and develop a bond with your brand.

Images and graphics 

These will also need to be considered when localizing your products and services for a new locale. Are the images appropriate? Should the characters in them or the colors be tweaked to have more impact? Are you keeping local preferences and sensitivities in mind? For this, local designers can be engaged as well as Desktop Publishing experts who will work on getting the look and feel right, but also the formatting and how the translated content, if any, works together with the graphics.

Transcription services 

Transcription services convert spoken language in a video or audio file into written content.  While this is always the first step in voice-over, dubbing, and subtitle services, it is also a rather popular stand-alone service when certain meetings or conferences need a document that perfectly outlines what was discussed. Learn more about the types of Transcription services and the best practices in our blog 3 Types Of Video And Audio Transcription Services Explained.

Press Releases

A Press Release is an article you release with the specific purpose of communicating news or essential information about your business. As a very potent promotional tool, you can make sure that the right kind of clients learn about your business and get qualified leads. If you decide to commit to press release translation, you can reap a lot of benefits including increasing your brand awareness globally and reaching new markets in an efficient way.To do so, however, you will need to approach a Language Service Provider (LSP) with powerful marketing translation credits and also boasts authority in international SEO. This way, you will be able to receive captivating content that will also perform well online.

Want to learn about the ins and outs of Press Release Translation? Then our blog Press Release Translation: Your Multilingual Public Relations Strategy is for you!

Literary Translation 

Literary translation refers to any type of fictional content such as books, ebooks, short stories, and poetry. This highly creative form of writing also requires an equally creative translation. Of course, creativity is a highly desirable skill, but it can also be a curse. The subjectivity that can come with creative translation has sparked quite a heated debate.

In the essay, “Synthesis Writing in a Foreign languageâ€10, A.V. Popescu, and M.I Cohen-Vida argue that translation holds in it a level of co-creation, and that subjectivity is allowed in terms of creative play. S. Bassnett, professor of Comparative Literary Studies, disagrees strongly. She believes that a linguist’s job lies in recreating the original text to the highest possible standards, and that co-creation is not part of their prerogative.11 Qualified translators should: 

  • avoid subjectivity to the extent that it undermines the author’s intent
  • take into account the author’s views and experiences
  • and approach the content from the perspective of a researcher and cultural expert, rather than a fellow author.

eBook Conversion And Translation

The publishing industry is thriving, and a great deal of the books available today are available in ebooks. In fact, the eBook market is expected to hit the 23 billion USD mark by 2026.12 This means that for any book you intend to publish and translate, you’ll do yourself a favor to offer a digital version as well.eBook conversion refers to the process of converting a digital or analog file to an optimized, digital document. Choosing to offer your book in a digital form vastly increases your chances of reaching a new audience.

The pandemic has created an unprecedented shift to the online world, and eBooks have gone with it. According to data, eBook revenue is expected to hit 17.04 billion USD in 2022, and the number of readers is expected to reach 1,182.8 million USD by 2026.13

media translation

But if you decide to sell your book in a digital format, you should also consider translating it. For example, the digital books market is reaching all-time highs in the United States,14 but a notable percentage of the increase in sales is taken up by eBooks in the Spanish language, according to Statista.15 These numbers show the sale of Spanish-language eBooks reported the highest growth in the US, Mexico, and Chile.

Now, if you are looking to convert your book as well as translate it, you will be pleased to know that you can reach out to a Language Service Provider (LSP) for both. However, you may need to double-check if the translation companies you shortlist possess the necessary technical authority to do so. Some LSPs out there boast linguistic skills but can’t deliver on the technical side of things. At Laoret, for example, we offer translation as well as conversion services, and you can save a pretty penny when combining the two!

Pro Tip! There is a lot more to eBook Conversion! Do you want to learn about the technical process, the pros and the cons, and need a handy guide to the format types and their platforms? Check out our blog eBook Conversion: Why It Matters And How To Get It Right

Media Translation Challenges And Their Solutions

From our list of media translation types, you may have guessed that the landscape of media translation comes with quite some challenges. Fortunately, there are innovative solutions for each of them!

The Challenge The Solution
Maintain a consistent tone and language unique to every locale
  • Native, in-country translators who are also native in the specific dialect you are going for. For example, if you are looking for content for the Spanish-language market specifically for Peru, make sure the linguists are specifically from there.
  • In terms of consistency, qualified LSPs will leverage certain tools that streamline parts of the translation process. Translation Memories, for example, are used to save previously translated terms. These tools are further enriched with glossaries and style guides that maintain the brand voice. 
Create multilingual content that persuades and moves
  • For this, you will need localization services with experts not only in language but also in the subject matter. Localization Services will always take culture into account as well as language. 
Find equivalent for highly subjective language
  • Only highly skilled linguists will be able to put subjectivity aside to the degree that the original intent is still maintained. To be sure you find the right one, contact an LSP. They will have the necessary professionals instantly available. 
Get linguistic as well as technical authority
  • Keep an eye out for those LSPs that boast both linguistic and technical authority. They should have localization engineers available that can solve any issue, even when creative workarounds are needed. 

Conclusion: Media Translation Takes A Village!

In order to be effective, media content often uses marketing elements to achieve its objective. For this reason, Media Translation will need to be handled with the same level of care. That is why media content will need to:

  • Speak to your new client’s culture and respect their traditions. This will create a sustainable connection. Failing to do so costs you credibility.
  • Go beyond normal translation and add a level of local flair to the mix. 
  • Take all possible elements into account from text to images, audio, video, and so on.


Media Translation Services can involve anything from press release translation to multimedia and social media localization. So, the type of services you need can also vary greatly. That is why your best bet is to find an LSP to partner up with. They will be able to find the professional team you need in a heartbeat, leverage Supported Technology to streamline the translation process, and have a project management team that is available 24/7.

Ready for your next translation project? Request a quote and get started! 

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