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Best Practices for Video Translation [TRANSCRIPT]

JOSH MILLER: Hey, everyone. We’re going to get started. So my name’s Josh Miller. I’m one of the co-founders of 3Play Media. And just a quick bit of housekeeping, we will take questions at the end of the webinar. So please feel free to type any questions as you come up with them in the window on your control panel. And then we will address them all at the end.

So, today, we are going to go over our new and improved translation service. We have an expert on that in Adam Emsley from Gengo, who’s our translation partner. He’s going to share quite a bit about what is going on in the background when a file is actually getting translated, which will be great.

So we also have David Zylber, who is our manager of customer happiness here at 3Play Media, and Shannon Murphy, who is our content marketing manager, who’s going to talk through how translation works with search engine optimization.

DAVID ZYLBER: Today, we’re going to provide you guys with a quick overview of 3Play Media and our translation provider, Gengo. We’re also going to explore how seamlessly integrated our two services are, giving our users a streamlined workflow to have content translated. This partnership now enables account holders the ability to create translations, monitor job statuses, and download translated transcripts, and also multilingual video subtitles directly from their 3Play Media account.

Our interactive plug-ins– the interactive transcript and captions plug-ins that you guys might already be familiar with– are also integrated with the translation process and support multiple languages. We’re going to cover setting up your translation profile; how to submit, download, and edit, and preview your translation files. And then we’re going to demo the interactive transcript and captions plug-in with content in English and other languages as well.

JOSH MILLER: Great. So that’s going to be fantastic. I’m going to quickly give an overview of what we do at 3Play Media, just so we’re all on the same page. Our core business is all about transcription and closed captioning. We’re making content accessible and searchable and SEO-friendly. We offer a number of interactive video plug-ins for text-based navigation through your audio and video content. And we offer a number of integrations with existing video platforms like YouTube, Brightcove, Kaltura, Ooyala, to really make the workflow much, much easier.

So we’re going to actually jump over to Adam now, who’s going to talk to us a little bit about what Gengo does.

ADAM EMSLEY: Sure. Hey, guys. So Gengo is a human translation platform. We work with about 8,000 translators all over the world and about 38 different languages. These translators could be anybody. They could be stay-at-home moms or stay-at-home dads. They could be college students or just bilinguals looking for a little extra cash. All of our translators are tested, spot checked, and managed through our platform. And then we also provide an API or an order form on our site, where customers can come and send work directly to those translators.

JOSH MILLER: Great. That’s fantastic. Thanks. So Dave, why don’t you walk us through what this whole translation workflow is actually like and what it’s like to order a translation file?

DAVID ZYLBER: So the first step is actually to upload your audio and video files that are in English using our default service, Transcription and Captioning. Or, if you already have a transcript for your content, you can use our Transcript alignment service to create the time-synchronized captions and transcript in English. So using either of these options will create the core transcript in English that will later be submitted to Gengo. If you don’t know what the alignment service is, you can learn a little bit more about that directly from either your 3Play Media account or from the 3Play Media website, www.3playmedia.com.

JOSH MILLER: Great. And let’s actually hop out and show people what it really looks like.

DAVID ZYLBER: Once your content is transcribed in English and the file’s complete, what you’re going to want to do is set up the translation profile. And, basically, the translation profile is key to the success of your translation. It aims to provide context around your content by clearly communicating to the translator what your business is all about, the voice of your brand, and the style in which you’d like to communicate to customers.

As you guys can see right here on the screen, we’re looking at the translation profile. So once it’s been transcribed or aligned, you can then submit the completed transcript for translation. Before submitting your first request, if you haven’t done so already, you’ll get a prompt to set up the translation profile. I was actually wondering, Adam, how does the translation profile improve the quality of the translation?

ADAM EMSLEY: Sure. Yeah, the translation profile is really important for our translators to have enough information about what’s being sent to them. So on the translation profile that you provide there, there’s some information about the business, which is just a high overview and an introduction to the translators. Then you want to describe the audience. And this really helps the translator get in the frame of mind of the end user.

But the most important part is describing the voice. And if a translator has a good understanding of the voice and they can interpret it a little bit, that’s much better than doing a literal translation. So in some cases, the tone of the source content might not exactly work in the target language for the intended culture, right?

So you can imagine a situation where you have a very jokey or fun attitude on your product descriptions. That’s not necessarily how product descriptions are ever represented in some cultures. So our translators will want to understand that you are looking for that voice and interpret it and change it a little bit to match that audience.

DAVID ZYLBER: Cool. So it’s pretty important.

ADAM EMSLEY: It’s definitely important.

DAVID ZYLBER: All right. So we do suggest you guys fill that out. It is technically optional, but we strongly encourage you guys to do that.

ADAM EMSLEY: I also strongly encourage you to do that.

Submit a Video Translation Through 3Play Media

DAVID ZYLBER: Yes. All right. So let’s say we’ve completed our translation profile. Let’s show you guys now how you’d submit a translation request directly from your 3Play Media account. So, again, remember the first two things that need to be done are set up the translation profile and have the transcript done in English, and have that be completed.

So once those are done, you’re going to go to the My Files page within your account. And you’re going to click on the file and click on the Translate button. And you’ll be shown this menu here where you’ll be able to select the language which you want your files translated into. We’re going to pick Japanese here. And then, as you guys see, you’ll be prompted to select a service level. Could you talk a little bit about that, Adam?

Gengo Translation Quality Levels

ADAM EMSLEY: Sure. Yeah, we offer three tier levels at Gengo, different quality levels. So a Standard level, you’re going to be getting a lay translator. This may not be a professional translator that has done a lot of translation work in the past. But they are a native speaker and a bilingual.

The Pro level will be exactly that. It’ll be a professional translator. And these are people that we’ve tested more thoroughly. They’ve done more spot checks, that kind of thing.

And the Ultra level is going to be when you want an extra bit of proofreading done. So it’s the Pro level service plus an extra proofread, which is done by a Pro-level translator as well.

Gengo Translation Turn-around Time

DAVID ZYLBER: Awesome. Cool. So for some of you guys that are familiar with submitting files for transcription from the 3Play Media interface, you know that you have the option to select a turnaround time. And you’ll notice that when you’re submitting a file for translation, there isn’t any information about the turnaround time. So maybe that’s something you could explain as well?

ADAM EMSLEY: Sure. Yeah. So at Gengo, when a translation file is sent to us, we send it out immediately to our entire translation pool. So this could be 40, 50, 100, 200 translators that get this email or SMS or whatever method of notification that they want.

Once they get that, it’s the first person that takes that job. He jumps on it and starts working on it right away. So that time gap can vary depending on time zones and that kind of thing.

So we don’t give a quote the same way that a traditional agency does. This works a little bit different. Often it ends up being a very fast turnaround time because of that.

DAVID ZYLBER: So is there an average or anything?

ADAM EMSLEY: There is. I mean, it depends. An average translation of about 500 words– and I’m not exactly sure what that translates into minutes, probably–

JOSH MILLER: Four minutes.

ADAM EMSLEY: Four minutes? That type of size of translation would be back in just a few hours.

DAVID ZYLBER: Wow. All right. Great. So as you can see here, we’re going to click Next. And what you’re going to want to do here is look over your order, click that button to say that you’ve reviewed the source transcript, which is pretty important. You’re going to want to just read over your English transcript, as once you submit that to Gengo, you’re not going to be able to make any edits. So you just want to make sure that you’re happy with the English version before submitting it.

So we’re happy with our order. So why don’t we send it to Gengo? All right. Your translations have been ordered. Thank you.

Monitoring a 3Play Media Translation File

I guess we’re going to talk about monitoring job status. This is something that you can do, again, right from the 3Play interface. You click on the file, and you’ll notice below the file there’s the Translations button. When you click on that, you’re going to see we’ve already had this file translated in Korean and this has been completed. And you’ll see also now the Japanese file that we just submitted is Pending.

And there’s three states. It’s Pending, In Progress, and Completed. When you submit the job, is it before it’s claimed, it’s pending, I guess?

ADAM EMSLEY: That’s right. Yeah. It’s before a translator’s taken the job.

DAVID ZYLBER: Right. And then once they’re translating, In Progress. And when they’re finished, Complete. Once the file’s complete, you can preview the transcript, either just the transcript or the subtitles along with the video.

JOSH MILLER: We’re actually just going to show the transcript.

Demonstration: Gengo Translation Interface

DAVID ZYLBER: Cool. So Adam’s actually going to take over here and show us a little bit about Gengo.

ADAM EMSLEY: Sure. Yeah. Well, Gengo’s quite fast, so this job could already be taken by a translator. But if it hasn’t been, let’s see if I can grab it here on my account. Might not be over yet, but let me just go ahead and show off the translator user interface just to round out the picture here.

This is the translator dashboard. They can see all the jobs that have come through. And they can claim one.
So let me just jump on a Japanese job here. This is a small job. It’s only 17 characters. But it’s the same user interface for either a large job or a big job.

Let’s see here, the translator’s now starting the job. And then this is the UI for the translator. They work and they submit the translation here. And they submit it back to 3Play Media.

Editing a 3Play Media Translation File

DAVID ZYLBER: Cool. Now, let’s say maybe you want to make an edit. We actually offer an editing interface as well. If you maybe submitted the translation for the Standard service, you might want to check it out. And if you notice that there is an error, which I don’t think would be often– I don’t know if you can speak to that?
ADAM EMSLEY: Yeah, it’s very uncommon. I mean, if anything is found, you can follow up through Gengo and we translate, and we’ll make any revisions that are there. At the same time, I believe that you can also make changes on your own, right?

DAVID ZYLBER: Yeah, we offer an editing interface where you can see the English and the translated file side by side, which is a helpful tool. You can also preview the video right from the interface as well. So if you did need to make any edits, you do have the ability to do that.

From the My Files page, you can download your captions, transcripts, and subtitles. These files are stored in your account indefinitely. So let’s say right now you’re hosting your videos on YouTube, which uses the SRT file format. In a year, if you want to switch to a different video platform like Brightcove, for example, you just simply go back into your account, download the DFXP file that will be stored there, and upload it to your new video platform.

JOSH MILLER: Thanks, Dave. And so with that, the download will be created. And when we download those files we’ll have both the English and the Korean, in this case. And then, in a couple hours, we’ll have Japanese, if we re-download.

Publishing a Translated Transcript with a Video Plug-in

And now, we’re going to now also show a fun little trick with your plug-ins. Once the translation is complete, you can go ahead and publish your interactive transcript or captions plug-in very quickly with the translations included. So if we go through this process like you’re used to doing, you’ll see now there’s a box that says Include Translations. Let’s say we want to change some of the settings. We can update our preview. And now you’ll see this drop-down with all the languages that are available.

So again, the nice thing here is this is also updating this code snippet that you’re going to embed in your page. And because translations are included, if you add translations down the road, it’ll actually automatically get updated within your plug-in that’s already on your page. You don’t actually even have to republish anything. It’ll just automatically get included with your plug-in.

DAVID ZYLBER: So we’re going to actually show you guys a plug-in that we built that is in English and Korean. Here we have our interactive transcript. And switch it over. And it’s the same idea, that it’s the time-synchronized text to the video. And we also have the captions plug-in as well. Shut off the sound, but you can see. So if anyone is fluent in Korean out there, they can participate.

JOSH MILLER: Very cool.



DAVID ZYLBER: So this is your notion of going global, is that what you guys–

ADAM EMSLEY: Definitely, yeah.

DAVID ZYLBER: It’s just a way to make your content, share it with the world, broaden your audience. I think we’re going to talk a little bit about SEO now.

JOSH MILLER: Yeah, exactly. So we’re going to bring in Shannon Murphy, our marketing content manager who’s going to talk us through how translation and search engine optimization can very much go hand in hand.

SHANNON MURPHY: Hi, everyone. This is Shannon. Thanks for joining us. I’m happy to be here advising on video SEO, specifically for translation.

You’re going to hear me mention video transcripts quite a bit. And that is because Google can’t view images or videos. We have to use text to tell search engines what these elements are. Since text is the lifeblood of search engines, transcripts are hugely important to video SEO.

Please keep in mind that translation SEO, especially in the context of video, is an emerging field. Some of the strategies proposed here are tried and true. Others are still evolving. We’re basing this on core SEO principles and the best available information. So let’s dive in.

The SEO Benefits of Video Translation

What are the benefits of video translation? Increased traffic. By assisting search engines to index your video translations, you will increase traffic to your site, expanding your audience globally and domestically.

Greater authority. Duplicate content is not penalized across different languages. Translated video content gives your site more pages, keyword rankings, and inbound links.
Less competition. It’s easier to rank against competitors because there’s simply less competition across different languages.

User experience. Your video content will become more engaging for non-English users, resulting in longer view times, retention, and a better user experience. I cannot stress enough that a great user experience is hugely important to SEO.

Elements to Consider Before Starting International Video SEO

Now we’ll discuss fundamentals to consider before building your translation SEO strategy. Goals– monetization or viewership? Do you need traffic for advertising? Or can the videos be watched anywhere?

Video duration. Short-form or long-form formats can affect how the transcripts are published.

Which player or platform? This determines workflow, plug-ins, and the type of transcript and subtitle format needed.

Can you create a separate set of video web pages for each language? As with other translated content, the best practice is to have a separate language section.

Which search engines will you target? Find the leading search engine in your target market. We have a tendency to mention Google by name as it is the largest search engine in the United States. But Yahoo dominates Japan, and local search engines lead in China and South Korea.

What is your non-English keyword strategy? As Dave mentioned before, and Adam as well, keywords in target languages are different than that of source languages. Do not use direct translations and be aware of spammy words.

Best Practices for Publishing Video Translations

OK, so now moving on to some of the best practices for publishing your video translation. You’ll want to create a separate video landing page for each language. This is the best way to localize a website with translated videos.

Use only one language per web page. Google determines language of the page based on the text. So multiple languages can confuse the algorithm.

Create one video site map per language. A video site map is the most reliable way for Google to learn about your videos. Unfortunately, there isn’t a good way to incorporate multiple languages. Create a separate video site map for each language. Also, notify Google of equivalent video pages in other languages. Each language should cross reference every additional language, including itself. So a video in three languages would require nine entries.

Build on-page and off-page SEO. Follow the same on-page best practices you do for your English videos and transcripts. You can check out our blog to access more in-depth information concerning on-page text elements and off-page linking strategies for video SEO.

Decide on transcript placement. Earlier, I mentioned that the video length can determine how to utilize transcripts. If you are using a plain transcript for a video five minutes or less, you can place the transcript on the video page or link to separate page. Either strategy optimizes as long as there’s text around the video for search engines to read. Your choice might be based on a better user experience.

Long-form video transcripts, however, should be placed on separate pages and paginated. A 10,000 word video transcript can cover a lot of information. Breaking this up by themes and building a separate page targeting different but perhaps related keywords can build out site size and assist SEO. Again, we have articles on our blog discussing short-form and long-form video SEO strategies.

As you saw in our demonstration, another publishing option is interactive transcripts or a multilingual captions plug-in. For SEO purposes, when using either of these tools, you want to place a plain transcript on your site wrapped in no-script tags. This is invisible to users but readily indexed by search engines.

And utilizing YouTube multilingual subtitles. If your goal is to maximize viewership, then YouTube cannot be ignored. Upload your translated subtitles to YouTube to get indexed by Google. 3Play has a round-trip integration with YouTube, so when subtitles are completed in your account, they are automatically posted to the YouTube video.

Always remember to set the default language. Logically, if you’re on a Spanish video page and press the closed captions button, Spanish subtitles should be turned on by default. Subtitles in non-YouTube players generally will not be indexed by Google. But they do improve view times, retention, and user experience.

The Future of Technical Video SEO

And wrapping up more so, we’ll discuss two newer methods to get your video index by Google. One of those is video schema. Video schema is a new markup standard allowing video metadata to be added in the body of the HTML. Readily indexible by search engines, HTML5 supports a number of properties, including the ability to add a transcript.

And still very new, HTML5 makes it easier to add subtitles as metadata. One of the great advantages of adding subtitles or captions as metadata is that search engines will be able to index the text and associated time codes. This means the search engines will then return results pointing to a specific part of video. This is called deep linking.

OK, well I hope that was helpful for those of you that are looking to optimize translated videos. The information that I covered is available on a blog that was published today that covers all the same information. Now, I’m going to pass the mic back to Josh.

Translation Webinar Q&A

JOSH MILLER: Great. Thanks, Shannon. That is really informative. And definitely even for us, we’re diving into this more and more ourselves. So it’s constantly evolving and pretty solid information to go by. So we are going to jump into Q&A. We’ve got a couple of resources linked here as well. So you should feel free to use those– our support site, and you can contact us on support.

We’re going to take just a minute to aggregate some questions. Now is also a good time to type any questions you have into the questions window. All right. Great.

How much does translation cost?

So there are a couple questions about pricing. Actually, all the pricing is outlined on our websiteon the– I can tell you the quick version is that the English transcription and captioning is a separate fee from the translation. And then the translation is very similar from one language to another. There’s very, very slight variation.

Really, the main variations is across the three different tiers. And that’s where you’ll see price changes, which are pretty much as you’d expect. But the full detail is available on our website, so we encourage you to take a look if you want the full breakdown.

Is my video content secure and private on 3Play Media and Gengo?

There’s some questions also about the NDAs and security and how content’s protected during the translation process. So, Adam, why don’t you take that one?

ADAM EMSLEY: Yeah, sure. All of our translators that work on any of the content that’s been submitted through the API or our retail order form– all of them sign an NDA that protects that content.

What else can I have translated?

JOSH MILLER: Great. So there’s also some questions about what else Gengo can do. So through this workflow you just saw, this is all focused on subtitling or, really, any translation done from the transcripts and captions that we here at 3Play Media have created. But Gengo certainly is capable of doing quite a bit more. So do you want to talk about what else you guys do?

ADAM EMSLEY: Sure. Yeah. I noticed one comment there, a question asking about notes in a PowerPoint presentation. We do parse that information out. So if you have a PowerPoint presentation, you can drop by our order form, submit it, and our translators will get that.

Yeah, we just translate websites and all kinds of information. It depends on your platform. There’s different ways to connect into our translation team. If you’re running a CMS, for example, we may have a plug-in available already where you can just drop that in and start ordering content that way.

How accurate are your translations? Do you ensure quality?

JOSH MILLER: Great. And in terms of the translation accuracy, how do you assure accuracy, especially in the case where literal is not necessarily the best way to translate? Is there any kind of review process? Or is there translation memory that you guys are using? Both of those questions have come up and seem to be related.

ADAM EMSLEY: Sure. A translation memory– what we provide is 100% matching translation memory. So if you ever order the same content twice, we won’t charge you again. We’ll just return back that content.

As far as accuracy and quality goes, and a review process, rather than looking at every piece– that would increase the price quite a bit, and you can find that at the Ultra level if that’s what you’re after– what we do is we spot check and work with the translators themselves. Every time they finish a certain amount of work, we make sure to look at it and make sure the quality levels are maintained. And if there’s ever any mistakes, we update those translations. And our language professional in that language pair will go in and make any of those edits that are needed.

Do translated transcripts and subtitles make videos accessible?

JOSH MILLER: Great. So there’s a question about accessibility and how all this ties into making video content accessible. This is exactly the way to make video content accessible, starting with the closed captions that will address some of the key accessibility requirements and legislation.

Our plug-ins do work with a number of video players as well. So if the video player does not support closed captioning or subtitles natively, our plug-ins do work with about a dozen different media players, including everything from YouTube to Brightcove to JW Player. All those are covered. And what that means is that any translated files will also be compatible with those media players as well.

How are 3Play Media and Gengo translation rates calculated?

A question about how some of the rates are calculated. So not exactly what are the rates, but when you talk about word count, are we talking about the starting word count of the English file that has been created? Or are we talking about the final word count after the file has been translated?

ADAM EMSLEY: Yeah, it’s the English file that’s the source content that’s first generated. That’s what the word count’s based on.

JOSH MILLER: So that should that sounds like it’s a lot easier to calculate as well.

ADAM EMSLEY: We have a kind of customized word count algorithm that if you were to take the content and put it into, for example, Microsoft Word, our word count generally comes out about 10% lower. And that’s because we discount, or we don’t count, certain punctuations or different marks like that that word would count.

Translation Best Practices Q&A (cont.) How do I edit my translated subtitles?

JOSH MILLER: Great. And there were a couple questions, actually, to show the editing interface of the subtitles again. So we’ll quickly jump back in and show that so you can see what it looks like.

And just to clarify, all the translation that’s going through the 3Play workflow is based on a starting audio or video file that we’ve transcribe and captioned. And then it’s turned into translated transcripts or subtitles. And actually one cool thing, you know we submitted that video file before for Japanese. And now you can actually see the ETA is posted back.

So as Adam was talking about before, that as soon as it’s picked up, it’s given an estimated delivery time. You can see that that is shown now. And it’s actually going to be done within a few hours.
ADAM EMSLEY: Our estimated delivery times are quite conservative. And most of the time, it’s done much faster than what is estimated there.

JOSH MILLER: Great. So this file will be translated into Japanese basically within four or five hours. And that’s the conservative estimate. So that’s pretty good.

DAVID ZYLBER: So stick around.

JOSH MILLER: Yeah. So just to quickly go back in. Here is what the editing interface looks like. So you’ll have the English on the left, the target language on the right. So there’s basically a separate link for each language. And you can quickly sync up each frame. So it’s frame by frame.

Click on this, you’ll get the English lined up. It’ll also play the video from that point so that you can accurately review everything very, very easily. This little button here basically evens out the text. So if you do want more even-looking frames, that’s something that’ll quickly do that automatically for you.

And then once we hit Save, any changes you make in here, when you hit Save, those changes propagate through all the different output files. So everything gets updated, whether it be through the plug-ins or a file that you need to re-download. Everything gets updated right away so that you can republish or just have your page update as needed.

How do translations automatically post back to YouTube or Brightcove?

So there’s some questions about automatically posting subtitle files once your captions have been translated. If you’re using one of the integrations that we offer, such as YouTube or Brightcove, being able to have those subtitles automatically post back. Yeah, the intention there– and some of that’s still being built out, but it will be very shortly ready– but, yes, the intention is that if we have an automated workflow for your captions, we are going to do everything we can to do the same for your subtitles. There are some limitations with some platforms as to what is possible. But the major ones– such as Brightcove, YouTube, Ooyala, Kaltura– should all be covered.

Does Gengo do voice-overs?

There’s some questions about voice-overs. Does Gengo handle that? Or do you have any recommendations for what might be a good option for voice-overs?

ADAM EMSLEY: Yeah, we have worked a few times with a company called VoiceBunny. You could look them up and they might be able to help out with what you’re after.

JOSH MILLER: OK. Great. I think it’s worth noting– and we get this question, actually, a fair amount– that voice-overs, actually, are a very different process from translation and subtitling the way we’re doing it. So we get the question, which is why I thought it was worth mentioning it here, but it really is a different service. It’s also quite expensive at times. But the VoiceBunny product is definitely worth checking out.

And, obviously, it’s always going to depend on what it is you’re trying to do it and whatever’s best for your audience.

So thanks everyone for your questions. We’re going to wrap it up. We will be posting an archive version of this on our website.

Please also feel free to reach out to us with any questions about this workflow. And, certainly, if you have questions for the Gengo team, they’ll be happy to answer any questions as well.

ADAM EMSLEY: Yeah, just fire off an email to support@gengo.com and mention that you were here at the webinar, and we’ll take a look at it.

JOSH MILLER: Great. Thanks, Adam, for joining us.

ADAM EMSLEY: No problem. Thank you.

JOSH MILLER: All right. Thanks, everyone.