How much does it cost to translate a video? [Services, languages and more]
The number of people watching videos online keeps increasing. According to the latest online video consumption statistics, more than 90 per cent of internet users worldwide watch digital videos each week. And the current average viewer spends 100 minutes a day watching digital videos.
Tutorials or how-to videos are among the most popular on the internet. For businesses, this means there is huge potential to reach consumers via videos online. If you are hoping to expand globally you should consider translating your videos because, as you probably already knew, people prefer to watch videos in their native language.
In this blog post, we will explain how you can estimate the cost of translating your videos and what services you may need for your tutorials, e-learning videos, promotional videos and more.
Transcription, subtitling, voice-over and dubbing: What service do you need?
There are a few ways of localizing your video content. You can opt for multilingual subtitling, voice-over, dubbing, or a combination of two of these services, for example, subtitling and voice-over. Below we explain what each service offers.
If you don’t have a script in the original language, you’ll need to create one with an exact transcription of your source content. You can do it yourself, use automated speech recognition tools or ask your language service provider.
While AI-powered transcripts may be accurate, it is always a good idea to double-check the transcripts. This is particularly true if there is significant noise in the background, the voices are difficult to understand or there are various speakers.
The cost of human transcription services will depend on the duration of the video and some other factors such as whether the audio is a single-person narrative or not. Pricing for general transcription services can range from €1.00 to €5.00 per audio minute.
When your video content is available in a written format, you are ready to proceed with the translation and localization of your video.
Subtitling is often associated with foreign films, but subtitles are also used in documentaries, advertising, online training and e-learning, social media and YouTube videos.
Translating the subtitles of a video allows your audience to understand your message when they can’t speak the source language. It is a cost-effective way of making your video content accessible to your international audience without the hefty price tag of audio production.
But affordability is not the only feature of subtitling. Many people prefer to watch a video in the original language and use subtitles to understand it. Similarly, a lot of videos on Facebook and LinkedIn are watched on mute – yes, people watch them using subtitles, even when the video is in their native language!
When translating subtitles it is important to adapt and localize cultural references to fit the target market. It is also vital to pay attention to the reading time, in particular, if the character length of the translation increases.
Subtitles need to be adjusted correctly, considering the meaning and reading time if character length increases. It is key that on-screen text looks professional and transitions between frames and scenes are right once the video content is translated.
Costantino Pala, Operations Manager at Ampere Translations
The translation of subtitles is calculated per minute and varies depending on the language and other factors. The rates go from 3€ to 8€ per minute in most cases.
Voice-Over and Dubbing
Simply put, voice-over consists of a voice-over artist reading the translation of the script over the original audio track. Voice-over usually refers to the off-screen voice that guides the viewer through the video in explainers or training videos, which do not feature people speaking.
If you decide to use voice-over in your video, make sure you find the right voice for your e-learning course, corporate training video or advert. Tones, regional accents and delivery need to be considered. Ask your translation partner whether you can listen to different voice-over demos to choose the style that best suits your video.
Although the cost of voice-over services depends on the length of the video, many other factors, such as the popularity of the voice-over artist or the language, come into play. It is therefore practically impossible to give a pricing guide that you may find useful.
Dubbing is usually the most expensive (and the most skilful) service when translating a video. As well as translating the original script in a way that remains faithful to the original meaning, the new audio needs to match the mouth movements of the speakers on screen.
As with voice-over, the cost of dubbing is mainly determined by the voice talent. Hiring a well-known radio presenter or popular tv star from the target country to dub a video can be expensive.
Other factors that affect the cost of video translation
Number of words and length
While translation is traditionally quoted on a per-word basis, transcription, subtitling and voice-over/dubbing are quoted depending on the length of the video. The longer a script is the more expensive video translation will be, as it will require more work from language professionals.
It is also general practice for translators and translation companies to have a minimum fee for small jobs, meaning that if a video lasts less than one minute, you will still need to pay the agreed minimum fee.
The specific language combination also affects translation services prices. Why do different languages have different prices? The number of translators and voice artists available for each particular language and the cost of living in the region they live in are the two main reasons.
Languages such as Swedish, Icelandic and Greenlandic have fewer language professionals than other languages such as Spanish, Italian or French. Therefore, the cost of certain language combinations is higher.
The translation of specialised videos, for example, sketching and rendering tutorials or architecture documentaries, will require a specialized translator who is familiar with the subject. Highly technical texts can be more costly due to the specialist knowledge required by translators.
How can you calculate the cost of video translation?
Before calculating the cost of your video translation you will need to answer some of the following questions:
Do you have a script of the video or do you need a transcription?
What languages do you want to translate the video into?
How long is the video and how many words are in the script?
Do you want subtitles only or do you also want to add a voice-over?
Ampere Translations has extensive experience providing video translation to help you reach your international audience. Get in touch today to discuss your needs.