Note: This blog post was originally written in Japanese for our Japanese website. We used our machine translation platform Translation Designer to translate it and post-edit the content in English. The original Japanese post can be found here.

Videos have become a popular tool to provide information in the recent years. In Japan, it is said that the video advertising market size in 2020 was approximately 300 billion yen. Since it is easy to understand the content and catch attention, there is a growing movement among businesses to localize videos into multiple languages to deliver their message.

However, while everyone wants to localize their videos and appeal to the world, you might not have the experience and don't know what to do. In our blog, we share tips on how to work with translation companies like us. For this time, we will be discussing four basic things to remember when requesting video localization in terms of preparation and precautions.

Know what kind of localization is preferred

There are multiple ways to localize your corporate videos: subtitles, dubbing, and voice-overs. However, the preferred method varies depending on the country or region. For example, subtitles are preferred in North America, while dubbing tends to be preferred in East Asia. (We will share the details on each method at another time as this post is focused on the overview of video localization.)

(Source: Nimdzi "5 Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Video Localization Strategy")

Depending on the content and sharing platform, the preferred method we mentioned above is not always the best. However, if you're targeting a video to a specific region, it is worth considering.

Find a translation company that suits your needs

With the increasing demand for video localization, many translation companies are offering video localization services. Even so, the supported languages and file formats vary by translation company. In addition, what is included in the service might be different. Some offer the full package from transcribing and translating to inserting subtitles into a video. Others might offer only the translation work and not edit videos.

So, even if you already have a translation company that you work with, you should start from asking what kind of video localization services it has. Make sure the translation company that you're contacting is capable of responding to your request.

Have a budget in mind

For video localization, the cost tends to be higher than document translation services because it requires additional work such as transcription, subtitle editing, or dubbing. We've seen customers canceling their requests after being surprised by the estimated cost.

The estimated cost will change depending on the file format you choose for your deliverables. If you request subtitles and choose a video file format such as MP4 for your deliverables, fees for burning subtitles into your video will be added to the cost. If you choose a text file such as SRT, there are no forementioned fees but fees for creating the file will still be required.

It's a good idea to ask for several versions of quote based on your doable budget. By sharing an idea of your budget, translation companies like us can also suggest only executing part of the localization process. Now, let's talk about things to keep in mind when actually making a request to translation companies.

Give details when making a request

What kind of information do you need when making a request to translation companies? Mainly, the following information will be necessary.

  • Which language?
    What is the original language and which language do you want to translate it into?
  • Who is it for?
    Is it a video for your employees or your customers?
  • What is it about?
    For example, employee training materials, marketing videos, and corporate message videos.
  • Which method do you prefer?
    Subtitles, dubbing, or voice-overs.
  • Deadline
    If there is one.
  • Budget
  • File format for deliverables
    MP4 file, Excel file, etc.
  • Any other requests
    "We just want translated text with time codes," and so on.

In addition to the above, let them know important dates if you have a specific schedule for putting out your video as well as preference for subtitle timing and fonts if you choose subtitles and preference for voices and accents if you choose dubbing.


Unlike document translation, video localization has many processes besides translation work. Think about which process you need and want to request while considering your budget and schedule. Also, don't hesitate to request a meeting or talking over the phone since communication is the key for a successful localization project.

The demand for more video content will likely to continue to grow in the future. If you have videos that you want to localize, feel free to contact us with any questions! Kawamura International offers various solutions in its video localization services, including the use of AI to optimize turnaround time and costs.

Kawamura's localization services

Kawamura International supports businesses creating digital content not only with translation but also with the technical aspects. From marketing videos and e-learning videos that require high quality localization to low-cost videos that utilize AI, we can suggest different and flexible plans to meet your request. Even if you don't know where to start from, we can show you some options. Feel free to contact us to start the conversation.