Occasionally, I help someone with marketing, mostly by contributing to Instagram. This morning I videoed two guys throwing boulders to each other for a natural movement social media channel. And while an Instagram feed requires very little (if any) translation — hence the comments in a myriad of languages under popular photos — something like an instructional video does if you want it to be understood worldwide. Even if the instructional video is about how to throw boulders like a caveman.
Audiovisual has become the way of the world, for better or worse. And so audiovisual is adapted for the world — or at least it should be. Even if some argue that audiovisual localization is too pricey compared to more traditional text-based media.
For something like this low-budget rock-throwing video my friend is making, it doesn’t have to be, though. His instructional English is laid over the video as short-form text he creates in iMovie. It would not be terribly difficult for him to input French or Spanish text instead.
The reason for this choice, practically speaking, is that the audio on my camera is poor. But from a business perspective, it’s smart for my friend to go that route if he wants to tap into his French market on the cheap.
Alternately, he could talk with his French co-workers and come up with text that works in both languages. For example, he could simply label the individual moves. Any explanatory text could be auxiliary. Ballet moves are in French; capoeira moves are in Portuguese. Devotees learn a single lexicon all over the world.
There are creative ways to manage globalized audiovisual content, and our writers have plenty of examples and ideas.