Few things are as quintessentially American as the Hollywood movie industry. But the Hollywood of today has moved beyond focusing on just the US. Due to globalization, 70% of Hollywood’s revenue comes from foreign markets, such as China and Russia.
Companies large and small break the spoken language barrier with the help of multilingual narration. This is popularly known as dubbing, which replaces the original voicework with that of another language.
We’re in a new global age. Narrating your product or content in different languages is an essential component to staying competitive.
But is multilingual narration really that important? The answer is yes. Here are five reasons why your entertainment company should use multilingual narration services.
1. Tap Into New Markets
Businesses have only recently begun to consider the importance of language on a global scale. If you are an English-speaking company, you might not think twice about creating your product in English. But that comes at the expense of tapping into global markets.
In short, language confines your entertainment product to specific geolingual locations. An entertainment product in English is only relevant to the 20% of the world who speaks the language.
But what about the other 80%?
You can expand your customer base by magnitudes with the help of multilingual narration. Consider for a moment that another fifth of the world speaks Mandarin Chinese. Providing a Chinese narration for your product will double the size of your potential market.
And creating a new narration in a different language is a small investment. You’ve already spent much more on the total entertainment product as a whole. For a comparatively small expense, multilingual narration can drastically improve your return on investment.
This is a dynamic that Hollywood and other major entertainment industries around the world rely on.
2. Convey Information Seamlessly
Multilingual narration is not the only way to expand the reach of your product. Some companies instead use translated subtitles. This is an effective approach for some — but not all — industries.
Films and games are filled with visual noise. Sometimes, the action on-screen can make it difficult to read subtitles. On the other side, it’s possible to miss important scenes while you are busy reading the text.
While this choice comes down to personal preference, narration ensures the consumer can digest the product to its fullest extent.
You can expand your target market with subtitles alone, but you will miss out on those who would prefer multilingual narration. You will find that most consumers, regardless of nationality, prefer listening rather than reading.
3. Spend More on the Original Product
The success of a translated product can have something of a snowball effect. With more customers and a better return on investment, you’ll have a larger budget for future work. Plus, a larger market with more dedicated fans has the added benefit of lower risk.
What does this mean for you? You can make your upcoming products better than ever.
Now, a bigger budget does not necessarily mean a better product — but the potential is there. A better product can lead to better revenue, more customers, and an even bigger budget for next time.
This returns us to the concept of the snowball effect, all thanks to multilingual narration.
4. Take Control of Translating
If you choose not to translate your entertainment product, someone else will do it for you. Thanks to globalization, rabid fans are happy to spend countless hours of their own free time translating films and games they love.
Of course, there are two problems with this. The first is you are missing out on a huge chunk of revenue. Fan translations are often distributed on illegal platforms, so your company doesn’t get a cut.
Even worse, these translations can make it difficult to tap into the market later on. Remember that translating is not a science. It requires creativity and thoughtfulness.
Some translators may depict characters or situations in a way that isn’t true to your product. When you make use of multilingual narration later on, it may clash with qualities of the established fan translation. Always try to maintain control of your narrative!
Of course, fan translations are not always a bad thing. They suggest that there is a potential foreign market that wants a legal translation of your product. Don’t keep them waiting.
5. Build a Better Brand
Selling international products sets the foundation for brand recognition. If you are interested in expanding into other markets, selling translated products in advance is a great way to test the waters.
But multilingual narration provides more than brand recognition. With careful translation, you can show your respect towards other cultures and ways of life. Consumers love thoughtful companies, and thoughtfulness is the key to finding success as a foreign business.
This shouldn’t be an alien concept for your company. You should already be using localization in your international marketing efforts.
Fantastic multilingual narration can improve brand loyalty, recognition, and respect. Some entertainment companies, such as Nintendo, make international prestige an essential element of their company image. Your company can enjoy the same posture with the right translations.
Multilingual Narration: The Foundation of International Success
If language is the set of doors that divides us, then multilingual narration is the key to open it. Films, television, and video games all speak the universal language of entertainment. Translating dialogue, a small constituent of your whole product can vastly expand your reach, revenue, and recognition.
At Argo Translation, we speak your language. Our ISO-certified team of translators can give your product the care that machine translators can’t. Request a quote and discover the ease of our translation services.
Nick joined the team in 2017 to spearhead Argo’s expanding marketing initiatives. He graduated from North Central College in Naperville, IL with a BA in political science and a minor in global studies. Previously, he worked as a digital strategist for innovative marketing agencies in Chicago and as a political consultant for domestic and international clients in Washington, DC.