Audiovisual translation brings together text, sound and image using subtitles or dubbing, in order to ensure that an audiovisual product can be received and understood in different languages.
In order to produce a natural translation, the professional translator needs to consider if the language has been written to be read or to be spoken, while also respecting the patterns of reading and rhythm, that differ in each culture.
Audiovisual texts that require translation may be fiction (films or series), information based (bulletins, interviews, debates, reports, informative programs, documentaries, features), advertising (campaigns, advertisements, advertising reports) or entertainment (competitions, magazine programs, reality shows).
At SIGNEWORDS we can take care of any kind of audiovisual translation. Here is our list of services:
Translation of subtitles
Transcription of the text from the script to the same language spoken. Delivery in SubRip (.srt) format which includes the time code.
Translation of the script text into other languages, having delivered the transcription of the original text or directly delivering the translated text, according to the customer’s choice.
Insertion of subtitles and delivery of subtitled videos, in the same language as the audio itself or translated into any other language.
Translation for dubbing
We work as a team with our collaborating dubbing studio in order to deliver high quality audio products, as we carry out multifunctional work with participation from different professionals (technicians, actors, directors, translators) who work in complete coordination with our management staff, under strict quality controls.
Types of services on audiovisual products
Translation of fiction and animation films and series
This type of translation is particularly sensitive, as there is a poetic element to it that is sometimes difficult to interpret in order to maintain the original meaning and aim.
The translation of fiction products makes it necessary to consider the filming period and the context in which the different languages heard are used, in addition to the varying levels of formality present in each situation within the story told.
Fiction may involve the use of slang language, language from different professional sectors (law, healthcare, education, architecture, travel, mathematics, science, geography, tourism, history, music, computing, among many others), differing segments of the population (children, adolescents, elderly people, etc.) or social groups.
In order to obtain a satisfactory result that is equal to the original, the linguistic services applied to audiovisual products must also adjust to the image on tape, especially the lip movements of characters. It is important to point out that this is not just the case in films and series in general, but it applies in particular also to cartoon series, where the facial movements of the characters have been adapted to the original language of the script.
Translation of interviews
Translators of interviews need to have a journalistic background in order to understand the structure of this genre, know about the different types of interviews that exist (informative, of a divulgative character, profiles, interpretative, opinions, etc.) and know the aim of their publication. Also, professionals need to bear in mind which kind of channel the information has come through and how it is going to be divulged, if it is an open or closed interview and other basic aspects. Being able to interpret all of this factors well is crucial when it comes to obtaining a true and precise translation that fits the original well.
Translations of documentaries and reports
In this case it is especially important that the translator or team of translators in charge, have knowledge of the subject dealt with in the tape, as documentaries usually involve a certain level of experience and complexity. Even if you are dealing with a documentary or informative report that is for the general public, who are not experts in the material, the professional translator that is going to analyse each part of the text should know the specific language, style and vocabulary that can be used, as they will come across parts that require analysis and study.
Translation of advertising products
Professionals must consider the spirit of the message, in order to achieve a translation that really distances itself from the literal meaning. Only a linguist with training or extensive experience in specialised marketing language can obtain a translation that reflects the idea that the brand wants to give. Issues such as the idiosyncratic nature of the recipients of the advertisement, turns of phrase, dual meanings and the deep knowledge of the society and culture of the recipients of the message, are also essential in order not to commit fatal errors that undermine the message or offer an image that is far from the initial purpose.
In the case of advertising reports, the translator having knowledge of the specific service or product that is being sold will help to ensure that the translation is more effective and closer to the original script.
Translation of entertainment programs
Entertainment programs (competitions, magazine shows, reality shows, etc.) can be translated with dubbing or subtitles. In both cases, and bearing in mind that the language is usually relaxed, natural, direct and even sometimes has touches of humour, the translator needs to be a professional that knows the society and culture of the source and target languages, in order to connect with the viewers and ensure a successful translation. This type of television format can fail due to a poor translation, because it should not seem forced, it needs to reflect the personality of the protagonists (competitors, participants, guests), their tics, the unique characteristics of how they use language, because that is where the essence of the format lies, so it is the linguist’s responsibility to ensure it reaches the target audience.