Cultural focus in multimedia
localization for Russia, Ukraine
and other CIS countries
Anatoly Murzintsev,
Head of Multimedia Dept.,
Janus WWI
Definition
Multimedia localization — a mixture of
text,
sound
and
picture.
Definition
multimedia ≠ usual translation
Case study
Translation
Multimedia Localization
had great importance for the client
completed on time
with no mistakes whatsoever
Translation project
Translation project for the large
transnational corporation.
Localization project
Localization project of the training
course for the same client.
Russian multimedia
localization
Russian – dubbing vs. subtitles
Voice-over or dubbing of the foreign
language source.
Subtitles are used in much less extent.
Russian – dubbing vs.
subtitles: example
In 2004, the game The Suffering was
released in Russia in two versions.
Russian – pay attention
to quality
Quality of translation is very sensitive issue
BUT
Game publishers tend to lower the costs
Russian – pay attention to quality:
examples
The award winning MMORPG
“World
of Rings
Warcraft”
“Lord
of the
Online”
Russian – language issues
Language itself and the accent
are important.
Russian – language issues:
example
In 2007-2008 about 80% of Russian game
localizations were performed in Ukraine
80
70
60
50
Russia
Ukraine
40
30
20
10
0
% of game RU localizations
Russian – experience
Last, but not least is the professional level of
the voice talent.
Ukrainian multimedia
localization
Ukrainian – language issues
Same as for Russian, if the person claims
s/he speaks Ukrainian, it isn’t always the
truth.
Ukrainian – language issues:
example
Latest “Terminator 4” movie.
«моторні хлопці»
Ukrainian – language issues
Going further old-fashioned Ukrainian, which
is not used in usual life, is also widely
used in dubbing project.
Ukrainian – language issues:
exceptions
TV-series «Friends»
have been
perfectly dubbed
and most of the
Ukrainians
consider it as one
of the best dubbing
works of the recent
time.
Ukrainian – language issues:
exceptions
Disney’s «Cars» is also an example of
a good localization.
Ukrainian – general rule
Before making the choice for one voice talent
or another you have to make sure voice
talents speak modern Ukrainian, which is
used by ordinary people.
Ukrainian – dubbing or subtitles?
Opposite to Russia, subtitles are widely
used in Ukraine.
The fact is that almost every Russian TVshow or TV-series as well as movies are
subtitled in Ukrainian.
Ukrainian – quality
Quality is also an issue when localizing into
Ukrainian.
As of 2010 most of the Russian TV-series
are being translated by machine
translation engines.
Other CIS languages –
Azerbaijani
The most important thing when dealing with
Azeri is to understand that people in this
former Soviet republic do speak Russian.
Other CIS languages – Kazakh
Kazakhstan has its own
particularities – even if the movie
has some other source languages,
it has to be dubbed in Kazakh with
Russian subtitles or vice versa.
Almost all of the Turkish and
Korean movies broadcasted in
Kazakhstan are dubbed in Kazakh
with Russian subtitles.
Other CIS languages –
Georgian and Kirghiz
As for the Georgia and Kirgizstan – dubbing
is used for everything, including Russian
movies. Subtitles are not widely spread.
For Kirgiz, however , there is one important
remark – Kirgiz voice-over and dubbing
are performed by Kirgiz, living outside
Kirgizstan, for instance in nearby China.
Conclusion
Each state -> its own distinguished
features and particularities

A special attitude towards their native
languages.
Important!
Every person prefer to listen to
his/her own languages
Thank you for your time!
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Cultural focus in multimedia localization for Russia