If you have worked with translations in the past, you have probably seen that a translated script will often be 15% or even 20% longer than the original script. Many is the time that a director arrived in studio to record a 30 second Spanish spot only to find that the script has 40 seconds worth of translated text. This is because the languages themselves are longer and require more words to say the same thing. Additionally, most translators are "written word" translators, not "spoken word" translators, and their text tends to be longer still.
Adapting a script properly before going to studio saves studio time, talent time, and often editing time by the media professional.
The software Translate Your Video has a feature to help assure proper Script Adaptation to length. This feature is a red flag to the translator that their translation for a particular sentence or paragraph cannot be spoken properly within the time allotted by the original guidetrack (voicetrack). This warning continues to appear until the translator adapts the wording of the sentence to fit within the timing.
Basic adaptation types
Once the length is approximately correct, the next adaptation stage occurs. There are three major types of adaptation:
(1) Adaptation for timing such as for narration over b-roll, with timing coordinated to actions or occurrences on the screen
(2) Adaptation for "documentary style" mix in which the original voice will be retained softly in the background, like a newscast or interview
(3) Lip sync (dialog replacement), in which there are on camera speakers, conversations or vignettes where the original voices will be removed and replaced by the new language. In this case, the adaptation needs to match the lip movements of the on-camera speakers.
Because the software Translate Your Video displays the script text directly over the video image, the adaptor or translator can read the text aloud to verify that the translation coordinates with the actions on screen. If the voice says "click here", but the translation says "click here" 2 seconds later, there is a disconnect, and the translation needs to be reworded to fall at the same time as the guidetrack. This on-screen text display can be quite useful to assure coordinated timing.
The same on-screen text display is a convenient support for adaptors skilled in lip sync adaptation. The adaptor must modify the translation not only for length but also to pass with the lip movements on-screen. If the on-camera actor says "hello", this cannot be replaced with "hi" - because one has closed mouth and the other has open mouth.
For Adaptation to ADR Lip Sync and Dialog Replacement:
There are 3 steps to ADR: creating the original language script, timecoding each spoken sentence, and then adapting each of these sentences so that the words resemble the mouth movements of the original language. This software supports this adaptation as follows:
- Transcribe: A way to transcribe the original language script online while watching the video. This way to transcribe is faster than with Microsoft Word and a desktop player. Then, click a button and the script breaks into sentences.
- Timecodes: Quick to set timecodes for each line of dialog. If your movie is 1 hour, you need 1 hour to set timecodes. Very easy.
- Translation: A place to translate the timecoded sentences online and store the translation online.
- Adaptation for lip sync: When the translation is finished, there is a place for you to watch the movie as you adapt the script online for lip sync – change the words as you watch the movie to pass better with the mouth movements of the original language. When you click, the software will jump to the sentence in the movie that you are adapting.
- Script for recording: When you are finished, you can export the script for recording. The script has the text and the timecodes.