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Best Way to Produce YouTube Videos in Foreign Languages

Curious about the best way to produce YouTube videos in foreign languages for your organization? There is a plethora of information found on the internet with various approaches to YouTube video translation.

For example, some tutorials claim the best way to produce YouTube videos in foreign languages is to translate your YouTube video into another language using a built-in feature on YouTube. Others suggest you run your video script translations through Google Translate.

However, these solutions are not necessarily your organization’s best way to transform YouTube videos into high-quality media productions.

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If you want to earn the trust of those who watch your YouTube videos, don’t only focus on the easiest way to produce your YouTube videos in other languages. Focus on also translating your YouTube videos in the most accurate, high-quality way possible.

Continue reading to learn all the possible ways to produce multilingual YouTube videos for professional purposes. At the end of this post, we will tell you the overall best way to produce YouTube videos in foreign languages for audio, subtitles and/or closed captions (CC).

*Please note: this post is for those who want to translate videos for their own personal consumption.*

4 Top Ways to Produce YouTube Video Voiceovers in Foreign Languages Professionally 

Here are 4 possible ways to produce YouTube videos in foreign languages professionally:

1. Hire Bilingual Voice Talent & Video Editors to Produce Voice-Overs in Foreign Languages

This method for YouTube video voiceover production requires a polished script that is already translated into the target language. Although it is typically costly and slow, it is the optimal choice for quality of voice and audio. You will need to give a bilingual voice over artist a polished script in the target language. This way, they can read from it order to create the audio recording.

If you need to apply the voice over to an existing YouTube video, show the voice over artist your video and have then match the space of their speech as closely as possible to the visuals. Next, use video production software to replace the original voice with the new one.

Unless you are a video editing pro, you should hire someone to do this, as well. They will already have access to video software and likely will deliver a better final production than if you take a DIY approach.

2. Use a Multilingual Voiceover Generator Tool

If the turnaround time of professional voice over production concerns you, use a multilingual voice over generator. This type of tool quickly creates synthetic voice-over audio files in different languages. They’re not as high-quality as human voice talent, but they’re a faster alternative. They also cost significantly less per video than producing multilingual YouTube audio with a professional service.

To create foreign audio for YouTube videos, use Pairaphrase. It’s translation software that creates synthetic voice-overs. If you’re serious about creating foreign language videos for internal audiences (such as employees) at minimal cost and turnaround time, Pairaphrase will be worth it to your organization.

Go to the bottom of this post to learn how to create foreign voice overs for YouTube using Pairaphrase (whether or not you have a script on hand).

3. Hire a Transcriptionist, Human Translator, Bilingual Voice Over Artist & Video Editor

This method for YouTube voiceover translation is the most costly and has the longest turnaround time. However, if you don’t have a copy of your script and you don’t want to do any manual work, you might decide to take this approach and hire everything out. This way, you don’t spend any time using software or manual tasks that take away from your daily work. 

First, hire some to transcribe your script. There are many transcription services out there. You will then hire a human translator to translate the script manually*.

Additionally, you will need a bilingual voice over artist. If it’s an existing video, they will need to record the foreign voiceover to the pace of it. You will need to hire a video editor, regardless.

*If you will need to produce a lot of videos in any one language pair, you might invest in a CAT tool and have your translator use it for all your script translations. It can speed up their translation turnaround, reduce translation costs and save your organization’s translations for future videos and documents.

4. Use a Transcription Tool, Plus a Voiceover Generator

If you need fast turnaround and don’t mind some manual work to offset some costs, you can upload your video to an automatic transcription tool. The quality is a not as good a human transcription and you will need to make edits to misrecognized speech. However, it is much faster and cheaper to use.

Then, you could upload the transcription to translation software that also generates voiceovers, such as Pairaphrase.

Please note that the translation of the source text to your target text is produced using predominantly machine translation, so you’ll also need a bilingual colleague or translator. This is so that they can edit the translated segments of text that machine translation isn’t advanced enough yet to understand (e.g. idioms, jargon, etc.) prior to downloading your audio file.

You will also need to allocate some of your budget to this software, so we only recommend this software if you want the highest-quality translation possible for your audience.

If you’ve already used the software previously, you will have stored Translation Memories which would help to auto-populate as much of your subsequent translations as possible, so that you don’t need to hire a human translator to make as many edits.

How to Use Pairaphrase to Create Translated YouTube Video Voiceovers

If you decided that method #2 is the best way to produce YouTube videos in another language, you’ll first need to get your hands on the video script. You can generate subtitles in YouTube (a rough transcription), edit them, and then export them. You will need to use a file converter to convert a YouTube-generated subtitles file to a text or Word document.

Better yet, use an existing Word document or text file that contains the official script. 

The source and target language (the language you translate from and to) will need to be in one of the 100+ languages Pairaphrase supports

Next, you will upload the file to Pairaphrase for translation. You will have the ability to edit the translations in Pairaphrase to improve their quality. You can also save them for future reuse.

You can then download a synthetic voice-over in one of 18 common commercial languages, in a female or male voice. The output format will be .wav or .mp3 (your choice). You can translate YouTube video scripts into Spanish, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese and more.

Finally, you can apply this as the audio file for your video.

How to Translate YouTube Subtitles / Closed Captions into Different Languages Accurately

We’d like to re-emphasize how important it is to produce YouTube videos in foreign languages not only efficiently, but in a way that results in a high-quality viewer experience.

This of course is a point that will resonate most with goal-oriented video producers who need to produce multilingual videos to accomplish an important mission. For example, an HR department that creates a library of multinational employee safety training videos. In these cases especially, closed captions are particularly important for accessibility and convenience.

Now that you know how to produce the audio for foreign language YouTube videos, we’ll tell you how to create high-quality subtitles and closed captions with Pairaphrase.

Translating YouTube Video Subtitles or Closed Captions with Pairaphrase

If you Don’t Have an Existing .SRT (Subtitles) File
Translate your script using Pairaphrase so you can harness the power of machine translation and also make edits to improve the translation quality. The translated script will help in the process of creating a quality subtitle file (.SRT) from scratch to apply to your video. “.SRT” stands for SubRip Subtitle file.

This type of file can be created from scratch and it makes most sense to create this yourself after downloading the script translation from Pairaphrase. This is if you want the subtitles or captions to match your video’s pacing and you don’t have existing subtitles to work with.

Follow this tutorial for creating an .SRT file if you don’t already have one. You can insert text at specific time stamps, from your already translated script file.

Once finished, navigate to the “Subtitles” menu tab to upload it your YouTube video.

If You Already Have an .SRT File
The alternative is to upload an existing .SRT file in the source language to Pairaphrase and translate it, then download it.

If you have already downloaded a “.SRT” file with the subtitles from YouTube or elsewhere, this will save you some time. Please don’t try to use an .SRT file as the audio too, as the synthetic voice-over generator will speak out the numbers in the timestamps that exist in the text.

Navigate to the “Subtitles” menu tab to upload it your YouTube video.

Get Started

Pairaphrase is the overall best way to produce YouTube videos in different languages for professional / enterprise purposes. It allows you to produce both voice overs and translate SRT files to create multilingual narration audio files and subtitles / closed captions (CC).

Schedule a demo or share this article with a colleague.

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