10 Tips for Preparing Multimedia Scripts and Files for Localization

Category: Multimedia

Here are 10 pre-flight tips for ensuring a smooth production for your multimedia localization project. This is just a quick rundown — check out our newsletter article for the more in-depth version.

1. Determine the type of multimedia you want localized.

Localizing video is a very different process from an audio-only project. Be clear in advance about which one you’re doing.

2. Review your file formats and coding.

Figure out which file format works best for your project ahead of time and don’t forget to check whether it will need to be converted for your international market.

3. Know your runtime.

The duration of your multimedia project and the length of material that needs to be localized aren’t always the same. A two-hour video might have only 10 minutes worth of audio to localize.

4. Define your requirements and know your budget.

Decide beforehand whether you want a “wild,” timed audio or synced recording. That decision is a big part of the localization process and a major factor in determining your budget and how recording is handled.

5. Clean up your screen.

Does your video have a lot of onscreen background text? The more words you have, the more complex the process becomes. Minimizing nonessential background text can save you a lot of hassle.

6. Create a script in the source (original) language.

Give your language production agency a full script that includes stage directions and contextual information.

7. Be clear about pronunciation.

Provide pronunciation guides for any company-specific names, terms and proper nouns.

8. Provide original reference material whenever possible.

Make sure your production team has the original video source files, not just the final DVD or compressed file. Without the original source files, production can take a lot longer.

9. Set realistic expectations for what can be said.

The amount of time it takes to say something in English can be a lot shorter than how long it takes to say in another language. Let the production team abridge content where necessary so there’s enough time to get in the most essential parts.

10. Get technical about timing to save money.

Dividing your script into time-coded segments with associated file names saves additional production dollars. Don’t forget to include pauses and any onscreen actions.

Be sure to read our full newsletter article to get a thorough grounding in preparing your multimedia files and scripts to make the localization process as smooth and efficient as possible.