Top 5 Things You Need To Know About Multilanguage Commentary

When it comes to providing multilanguage commentary, like any other form of foreign language communication, you need to rely on skills, expertise, and a clearly defined process for results.

Accident Ahead - by G Meyer, Vienna - Flickr Creative Commons

1. Don’t Hire a Translation Firm

When creating multi-language commentary for more than one language, you need a well honed process for foreign language translations. Despite the fact that you may be able to get translations cheaper from a translation firm, you need translators who know how to tell great stories. Otherwise, just like the photo above, you’re heading into an accident. You’ll waste your valuable time and money.

Since it often takes more time to say the same thing in another language, a literal translation of English will not work. This is because literal foreign language translations of an English script will create audio segments that vary widely in lengths of time. This makes your GPS tour commentary much more difficult to implement when all languages should start and finish around the same time.

2. Write for Audience and Cultural Sensitivity

Your foreign language storytellers need to capture the essence of stories, add meaning and context, while taking into consideration audience and cultural sensitivity.

Tell stories the way your foreign language guests want to hear them. What this means is, take culture into consideration during the translation process. What you say in English may not translate well in Japanese, or in fact, may be culturally insensitive. People want to feel like you’re speaking with them on a personal level. Since you’re sharing stories, make the stories fun and entertaining for the foreign language markets you’re serving.

3. Hire Foreign Language Storytellers

When it comes to providing GPS tour and multi-language entertainment you always need to be thinking about your next point of interest. We recommend using foreign language storytellers – not foreign language translators. This is because professional storytellers capture the essence of the story being told, in the allotted time. Everyone likes to hear a good story. Literal translators are more likely to miss the point.

4. Use Two Translators For Every Script

Our foreign language translation methodology requires that two translators work together on every language translation for Quality Assurance. You don’t want to be in a sound production studio with poorly translated scripts. This will cost you more time – and more money. When using two translators, make sure that one translator is the lead storyteller. This way, the theme and tone of your script is consistent.

You always want to make sure that you are delivering on your promise of providing great tours – to all passengers.

5. Avoid Slang, Jokes, and Puns

When writing for language and culture, avoid things like slang, wordplay and puns. This is because they won’t be understood, or worse, may offend. Use simple words that are easily understood. This is because your business wants to generate trust. If your experience creates trust than things are going well.

Take the extra time to make your multi-language tours awesome!

Your customers will reward you with high praises. And you’ll attract more business.


(CC) Photo by G Meyer, Vienna

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