How to use AI for video localization in 2023

Ema Lukan
September 6, 2023

In an ever-evolving digital world, video localization emerges as the key to global communication.

But perhaps you already know that? 

You also know that AI can help with multiple aspects of video localization, and that it’s high time for you to finally start using it… somehow. 🥵

If that’s you, keep reading further.

In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the localization process before and now, uncover the domains where AI excels (and where it falls short), delve into the sandwich approach, and unveil concrete tools for specific video localization tasks.

  • In 2023, the demand for localization services is increasing.
  • AI simplifies video localization, saving time and money.
  • AI tools for localization services are accessible and easy to use.
  • Combining human expertise with AI tools is essential for effective localization.
  • Synthesia stands out as the premier AI tool for localizing your video content.

What is video localization? 

Imagine you want to subscribe to a new software. 

Of course, there comes a moment when you go online and do some light googling. 

You land on a nice promotional video. 


The presenter doesn’t speak your language. 

There are no subtitles. 

The pricing is in a foreign currency you’re not familiar with.

So, how would you describe your experience watching it? 

Seamless, smooth, reassuring? 

Or rather not-so-pleasant and slightly... confusing?

Well, that’s the power of localization - it can make or break your video content.

In other (more fancy) words: 

Video localization refers to the process of adapting and modifying the content of a video, including dialogue, captions, graphics, and cultural references, to suit the linguistic, cultural, and regional preferences of a specific audience.

Looking to connect with a global audience through your video assets? Whether you're aiming to localize marketing videos, training materials, or fun YouTube clips, it's crucial to tailor various elements of your video for maximum impact.

Multimedia localization plays a crucial role in expanding the global reach of videos, enhancing viewer engagement, and fostering cultural sensitivity and understanding.

So - when you communicate with a new audience, make sure you speak more than just their language.

💡 Localization > translation

Yes, localization involves translating and dubbing or subtitling the original video into the target language, but that's not all. It also requires adjusting visual elements and ensuring that the overall message and context of the video resonate effectively with the intended viewers. Think images, colors, date and time formats, references, puns, idioms…

5 reasons to localize your video content 

However, localization takes… effort. 

It’s also not free - it costs both time and money. But it does pay off. 

Here’s how:

1) Increased conversion and engagement 

Video localization can boost your return on investment by improving conversion rates and increasing viewer engagement.

2) Expanding reach

Localizing your video content allows you to connect with a broader audience, reaching viewers in different regions and expanding your brand's presence in a global market – both offline and online. 

3) Improved user experience 

Localization ensures that viewers can understand and connect with your videos effortlessly, creating a positive user experience that enhances their satisfaction and engagement.

4) Cultural relevance 

Adapting your videos to the cultural norms, values, and preferences of your target audience helps you build a deeper connection with them, showing that you understand their unique needs and perspectives.

5) Last but not least: competitive advantage 

Besides the reasons I just listed, by localizing your videos, you also gain a competitive edge by positioning your brand as culturally sensitive and customer-focused. 

👀 Did you know?

Companies that are switching to video production using AI are already saving A LOT on localization. Teleperformance, for example, creates AI videos in 40+ languages and reports $5000 in savings per video. Check out more success stories here →

10 key video localization steps

And now let’s get a bit more specific about video localization processes. 

First, a bummer:

Video is perhaps the most complex medium to localize. 😔


Because it compiles different mediums into one: text, voice, images, subtitles, music… 

And for a well-localized video, each of these elements should be localized accordingly. 

Now, here's the good news: 

AI can assist with many of these aspects. 🥳

Before we continue, let’s list the key 10 steps involved in localizing a video:

  1. Content analysis and identification of localization requirements.
  2. Transcription and translation of the original video script.
  3. Localization of visual elements such as graphics, text overlays, and on-screen captions.
  4. Voice-over recording or dubbing in the target language.
  5. Subtitling or captioning the video in the target language.
  6. Editing and synchronization of translated scripts, voice-over, and subtitles.
  7. Quality assurance and review of the localized video.
  8. Exporting and formatting the localized video in the desired file format.
  9. Distribution and promotion of the localized video across relevant channels.
  10. Monitoring and collecting feedback from the target audience to improve future localization efforts.

🔴 Before AI, these processes were all manual. 

This means they took a lot of time and money and required working with external providers. Localizing one video would involve the input of translators, localization experts, voice actors, video editors, designers, and other specialists.

🟢 With AI, however, thighs have changed. 

It allows us to perform different localization tasks at scale, without breaking the bank. Different ai tools can help us with different localization aspects, such as translation, text generation, visuals, video creation, AI presenters…

Now I’m sure you want to know more about concrete examples of AI-assisted localization and discover some interesting tools.

But first, read this 👇

🥪 Ever heard about the sandwich approach?

The sandwich approach suggests using AI for tasks while keeping humans involved at the beginning and end of the process. It combines AI automation/generation with human oversight and decision-making for better outcomes.

6 video localization processes that AI can help you with

Ok, time to roll up your sleeves and do the work. Or better - let AI do it for you. 

Here are 6 video localization tasks you can quickly accomplish by using AI.

For each of these, I’ve listed some proven and easy-to-use tools: 

1) Video translation

AI can automate video translation by analyzing and converting text into different languages with speed and accuracy. 

🤖 Suggested AI tools: Google Translate, DeepL, ChatGPT

2) Subtitling & captioning 

AI can automatically transcribe audio and synchronize subtitles or captions with video content. You simply provide the video and let AI do the rest. 

🤖 Suggested AI tools: Synthesia, Descript, Nova AI

3) VO and dubbing services

AI can generate synthetic voices or assist with automated dubbing for different languages. Some of the best AI voice generators even offer you to clone your own voice!

🤖 Suggested AI tools: Synthesia, Speechify, Murf AI

4) AI presenters 

Using AI, you can create videos with talking-heads without hiring real actors. Diverse AI avatars can speak multiple languages, and can easily be changed for different target audiences. And yes - you can also create an AI avatar of yourself! 

🤖 Suggested AI tools: Synthesia, Digital People, Avaturn

Instead of working with actors, you can use realistic AI avatars. In Synthesia, for example, you can choose from 120+ diverse avatars that can speak 120+ languages.

5) Video editing 

There are different AI video editors on the market, and they can automate certain video editing tasks, such as trimming, color correction, and visual effects, streamlining the editing process.

🤖 Suggested AI tools: Runway ML, Synthesia, InVideo

6) Visual design and image generation

AI can aid in visual design by generating or suggesting designs, assisting with image editing, resizing, and providing automated tools for tasks like image recognition and object removal.

🤖 Suggested AI tools: Canva, DALL-E, Midjourney

🎥 Best AI tool for video localization?

Synthesia! It offers over 120 realistic AI avatars, supports 120+ languages and voices, and allows you to create your custom AI avatar and clone your voice. With easy editing and seamless updates to your existing videos, video localization has never been easier!

Synthesia STUDIO product demo


So, now you hopefully know why and how to localize video content with AI. 

But enough talking - it’s time to put it all into practice!

In case you’d like to start with Synthesia, you can make a free demo HERE.

And if you're up for some more reading, this one can be pretty interesting (real examples + prompts included):

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Frequently Asked Questions