Accessibility and the Future of Video Localization


2021-04-01 07:00 RWS Moravia Insights


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Subtitling used to be an after-thought, something you did to create a foreign language version of your video content or to make it accessible to the hearing-impaired community. It was an add-on, an addition to the project workflow, not as important as the content itself. Well, things have changed. Today, more video content is being created than ever before. If you want to stay at the top of your market, making content accessible in any language or to people watching without sound is no longer a nice-to-have: it’s a must-have. David Hansfield, the Executive Vice President of Global Sales at Dotsub, a translation company that specializes in video, says he’s seen that subtitling is directly linked to increasing audience engagement and creating return on investment (ROI). As far as investing in subtitling goes, Hansfield says, “As soon as you start talking that way with executives, that you’re competing with others for eyeballs or attention and this is one way to capture and hang onto people, I think it becomes a much more compelling argument.” Subtitles—more important, less expensive Subtitling is no longer an expensive proposition, which makes it easier to justify doing it. Through the use of companies like Dotsub, it’s possible—and many would argue necessary —to subtitle all video content in its native language and then roll this out into other languages as well. Dotsub provide an inexpensive, fully managed solution for native and foreign language subtitling by handling all areas of translation, on-screen text and file creation. Hansfield points out that “people won’t watch your video if they’re scrolling through their social media feed and you don’t have your captions burned in. They’ll probably scroll past.” Native language subtitling grows audiences and keeps consumers engaging with brands on social media platforms. This is because a large part of the audience is viewing their content in a communal space without sound. Subtitling has actually become a business differentiator, in part because it increases the business’s chance of content being viewed on social media feeds. The role of machine translation (MT) and automated speech recognition (ASR) in localization Of course, more content being translated and subtitled increases the need for translation at scale. This is where MT and ASR (technology that converts spoken words into text) can play a part in speeding up the process. Currently, we have the technology to do an automated first-pass at the video for transcription, translation and subtitling, which is then edited and fine-tuned by a human. This hybrid workflow makes for accurate subtitling at scale. The secret to success, as with all localization, lies in creating excellent source content. Hansfield explains “we’re seeing first off with MT, the first thing that people I don’t think realize when they’re captioning or subtitling is that you really need a good source language file. It needs to be accurate and correct.” A common misconception is that because machines are involved, the process will be quick. Even when employing MT and ASR, ensuring subtitling and captioning is accurate takes time. It can be done quickly if you remove the level of human quality control, but it won’t be as fluent as your business might want it to be. If you require a quality translation and quality subtitles, you have to factor the right amount of time into your project plan. Trends in subtitling As the international conference market came to a grinding halt due to the pandemic, we started to see a shift in the importance of subtitling. Companies still needed to launch products and communicate with their employees, business partners and target audiences, but they have had to adapt to doing it without being face-to-face. Subtitling became a huge part of that evolution as people logged in from their homes to watch streaming or pre-recorded keynotes, break-outs and round-table sessions. “That’s become one of the biggest parts of our business, captioning those sessions and translating them for the global audience of the conference,” says Hansfield. He points out that the real shift is a shift in thinking. Subtitling is no longer just for the deaf and hard-of-hearing audience members. Aside from subtitling in the source language, companies are starting to consider enhancing their content with multiple languages. The current trend towards video content is only going to keep increasing. Hansfield explains the global thinking: “We work with a lot of major corporations, enterprise level corporations, who are now putting their CEO messages out in several languages where they might not have before.” An intro to dubbing Aside from subtitling, and thanks largely to the rise of voice recognition, dubbing is also on the increase. This is where a voice in a different language replaces the original voice in the video content. Dubbing can be more appealing than subtitling to audiences because, if they choose to have the sound on, they don’t have to read text on the screen. In the past, dubbing was a costly process, requiring human translation and voice talent to perform the lines, but now automation is taking over. For educational purposes, an automated voice is a cost-effective way of delivering large amounts of voice-over. Hansfield thinks we’ll see more dubbing in the future: “Dubbing is becoming a trend, people are definitely asking for it . . . as automated voices become better and people become more accepting of that, I think you’ll see more voice-over come into play.” (Should you do voiceovers or subtitles? All you need to know, here.) Think differently from the beginning, with subtitling in the workflow Given that dubbing in another language is more costly than subtitling, many businesses choose the latter, but the bottom line is that it’s no longer acceptable for localized subtitling to be a bolt-on at the end of the content creation process. It has to be a part of the process from the beginning of a project for it to be done accurately, effectively and in an aesthetically pleasing way on screen. Discussing the language variants and technical details early on in a project improves the chances of achieving smooth delivery and efficient use of time and resources. There will be no waste in terms of poor translations or incompatible file types or file transfer processes. And a bit of practical advice The main conversations to have with a subtitling or language partner at the outset are: Languages—How many? Which ones? Translations in certain languages can be physically different sizes and in video, you only have the amount of space you had in the source language, unless you’re prepared to re-edit, which can be very costly. File creation—If subtitling files are being created and sent back to you to be edited into the video, what type of file do you need for your postproduction software? File transfer—How will the files move back and forth between the language or subtitling supplier and your postproduction facility? FTP? Dropbox? File transfer sites? Are these routes secure if the information is sensitive or confidential? Frequency—Will you be creating a lot of content? Do you need daily, weekly or monthly translations and subtitling or is it just ad-hoc? This could have an impact on how you work with your supplier and the technology you use. More questions will come out of these ones, but starting with these will mean you are well-placed to have discussions that will benefit the process, your content and probably your ROI. Hansfield sums it up: “Captioning and subtitling may not sound exciting, but when you open the door to offer your video content to audiences that may not want to watch it because it’s not in their native language or they’re hearing impaired, then that’s really exciting. It gives you a whole new audience.” Click here to listen to the entire Globally Speaking Radio discussion with David Hansfield.
在过去,字幕是一种事后的思考,是为了将自己的视频创建为外语版本,或者是为了让听力障碍群体看懂视频内容。字幕并没有视频内容那么重要,它是视频项目流程的附加项。然而,事情已然发生改变。 如今,视频的创作量出现了史无前例的高峰,如果您想让自己的视频在市场上始终位居前列,那么让视频在没有声音的情况下,也能令不同语言的人看懂,不失为一个良策,当然也是必须实施的策略。 负责视频翻译公司Dotsub全球销售的执行副总裁大卫· 汉斯菲尔德表示,他发现字幕与增加观众参与度和创造投资回报率(ROI)有直接关系。至于投资字幕,汉斯菲尔德说:“一旦你开始与高管交谈投资字幕的事情,那么就是在博眼球或者他人的注意力你在与其他人争夺眼球或注意力,而这又是抓住他人注意力的一种方式,我认为这就成为了一个投资字幕更有说服力的论据。” 字幕--更重要,更便宜 做字幕不再是一个昂贵的提议,这也较容易证实。依据公司对字幕的使用,比如Dotsub这样的公司,人们认为将视频内容配上本国字幕,再把本国字幕转成其他语言字幕的行为很有必要。Dotsub通过处理各个领域的翻译、屏幕文本和创建的文件,为本地和外语字幕提供了一个价格优惠、管理全面的解决方案。 汉斯菲尔德指出:“如果人们在浏览他们的社交媒体时刷到了你没有制作字幕的视频,他们是不会看的。”他们很可能将你的视频跳过去”。 母语字幕增加了受众,让消费者在社交媒体平台上接触品牌。这是因为大部分观众是在公共场合观看无声地观看视频内容。字幕实际上已经成为一种商业差异,部分原因在于它增加了商业内容在社交媒体上被浏览的机会。 机器翻译(MT)和自动语音识别(ASR)在本地化中的作用 当然,需要翻译和创建字幕的视频量较多,翻译规模的需求也会增加,这就是MT和ASR(将口语转换成文本的技术)可以在加速过程中发挥作用的地方。目前,我们有将视频进行自动首遍转录、翻译和添加字幕的技术,再由人工编辑和微调。这种混合工作流程可将大规模化字幕精确化。 成功的秘诀,就像所有本地化一样,在于创造优秀的视频原内容。汉斯菲尔德解释说:“我们首先看到的是MT,我认为人们在使用字幕时没有意识到的第一件事是,你真的需要一个好的源语言文件。它需要准确和正确。“ 一个常见的误区是,机器的参会加快字幕创作的过程。但即使是在使用MT和ASR时,确保字幕的准确性也需要时间。如果你取消了人类质量控制的水平,它可以很快完成,但是它不会像你的企业想要的那样流畅。如果你需要一个高质量的翻译和高质量的字幕,你必须在你的项目计划中考虑到适当的时间。 字幕翻译的趋势 随着国际会议市场因新冠疫情而陷入停顿,我们开始看到字幕重要性的转变。公司仍然需要推出产品,并与员工、商业伙伴和目标受众进行沟通,但他们不得不在无法面对面交流的情况下适应新的交流方式。 随着居家登录观看流媒体或预先录制的演讲、会议分组和圆桌会议变成常态,字幕成为这一演变过程中的一个重要部分。汉斯菲尔德说:“这已经成为我们业务中最大的一部分,为全球参加会议的观众提供字幕和翻译。” 他指出,真正的转变是思维的转变。字幕不再只是为耳聋和具有听觉障碍的观众而设。除了使用源语言的字幕,公司开始考虑使用多种语言字幕来增强其内容。 目前视频内容的趋势只会继续增长。汉斯菲尔德解释说:“我们与许多大公司、企业级公司合作,他们现在用几种语言发布他们的CEO信息,而以前他们可能没有这样做。” 配音入门 除了字幕,配音也在增加,这主要得益于语音识别的兴起。这是一种不同语言的语音替换视频内容中的原始语音的地方。配音比字幕对观众更有吸引力,因为如果他们选择开着声音,他们就不必在屏幕上读文字了。 在过去,配音过程成本高昂,需要人工翻译和声音天赋来表演台词,但现在自动化正在接管。对于教育目的而言,自动语音是一种传送大量画外音的经济有效的方式。 汉斯菲尔德认为未来我们会看到更多的配音:“配音正在成为一种趋势,人们肯定在要求配音。……随着自动语音变得越来越好,人们对它的接受度也越来越高,我想你会看到更多的画外音发挥作用,“ (你应该做画外音还是字幕?你需要知道的都在这里。) 从一开始就以不同的方式思考,在工作流中添加字幕 考虑到用另一种语言配音比字幕更昂贵,许多企业选择后者,但底线是,本地化的字幕在内容创作过程的最后成为一个插科打诨的做法不再被接受。 它必须是一个过程的一部分,从一个项目的开始,它要做到准确,有效,并在一个美学上令人愉悦的方式在屏幕上。在项目早期讨论语言变体和技术细节可以提高顺利交付和有效利用时间和资源的机会。在糟糕的翻译或不兼容的文件类型或文件传输过程方面不会有浪费。 和一些实用的建议 一开始,与字幕或语言伙伴的主要对话是: 语言-多少?哪几个?某些语言的翻译可能会有不同的大小,而在视频中,你只有源语言的空间,除非你准备重新编辑,这可能会非常昂贵。 文件创建--如果正在创建字幕文件并将其发送回您以编辑到视频中,您需要什么类型的文件用于您的后期制作软件? 文件传输--文件将如何在语言或字幕供应商和您的后期制作设施之间来回移动?FTP?Dropbox?文件传输站点?如果信息是敏感或机密的,这些路线是否安全? 频率-你会创造大量的内容吗?你需要每天,每周或每月的翻译和字幕,还是只是临时的?这可能会对您与供应商的合作方式以及您所使用的技术产生影响。 更多的问题将会从这些问题中产生,但从这些问题开始将意味着您处于一个很好的位置来进行讨论,这将有益于过程,您的内容,可能还有您的ROI。 Hansfield总结道:“字幕和字幕听起来可能并不令人兴奋,但当你打开大门,把你的视频内容提供给可能因为不是母语或者听力受损而不想看的观众时,那就真的很令人兴奋了。”它给了你一个全新的观众,“ 点击这里收听大卫·汉斯菲尔德的全球广播讨论。