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4 Important Elements to Check on a Chinese Video Translation Project

Maria Krisette Capati, Author

24 August 2019

One of AZ-Loc’s sweet spot is Chinese video translation.

The team loves working with this type of project because a video is a powerful tool to tell a brand’s story.

That’s why a structured workflow is vital throughout the project cycle. Video translators, project managers, multimedia specialists, and captionists follow it as the standard.

In this post, you’ll know more about the crucial elements to check to make sure the Chinese version of the video works well.

If you want to know more about video translations and how the team does it, here are some of the previous posts worth reading.

#1 The voice-over should match what the target audience speaks

There are two common types of Chinese voice-overs, Mandarin voice-overs and Cantonese voice-overs. Mandarin is the lingua franca in Mainland China, Taiwan, and Singapore.

Cantonese is the dialect in Hong Kong, Macau, and mostly in Guangdong province and some people in east Guangxi. So, when working on videos, the team ask for more information about the target audience. So, they will make sure they use the right dialect.

If the target audience lives in Mainland, Mandarin is the default dialect. And it’s the most common dubbing services used on Chinese videos.

#2 Subtitles are in sync with the voice-over

Video translation involves 4-steps or what we call, TT-VO-SUB. It consists of the transcription of texts in Chinese, then translations, voice-over, and subtitling.

One of the things that we need to check is to make sure that the subtitles are also in with the Chinese voice-over, whether they are in Simplified or Traditional Chinese.

The combined skills of the transcriptionist, translators and captionists can achieve that.

The image above shows the transition of texts. (The video is shown below) The texts are long from the Hebrew language, but the transition and texts in Chinese still match syncs with Hebrew lines. The transition is smooth that the viewer can still follow through and read.

#3 Lip-sync should match what the speaker says

What the speaker says in the original language (e.g. in English) could be longer than the translated texts. And when it’s translated in Chinese, the phrases and sentences are shorter than the original language.

This is another critical element when working on dubbing and subtitling in Chinese videos. The transition from the next clip to another should also follow how the speaker moves and expresses himself in the video. Body language and gestures also should match the voice-over.

Watch this video we mentioned in the second point. See how lip-sync seamlessly works in different roles or character in the video.

#4 The tone of the voice-over matches the theme of the video

The choice of voice talent is important when it comes to the type of video that’s going to be published. That’s why the team also offers voice-banks samples for the client to choose based on the theme or industry.

For example, if the promotional video is about tourism and travel, the voice talent should be engaging and excited. If it’s a corporate training video, of course, the voice talent should be formal yet not dull.

Watch this product video and see how voice talent also matches the theme of the video. The voice is lively and matches what the video in Chinese is trying to achieve. Of course, when you’re introducing a product, you’d be excited about it.

Do you have a video that needs to be localized in Chinese? Let us know and our team will help you on your project.

Fill in the form below and we will get back to you with a quote on your project.

As we are constrained by resources, we will only serve those deserve our attention and time. We will only focus on clients who are already decided which projects to prioritize and understand the importance of translation and localization efforts.

china market writer

Maria Krisette Capati

Krisette or "Sette" for short is a professional writer and copywriter who loves to cover disruptive technologies, digital trends in China, and a myriad of geeky and innovative topics. She's the Content Strategist at AZ-Loc and currently manages the English website and in-charge of the social media channels. She has been writing about China markets, business, and startups since 2012. She has gained her expertise as a China internet specialist and is fascinated by its business ethics, language, and culture. She's a major of Business Management and Entrepreneurship and an advocate of faith-based non-profit organizations. When she's not writing or dabbling with Sophie and the team, she satiates her wanderlust as a digital nomad. 

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