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Streamlining International Corporate Training: Subtitling Corporate Training Videos


Do you ever wonder how international businesses keep their branches in different countries on the same page with the same goals, visions, and company outlook?  Well, there are many ways this is done, but one simple way is the use of corporate training videos ... subtitled in multiple languages.  This is a manageable and cost effective way for companies across the globe to communicate selling techniques, company updates, new product releases, safety training, and company outlook and vision just to name a few.

Most multi-national corporations either have their own production department or they outsource to post-production houses specializing in the creation of corporate training videos.  Usually each post-production house specializes in a sector, for example, retail or construction.

Commonly, these post-productions companies will outsource to a subtitling company to create the translated subtitles for their corporate training videos.  Subtitling companies specialize in subtitling multiple languages, even exotic and not-so common languages, that is often too much of a hassle for the post-production house to handle.

The complicated part about translating corporate training videos is, for one, the industry-specific jargon.  The translator will usually be provided with a company-specific lexicon for the given language.  For example, a product might have the name, "Super-duper AirTight Duffel" but in Japanese there is no product name.  The multinational corporation will need to decide whether they want to keep product names in English or if they want the translator to create equivalent names in their respective language.  It is common for large multinational corporations to have teams of translators in multiple countries who, among other things, dedicate themselves to these types of issues.  In this case, the subtitling company will use the clients' translations to do the subtitling.

Creating DVD or Blu-ray Disc subtitles is not as simple as putting a translation into a software and spitting out files.  It takes adaptation for subtitles, timing and placement of the subtitles, as well as special subtitling software capable of exporting files for DVD or Blu-ray Disc, like specially formatted .stl files, .son files, .xml files, .txt files, .srt files to name a few.  These file types are often accompanied by .tif images.  These files are later ingested into the client's or post-production house's DVD or Blu-ray Disc authoring system and added to the DVD or Blu-ray Disc menu.

One thing I have learned from subtitling thousands of corporate training videos, is that when we are handling the translation, to always, without fail, get the translation and the subtitles proofed by the client.  What we tell the company's international branches via translated subtitles is very crucial to the company's bottom line abroad, and making a mistake with one sentence or even one word could compromise the progress of the overall training.  Successful translation and subtitling of corporate training videos comes down to having all the available lexicons from the client, a translator who specializes in the sector (retail, construction, hospitality, et cetera), a proofer who also specializes in the given sector, and a final client proof of the subtitles.

All in all, international companies have found the importance of creating video for training employees abroad, and with these videos the easiest and most cost-effective way to adapt the video for multiple countries at one time is by the addition of multi-language subtitles.