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The multitude of software available for translating video dialogues is easy to find on the web. Fast, efficient and, above all, easy to use, this software appears to be the final solution for instantly translating videos, but is that really the case?

Video translation software: how does it work?

Video translation systems are based on an automatic dictation software, which transcribes the words spoken during video playback, and a second software which translates this into the chosen language.

These two functions are performed continuously, and the result is an instant translation of the video’s audio content.

Some applications also enable you to translate your own voice, exactly as though it were a video: rather than playing back the video to be translated, you speak directly into the device’s microphone or start playback of an audio file of your own recorded voice.

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Pros and cons

The main advantages of a video translation program undoubtedly include the speed of the translation.

In a few clicks and very little time, you can produce a translation of any kind of audio track originating from a video or other file type.

The disadvantages, however, include the quality of the translation, which is not always high. The main problem is the software’s ability to correctly comprehend the words spoken on the audio track. If the audio quality is not optimal or the speech is unclear, it can be very difficult for the software to transcribe the right words.

And, even if a correct transcription is produced, there could still be translation problems concerning the meaning of the target text. Indeed, automatic translation tools are capable of correctly translating simple sentences with literal meanings, but can have problems with idiomatic phrases, slang expressions and so forth.

Alternative solutions for translating videos

A video translation is quite different to a translation of a written text, since it has to fit seamlessly into a context that includes more than just words.

You therefore need to consider the aim of the video, the tone of voice employed to achieve the communicative purpose, the time into which each translated character must fit in order to match the original, and so on. For a high-quality translation, all these parameters must be met if the meaning of the video is to be correctly conveyed in the target language.

These challenges are added to those concerning rendering of idiomatic expressions, puns, figures of speech, and so on. In some cases, it could even be necessary to rearrange the text, moving away from a literal translation, in order to adapt the translation to the length of the video’s various segments.

As you can see, this is a complex operation and, as such, should be performed by professionals in the field. EuroTrad’s video translation services take care of all aspects of video translation. After translating your text, we also offer a professional foreign-language dubbing and voice-over service. Send us your project and we will give you a free quotation without any obligation.

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