An Inside Look at eLearning Video Translation

As the eLearning sphere continues to grow, the use of video is becoming more and more common. Incorporating videos into your courses can be highly beneficial, especially when it comes to keeping hold of one’s attention. With video, integration comes a number of challenges, however, and translation and localization are one of the most important to tackle. A single video isn’t going to fly in all parts of the world, and this is where the beauty of well-executed localization comes in.

There are a number of ways to “localize” videos for eLearning purposes. By knowing where to start and what your options are, you’ll have a better idea of how to proceed with eLearning video localization.

Here are a few common methods to get you started:

An Inside Look at Video Translation

If you’ve ever watched a movie in a foreign language, chances are you’re familiar with the concept of subtitling. Typically, subtitling involves taking the original script of a video, translating it and then reinserting it into the video.

Localization comes in during the translation phase, allowing you to tailor the script to fit your audience in as clear of a way as possible. Subtitling is usually the first step at attempting to localize a video and can be done rather inexpensively and quickly.  In some cases, however, it’s not enough to get the job done.


When you need more than subtitles, voiceovers are the next option to consider. This involves having a voice actor read a translated script that is then dubbed over the video, replacing the original dialogue. Dubbing is excellent for narration, but it can create a disconnect when used in scenarios or reactionary situations. It’s also more expensive than subtitling considering it involves hiring a voice actor. Still, voiceovers that are properly carried out can make all the difference in the world in terms of learner experience. As with subtitles, however, there are going to be cases where even the best voiceovers won’t be enough to truly translate the gist of the video at hand.

Complete Revamps

If your target audience requires something beyond voice dubbing and subtitling, you may have no choice but to conduct a complete revamp. In this case, the video would be redone with native speakers handling all of the language and dialogue. While there is likely no better way to fully localize a video, complete revamps can be very expensive and are not typically done unless absolutely necessary.

Video can truly change your eLearning courses for the better, but it has to be done correctly. If you learn how to properly localize course media, then you will better engage learners globally. If you have any questions about localizing videos for your courses, don’t hesitate to contact us.

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