Multilingual Video Process, Part 2 (Writing/Editing)

This is part 2 in a series of articles on how to create Multilingual Videos. The first part covered shooting. This part will cover what happens up to the point when picture is locked.

First of all, organize, organize, organize!

The first thing I do on a project is to capture all of the interviews. I then have the interviews transcribed in their native language. Every word should be transcribed.

If the writer for the video is capable of writing a script in the native language, then they can start writing. If not, let the translation begin!

For the translation and transcription processes, I’ve found it helpful to use a program such as InqScribe. It’s a great tool for transcribing, with variable playback speed, timecode stamps, and even options to export to Final Cut XML and for DVD. For collaborative projects, I’ve also used Google Docs, as it allowed multiple people access to the same file, a central location for file sharing, and file security.

After the writer has finished, they pass the script off to the editor. If the editor can speak the languages of the interviews, great! If not, there are a couple things to make the job easier. Make sure the editor is given accurate and tight timecode info. They should also have a side-by-side transcription/translation, so they can easily find certain clips. Some editors will find it helpful to lay subtitles over all the interviews so they know what is being said at a given point.

Also very important – especially with an editor who isn’t fluent – get someone who is fluent to come in and listen. They’ll hear the parts of words the editor accidently cut off, the extra filler words that can be cut if necessary, the quotes that don’t make sense.

Important points to remember:

  • organize, organize, organize!
  • The writer must have a complete transcript or translation in a language they can write in before they can start.
  • Give the editor good info on the interviews

Check back in soon for part 3 in this series for how to deliver the final multilingual video to the audience.

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