Comparing Video Localization Quotes

Here are some factors to consider when comparing quotes for video localization.


First, how much do you value your content? If you have a low-cost piece of content that you wish to translate quickly — and you don’t feel the stakes are high if some of your original message is lost – well, then you can pick the cheapest provider.

If your message must be delivered with the original intent, all nuances and meaning carefully preserved, then you will need to perform a more stringent due diligence and ask for samples to evaluate the quality.

Dig into the details. If using subtitles, where, exactly, will they be placed? Will the localization company keep a close eye to anything that might be covered by the text?

For dubbing, what is the quality control process? If you don’t speak, say, Arabic, is there a second line of command checking to ensure that your content message is delivered with the original intent and meaning preserved?


What is your budget? Localization providers typically base their quotes on run time per minute of audio visual. Ask what other factors, if any, go into the quote. Some languages are lower or higher priced for various reasons; for example, Danish subtitles are more expensive because the subtitles need more formatting in addition to the translation. Additionally, languages that are not as widely spoken may cost more, as it is more difficult to find translation talent. Native voice talent can also be harder to secure for dubbing in less frequently used languages, with the same effect on cost.

Be sure to also check what stage of localization the quote reflects. Very low-ball pricing is often for a first draft of output and not the final, edited, and client-approved version. Beware of localization providers who pull in business with quotes well below market rate, and far lower than what other companies are providing. These quotes may just be used to bring in a new client. Beware bait and switch: What if your housepainter did one coat, then told you a second bill would be needed for a second coat? If the company is new to you, find out what its quote includes.


Who is translating your content, and where does the localization provider source its talent?  Do the translators come from Craigslist? Translator organizations and associations? A favorite babysitter’s older brother? CMI goes through a rigorous process to find the best talent.


How secure will your content be? What kind of software does the localization provider use? Low cost quotes often come from providers with little security, which may expose your content to others who shouldn’t see it.

CMI offers complimentary consultations to help you evaluate how best to localize your audiovisual content. Contact us today to get started!

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