5 Tips for Localizing Your Multimedia

Category: Multimedia

What is multimedia localization? The word “media” covers a lot of ground. It could mean almost anything that’s not text, or that doesn’t fit into the usual localization buckets (software, documents, websites).


Here are a few examples of media that you might be looking to adapt to other markets:(c)   bobbigmac

  • Sound files
  • Video clips or complex graphics
  • Dubbing and voice-over recording
  • Animation production
  • Computer-based training applications
  • eLearning modules
  • Flash presentations

Before getting started on your project, however, there are few tips that you might want to consider that can save you time and money in the long run.

1. Clean up your files. Define what needs to be localized, remove redundant items and clean up files for easy localization.

2. Keep animations adaptable. Animations should be easily adaptable to target languages and not specific to source language. Do not, for instance, animate each individual letter of a word, as those animations will need to be redone for each foreign language.

3. Make audio cues flexible. When using audio cues, be sure that the cues automatically adjust according to longer or shorter localized audio.

4. Use universal graphics and icons. Avoid metaphorical uses of graphics and icons that may be specific to the source language, market or culture. For example, symbols such as a dollar sign, a key or a “thumb’s up” do not share a universal meaning.

5. Finalize script before production. Be sure that the audio script is approved and final before audio production begins, as changes to the audio recording can be very costly to project schedule and budget.

Hungry for more knowledge to bring to the table? Read our 10 Tips for Multimedia Localization.