ULG's Language Services Blog

The Benefits of Localized Multimedia Content


For content to appeal to a global audience, translating the text is only the first step. Multimedia content is key to appealing to today’s viewers, and localized multimedia content is key to making that appeal as specific to your customers as possible.

The process is more in-depth than merely translating words. It can include subtitling, dubbing and possibly even re-recording audio and video content.  Javascript and Flash elements may also require localization, which can create challenges if you haven’t planned ahead. (See our case study to find out how we helped a client in just such a scenario here.)

You might be wondering whether the benefits are worth the investment. Here are three key benefits of localized multimedia content to help you determine its potential value to your organization.


localizing multimedia content improves understanding


Whether you’re trying to inform, educate, or persuade, the content is useless if your audience can’t understand it. Localizing your multimedia content makes it easier for your target audiences to understand the message you’re trying to convey. Here’s why:


  • Even if your viewers speak English as a second language, it often takes less effort for them to understand information that’s presented in their native language.
  • During the localization process, content is made more culturally relevant, so viewers don’t get caught up trying to understand cultural references that don’t make sense to them.


localizing your multimedia content improves emotional impact


Marketers around the world know that emotion is a powerful force, and multimedia localization helps you increase your content's emotional impact. Some emotional cues may not transfer across cultures. For example, when Americans think of Christmas, they often think of going "home for the holidays," with all of the emotions that the trip home involves. However, in China, Christmas isn't a family holiday for most people. A better holiday to feature might be the Chinese New Year when almost everyone in China travels home to be with their families. 


localizing your multimedia content helps avoid cultural mishaps


Different cultures have different taboos. As Content Strategy 101 notes, “Visual representations of hands or feet are not appropriate in some cultures.” Colors have different meanings, too, depending on where in the world you are.

Symbolism also varies across cultures. For example, owls have a reputation as a symbol of wisdom in many Western cultures. However, in India, owls are considered stupid.

Localizing your multimedia content allows you to customize it for different audiences, so your message comes through effectively.  Whether you’re localizing a website, an eLearning program or a multimedia marketing campaign, United Language Group is here to help. Our team of linguists and other experts can help with all aspects of your multimedia localization.


Take a look at the industries we serve and the services we offer and contact us for your next localization project!