Over the last couple of years, we have been getting more and more requests to have our safety training DVDs and MSHA Part 46 training translated to Spanish. Because of the additional requests, we are looking into translation services and budgeting to see what it would take. Not everyone fully understands some of the challenges we face by undertaking the translation. There are several different ways to approach it with different levels of end-product quality. Here are the options:
Add Subtitles and Audio to Safety DVDs – $$$
The “easiest” way to get into Spanish is to target just our DVD products. We can get the scripts translated and recorded in Spanish, and just add an alternative audio track. This may sound simple, but keep in mind we have over 16 hours of combined EHS and MSHA training. The cost just for us to have the script translated and recorded could be more than $50k! In addition, the downside is that only the audio gets translated, so all the graphics on the screen will be in English and American standard measurements. For native Spanish speakers, they could hear appropriate text, but the animations and graphics may not coordinate.
Translate On-Screen Graphics and Add Spanish Audio – $$$$
The next step would be more translation including the on-screen graphics. This would include doing the above translation, PLUS a translator would have to watch all of our training, transcribe the text and graphics on screen, and then we would have to manually update all the text. I’m guessing that cost would be another $50k or more, plus the time it would take someone internally to make all the required graphics changes. There is still one downside to this method, and that involves the 3D scenes. Any of the photos, or textures used in the 3D scenes would still be in English.
Update 3D Scenes, Translate On-Screen Graphics, Add Spanish Audio – $$$$$
The ultimate translation job would include both of the previous steps, PLUS the translation of all 3D assets. This can be truly difficult because it will involve photoshopping texture files and photos to remove English text. It would also require a lot of time to re-render the 3D files, which would then need to be re-imported into our video editing software (Adobe After Effects). Imaging showing a render with a street sign that says “one way” on it in English. It wouldn’t make any sense to someone who couldn’t read it.
In my opinion, the last path would end up with the most usable training product for Spanish speakers. If you only translate the audio and/or some of the graphics, the training can’t possibly be as effective or engaging. Since we are talking about some fairly technical information that definitely has the ability to save lives, wouldn’t you want it to be as effective as possible?
If you are interested in Spanish version of any of our training, contact us to let us know. firstname.lastname@example.org, 1-888-634-7346