Imagine watching a critically acclaimed blockbuster movie making headlines in a language you don’t understand. Worst yet, the subtitles don’t make sense. How would you feel? Frustrated? Confused? Bored?
While watching a movie is a leisurely activity, imagine if your potential customers were experiencing the same range of emotions when it came to your products or services. It’s not a position you want to be in if you want to go global.
This is where audio localization takes center stage. In essence, it is a process of modifying all forms of audio content into different languages and dialects to overcome language and cultural barriers when targeting a new market.
The publishing, education, gaming, and advertising industries are just a few examples that rely on this technology to reach a truly global audience. However, audio localization is more than just translation; it is about embracing and adapting to your target audience’s social and cultural norms on a deeper level.
Table of Contents
- Benefits of Audio Localization
- Steps to Implement an Effective Audio Localization Strategy
- Summing It Up
This blog will walk you through everything you need to know about this process: its benefits, how to go about it, and everything in between.
Benefits of Audio Localization
Audio localization, when done right, can offer a host of benefits for you and your target audience.
Enhanced User Experience
Tailoring your audio content to a region’s local language or dialect will offer your customers or target audience a much better user experience that will leave a lasting impression in their minds.
Although English is the most widely spoken language today, with over 1.45 billion people speaking it worldwide, it still roughly makes up only 18% of the world population.
If you aim to globalize your business, you are missing out on over 82% of the world’s population as a potential target audience. A survey showed that over 56% of shoppers worldwide place significantly more emphasis on getting product information in their local language than its price. Simply put, audio localization is the key to going global.
Ever tried translating a joke or an idiom from your native tongue to another language? It doesn’t quite have the same ring to it. The same applies to any form of content as well. Audio localization overcomes translation issues to integrate culturally relevant references, humor, and idioms that resonate better with a local audience.
Perhaps the most significant advantage of audio localization is eliminating misconceptions or the potential embarrassment arising from cultural and linguistic false friends or faux pas.
For example, “Gift” in English means “Poison” in German, Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish. Occurrences like this can have a very negative impact on your brand or service.
Let the numbers talk here; assume you have localized your audio content to French while your competition has not. With this small step, you have now gained access to a potential customer base of over 309 million people across the globe.
Steps to Implement an Effective Audio Localization Strategy
Audio localization might seem like a complex endeavor on the surface. However, a systematic approach is all you need to implement it successfully.
Step 1: Identify Cultural Perspectives in The Region
The first step in the audio localization process is to fully understand the cultural nuances of the region you intend to target and research their cultural values, beliefs, and norms.
It is always a good idea to go the extra mile to understand the target audience’s cultural sensitivities, taboos, or stereotypes.
Step 2: Study the Target Audience
The next step is to better understand the local demographics, i.e., your target audience. This involves getting to know their media consumption habits, pain points, if any, and information such as the average age of the population, interests, online trends, and more.
The more information you have, the better you can tailor your audio content to them.
Step 3: Transcribe and Translate the Audio Script
The next audio localization step is transcribing and translating the audio script. You must ensure that both processes are done accurately and professionally using native speakers or qualified linguists.
Step 4: Hire Experienced Professionals or Use AI Localization Tools
Once an audio script is ready, the next step is to get your audio localized. For a long time, the best way forward was to hire a professional service to do the needful.
However, innovations in AI have led to the creation of many AI localization tools that give you the ability to get professional quality results in a fraction of the time.
Step 5: Review and Publish
Always perform a thorough review of your audio content. You are ready to publish your audio content once you are satisfied that everything is as it should be.
Summing It Up
In a world heading towards global connectivity, audio localization is the bridge to overcoming any and all linguistic and cultural barriers. It opens the doors to a vast international audience in a manner that resonates and appeals to them. So, if global impact is your end game, audio localization is a potent weapon to add to your marketing arsenal.
You no longer need to rely on a listener’s ability; instead, leverage localization tools to achieve the desired impact.
What is audio localization?
Audio localization is the art of adapting audio content to a new culture, language, and audience so that it resonates with them as deeply as it does with the original audience.
Why is audio localization important?
Audio localization is your passport to a global audience. It breaks down language barriers and cultural differences and opens up new international markets for you. If done proactively, it also gives you a competitive edge in business.
What types of audio content can be localized?
There is no limitation on what type of audio content can be localized as long as you have a script ready. That said, education, publishing, and entertainment content are currently localized the most.
Can audio localization be applied to video content?
Yes, audio localization can be applied to video content. You can create localized audio separately and combine it with your video content using dubbing.
What tools and technologies are used in audio localization?
AI and text to speech software are the most commonly used tools for audio localization. However, going down the traditional route would involve hiring voice actors, studio equipment to record voices, and expensive post-processing tools to fine-tune the voices.