Large-scale subtitling for LanglandFebruary 8, 2024 |
Langland is one of the world’s leading healthcare communications agencies, employing over 300 experts in the disciplines of Clinical Trial Experience, Medical Strategy & Education, Public Relations & Policy, and Advertising. Conversis has been translation partner to Langland for almost a decade. For the most part, we help to internationalize their Participant Recruitment and Engagement materials.
But, in the summer of 2023, Langland came to us with something a little different. They were collaborating with a client to bring learning content about cognitive health to a larger, international audience. The content was in the form of a video for mental health professionals, which introduced the concept of cognitive health, the impacts of impaired cognition, and possible routes to wellness. They needed our help to produce subtitles for a variety of new countries and languages.
THE CHALLENGE – VOLUME, VARIETY, AND VISIBILITY
Though both Langland and Conversis handle subtitling projects regularly, this was a big one, requiring subtitling in 45 languages in total! The diversity of these languages was also significant, covering everything from Tagalog, Cebuano and Hiligaynon for the Philippines, to Tamil for Singapore, and Russian for Kazakhstan.
These character limits vary across languages – for example, Cyrillic and Chinese characters take up more space on screen than Latin characters, meaning different character limits need to be applied in these cases. So the variety of languages and language families involved made the project even more complex. As did the number of stakeholders and in-country reviewers that would be contributing to the end product.
To summarize, the challenges of this particular project were:
- Large-scale project
- Subtitling required in 45 languages
- A number of niche languages included
- Varied character restrictions applicable
- Large number of stakeholders and in-country reviewers involved on the client side
WHAT WE DID
In parallel with allocating the linguistic work to 90 specialist translators and reviewers, we got to work internally setting up the project to work as efficiently as possible. 45 individual language projects were created in our CAT tool, with appropriate character limits built in, so linguists were required to adhere to these restrictions from the off. An extra character check was incorporated into both linguistic review and in-house QA too.
Probably the trickiest piece of work was communicating to all stakeholders the impact of these limits (and any non-adherence) on the subtitling process as a whole. In-country reviewers in the end client were not necessarily subtitling specialists like our linguists, so we took the time to create some instructional content for Langland to distribute. This guided the client reviewers through the process step by step, highlighting key things to remember at each stage.
To further simplify the process on the client side, the Conversis engineering team got involved to produce a different review format to our usual, specifically designed to allow more streamlined checking by in-country reviewers, and suitable for import back into our workflow management tools.
All 45 languages were delivered for review, finalized, and certified on time, meeting all character and readability metrics. We were able to hone a large-scale subtitling process for a valued partner and educate their end client stakeholders along the way. And lessons from this process were fed back into our quality management system, and used as the basis for developments and improvements to the relevant engineering tools. Most importantly, Langland were able to make educational materials on an under-researched, underserved clinical area available to an international audience of professionals! All in all, it was a piece of work from which everybody learned, and we can only hope the implementation of those learnings by the mental health professionals, in particular, will have a positive impact on the lives of the patients they treat.
“Conversis is a great partner to work with. They are extremely responsive and accommodating from start to finish. They provide a high-quality service and enable us to hit deadlines for important clients. We consider them one of our trusted partners, and they have never let us down.” – Project Manager at Langland
If you are struggling with complex subtitling requirements, or could just use some advice on getting an important message out to the international community, get in touch with us. We would be delighted to help and advise in any way we can!