Do not let your brand get lost in translation

November 18, 2022

You’ve spent countless hours, money, and effort to hone your brand. It resonates with your audience and makes a great product even more appealing. Now, the time has come to expand to new markets—beyond just your native language.

If you spent any time thinking about how to adapt your brand to a new language, it’s understandable that you’d find this a little daunting. With Dotsub, we’re not just making it easy to communicate with your new audiences. We’re making it easy for your brand to be instantly recognizable, too.

Next time you’re adding subtitles, try this:

Play with your subtitle style

Subtitles are more than just words on a screen. When chosen carefully, the right combination of features can help convey a lot about your brand—before your audience even starts reading.

Here are three things to keep in mind when adding your subtitles:

1. Choose the right typography

We all know the importance of picking an appropriate font in an email or corporate communication. Major brands like Apple or The New York Times select fonts to match the personality and identity they want to convey. And for many consumers, those typographic choices are instantly recognizable.

So, it’s also essential that you take extra consideration in selecting a subtitle font, too. Dotsub’s VideoTMS platform has over 30 fonts for you to choose from. Plus, you can even upload your own, assuming you’re licensed to use the font commercially.

Our advice? Always start by considering your audience and their native language. Sans serifs are great for readability if you’re working with a Latin Alphabet (think: Spanish, French or German). But if your new language contains special characters—like in Russian, Romanian or Mandarin—you’ll want to look into non-Latin fonts that might be better suited to your audience.

2. Edit the opacity

Put simply, opacity is how transparent your text is. The lower the opacity, the easier it is to see the video behind the subtitles. And that has a huge impact on your readability.

Consider how subtle you want your text to be. Do you want to draw more attention to the person speaking, or the words themselves? Are your visuals less compelling when text is taking up a third of the screen? Answering these questions will help you decide how much opacity to use.

3. Aim for consistency

Once you know the qualities that work best for your brand, stick to them. Make note of your preferred typeface, as well as the opacity level that works best in your videos.

Consistency is also key in choosing the size of your typography. Someone might watch your content across different devices and platforms. So, it’s important that your font size stays uniform in each video for easier recognition.

One word of caution: some streaming platforms do have their own specifications for subtitle sizes. Be sure to check that you’re adhering to their best practices before choosing a size.

Lean into your unique terminology

Every industry, organization and team has its own jargon. Maybe it’s the name of your flagship product. Or, it’s a process or action with a fun name that your customers love. Maybe it’s even your catchy tagline.

You might be surprised to learn that you don’t need to completely rewrite your terminology when translating. In fact, you might decide not to translate some words at all. A great example is anything that you have trademarked. Using the full term—along with a TM symbol—is a great way to reinforce the work and identity of your brand.

This is where VideoTMS makes it easy to help linguists adapt your brand. By using the glossary feature, you can indicate which words linguists should use when translating. You can even add additional comments and links to your brand’s translation style guide.

It’s one thing to translate a video. It’s another to do it with respect to your brand. We at Dotsub take care to make that easy and effective for your entire organization.


Want to learn more? Contact Dotsub today at [email protected].

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