What is media?

This refers to the collective mass communication to the public through; publication means, broadcasting and even by the internet. It has been noted to have an impact; in that, it influences a large number of people, and both reflect the shape prevailing the currents of thoughts of the people.  The fact that it influences the people already classifies it as having to play a certain role in society, and it all comes down to media translation.

Although mass media had information as a principal function, and especially as the society got more computerized, significant changes in the behavioral manifestations have appeared in the individual experiences regarding the gain of knowledge. Furthermore, the same influences of mass-media refused by some can be accepted with ease by others. If the consumer has control upon the information, the overwhelming impact of media does not affect him or her in a negative manner.

This then begs the question, is there a media translation that people should understand? Would it perhaps help reduce the influence it has on the population? Or is there any source of a translation for the media? All these leads or points us to the term translation, what then is a translation?


Translation is a process of deciphering or translating a word or text from one language to another. And anyone working in the niche of translation understands that it is a difficult niche of practice. And in the aspect of translating anything, there is a risk of losing the original context. Could this also happen in media translation? If so how and what are the implications? In most cases, the translated material or object has no effect or it is unfelt by the reader or the received.

There are types of translation, for instance, there is;

  1. semantic and literal translation; the semantic translation, refers to the deciphering of the meaning of a particular expression. It is also called Free Translation. This type takes into account the context and other extra-linguistic features of the source or original text whilst conveying it to the target language. Whereas literal translation- is a word to word translation. It aspires to find the exact equivalents of the words of the source language in the target language with much less regard to context and socio-cultural values of the expression.
  2. The functional and communicative translation- the functional translation deciphers a text or a section of a text. Here the target text is intended to copy the function of the source text rather than to explain or analyze it in detail. On the other hand, communicative translation is a free translation that strives to recreate, in the target language and culture, the function that the source text had within its language and culture.
  3. Administrative or technical or official translation – these indicate the same area of translation; one is for professional requirements and is contrary to entertainment purposes. It is more often legal, or rather technical in its subject matter. Then here still we have what we term as transcreation it is effectively or efficiently an art of adapting a given text into another language.

All these are employed in the aim of not only deciphering the meaning of words and texts but also attract customers, both existing and potential.

Now media translation could be the translation done by the media on context. And here is where we get to understand how there is a distinct difference between, the source text and target text that is presented to the readers and receivers. One would notice a huge observation of the manipulation of media texts by the use of some of the cultural values. It is quite hard to find the best way to express or convey a meaning in the closest of the original text as possible.

Media translation

Media translation is the deciphering of a project’s content. For instance, a company project is required to be translated in order to obtain a platform to engage the customers in their respective locations. These might be coverage of news item decipher, video among other items that would be deciphered.

In today’s world and time, globalization has resulted in more and more companies require to engage with their clients in more than one location. This enables a company to reach out to more markets where they can sell their products and market their brand. This can be effectively achieved through media translation.

The media content usually incorporates a promotional element or as the business people would term it; marketing. Therefore, it is in the company’s interest to identify a translator carefully when it comes to deciphering media content to other languages. In this case, the expertise of the marketing translation is put to the test. It is recommended that the experience of the said expert should be high up on the list of the ones charged to undertake the task.

For a good media translation, it can provide new avenues and open up doors that would assist the company to reach beyond its niche. In addition, the company’s market would expand beyond its borders and attract more audience. As a result, the company would experience growth and popularity.

However, if done wrong, media translation can bring about ridicule and anger to some of the clients and potential markets. And it is because of this, one should use a professional localization guru. This is very essential as a part of media translation in the world of today. Each and every region has people with different beliefs and cultural practices, thus translating any kind of promotional material or product should be done carefully.

Publications such as text documents, images, and videos require viewing through the eyes of the potential audience and existing audience. If there are any inappropriate element should be phased out and replaced or changed. It is quite crucial to refer to cultural values and practices during this process, this is done so as to ensure that the target audience will comprehend and identify them as relevant.

What should be done if a company is new?

If a company is new to media translation, it is customary to seek guidance that will help support its’ overseas audience engagement strategy. The guidance will go a long way to put the company’s face on the map. Now with that in mind, we need to take a look at the application of media translation. There are several fields in to which it can be applied, these include;

  • Cinema,
  • Television,
  • Advertisement,
  • Audio-visual and smartphone device communication
Media translation in London
Media translation

Among others that might have been mentioned above. All these can be produced and interpreted by applying several resources. Onwards, we find that there are several techniques of translation that can be used to decipher the content.

Approaches used in media translation

Media translation has been known to be strongly influenced, not only in the form but also the substance of its creative process, by the process used and the type of device that is employed. There are, however, specific limits that are imposed by digital graphics, by timing and the method of use. Here are some of the modes of translation that are commonly applied;

  1. Subtitling – this is perhaps the most extensively used and researched mode of media translation. It refers to the linguistic practice of showing or displaying written text on a screen that conveys a target language version of the context source of speech. Interlinguistic subtitling is used in places where several languages are spoken, bilingual subtitles are used to depict more than one language version of the source text at the same time.
  2. Dubbing – this is also called lip-synchrony. It incorporates both translation and synchronization, not to forget copying the actors’ and actresses’ performance. It is a very comprehensive form of translation.
  3. Simultaneous translation – this is at times referred to like the sight translation. It is usually done on the spot from a prepared script or manual in the target language. It is mostly used in film festivals and archives.
  4. Animation- this approach involves translation as well as script writing. The expert takes silent images like cartoons and formulates a script from scratch. A new context is made from it and is developed into a large context.

These and many more approaches are utilized in media translation. That is just a picture of how it is done.

That aside there is one other thing to put into consideration whilst talking about media and translation. Translation for the media; who will translate for you? The result is pivoted on the approach and style used in translation. There should minimal to no problem experienced whilst translating a material, be it a video, image, or just contextual document.

Translation for the media

As noted earlier the translation requires expertise with much experience, this is to ensure there is little to no error in translation with the right approach. Now, translation for the media especially video requires I might say a unique focus and approach. For the printed or published documents, it is normal to be literal and technically accurate.

That is where the problem comes in, translating a video. What does this mean? Well, a technically accurate translation is not the requirement to produce the video projects correctly. And this is well understood by the translators themselves, there is no point in them knowing the inner workings of the technical aspects of the video production.

They decipher, they do not produce. But, education on what is required is quite essential for the translator to deliver a unique product. With a professional translator, who has enough experience adapting a translation specifically for videos. Truth be told, it takes no more than a small team of experienced professionals who can decipher an English video into a great foreign language product.

Important to note!

It is imperative that one should understand that a team of translators employed already have a working knowledge of the industry being deciphered and take time to reference the videos and have the necessary research done. This will ensure the delivery of a script that is both accurate and culturally industry appropriate.

Of course, in every work niche, there is a secret on what would make it better than any other. The entire process of translating has one secret; translating for video demands an ordinary or substandard approach. And it all comes down to the translation style, these are the questions to ask in the process:

  • Is there a clear connection between the sentences?
  • Is the message in the video material effectively communicated?
  • Is there a natural flow in the translation?
  • Does the translation correspond to the timings required in the media?

An expert will rectify and ensure there is no awkward, difficult words and sentences for the audience. And if possible, change the literal to a proper conversational tone for the target language.

Another thing is that the translation of a video needs to be written for the ears and not for the eyes. The target region should feel and be able to identify that it is from within. This approach brings in some significance. These are; firstly, if it is done well, it should feel the way the people actually speak. The script will have a natural flow, making it sound right and much easier for the voice talent to read out loud and the listener to understand.

Secondly, the ordinary approach assists to make the conversation much shorter, thus efficient and as a result more accurately timed to match the original audio. More often, the experts are requested to utilize the lip-synchronization strategy. This is a complete dialog replacement. The spoken language on camera is completely removed and is replaced by a target language.

All in, this kind of work requires a huge sum of detailing, as it should be accurately adapted to every point within each sentence. This is why a casual or conversational approach is advisable, for a good media translation workpiece that will be beneficial to the company.


Linguist Point aims to bridge the linguistic gap between businesses, cultures and people across the UK and Beyond. We enable businesses to engage and communicate with global audience efficiently in more  than 100 languages. Contact us today and navigate in the international waters safely 020 8523 5791