Q: I suspect we’ll need multi-language versions of a our video to highlight our healthcare and beauty products for women.
We’re optimistic about selling in the international market.
We would like a video to promote this but we are worried about possible language barriers, especially in regards to Chinese and Arabic as those are some of the markets we’re interested in.
Can you please offer me some pointers for a multi-language video production, and advise whether it could be a solution to our problem?
A: A multi-language video is essential to put your business on the world stage.
There are many advantages to producing an English video, which you can also release with multi-language versions – not least the massive foreignspeak markets it can penetrate.
And – as you’ve already appreciated – it gives you an advantage when you’re trying to introduce your product to new emerging markets and especially into large already established international consumer groups, forums, and facebook pages.
This is something that the web has not only made possible – but made the ‘norm’.
The Global Marketplace and you
The web has enabled globalisation to truly take its place as the business development engine of the 21st Century.
And now, international business has never been more connected.
20 years ago – for most companies – it would have been impossible for individuals outside of the UK to buy your product.
Unless they were buying in bulk through trade B2B routes – and even then it would have been difficult. It would have required a rep or an agent visit.
And all this was costly – in both time and money.
In 2012 it’s not even something we should think about.
Instantaneous and cheap, the local high street has become the world.
The only problem is that web competition for your – and other’s products – is getting stiffer.
The competition has increased. You need something special to make you stand out from your international competitors.
Obviously a multi-language video will go a long way towards providing this special solution.
Like with any video, the script is the first stage.
This script needs some extra considerations though.
Because a script is the engine that drives the video, it isn’t just a simple case of writing it in English and then translating it.
The cultural differences that different nations have with regards to timing and structure must be taken into consideration – particularly idioms, and the natural pace of a language (Russian for example, takes 15% longer to say)
The pacing of the video has to be digestible to all viewers – whether or not they speak Chinese, Arabic or English (in other words – write simply and speak slowly)
Taking the voiceover as an example, it has to be appreciated that sentences in some languages are shorter or longer than sentences in English.
If a video was made in English – and then the voiceover and onscreen text was simply changed to either Chinese or Arabic – the pacing of the video might need to be altered in a way that misses its message and impact.
Why a well made multi language video will sell for you
In the words of the former West German chancellor Willy Brandt:
“If I’m selling to you, I speak in your language. But if I’m buying, mÃ¼ssen Sie Deutsch sprechen”.
Or “I speak in German”.
It’s obvious what he is saying – when we sell to somebody, we must adapt ourselves to their way of ‘doing things’.
They will not buy from you otherwise.
So it’s good that you’ve shown some consideration.
The buyer/s will appreciate it and new markets will be open to you.
So yes – a multi-language video is the solution to your problem.
Click for more information regarding multi-language videos.