The podcast market saw its boom alongside the growth of smartphones since the demand for content steadily grew, and digital presence for any business became a must-have. Recent Statista's report shows that the number of podcast listeners worldwide was 332.2 million as of 2020. While we can agree that the number already sounds astonishing, the same source reports that it has grown to 383.7 in 2021.
The amount of content on different platforms remains to keep this steady growth, so it isn't surprising that elevating your accessibility can do wonders for your online presence and popularity when it comes to attracting new users.
Considering the fact that the number of both content creators and listeners from different countries is snowballing, another popular source reports that around 1 million podcasts are now available in 100 different languages (and dialects).
If you run a podcast (whether it is a food blog or a wellness source for everyone looking to improve their health), we bet you want to get maximum from the content you create. That is why you need to always stay ahead of the game.
Let's explore what languages you can consider for your specific case and why.
Before We Start: Why Should You Consider Podcast Translation?
Expand the Reach of Listeners
The main motivation for most content creators to translate their podcasts is to attract a broader target audience. And, in fact, why would you prevent your podcast from becoming popular worldwide?
Translating podcasts opens up your content to a new user base who previously wasn't able to understand what the podcast is about. This not only works as an effective method to make your content available for more listeners but also increases brand awareness.
Connect with Other Cultures
Translating podcasts allows you to engage with other cultures. Alongside creating a strong community by covering different cultural sensitivities, you also can get insights on how to make your podcast more relevant to different translator regions.
People love podcasts that cover different opinions, experiences, and viewpoints. We live in the 21st century, so it becomes more and more important for creators to stay open and adapt to market changes. Whether it be religion, minorities, or even politics, being able to collect different views on world situations will be handy for you.
Open New Revenue Streams
You invest a lot in creating high-quality content for your viewers. Why would you miss the chance to get more from your efforts? Podcast translation allows you to open up new revenue streams. For example, you may draw sponsors and marketers from all across the world by attracting a wider audience and developing a global brand.
Key Elements of Multilingual Podcasts
Before moving to full podcast translation, it is always best to start with a transcription of the episode. You have several options - use transcription services like Rask AI, hire specialists, or translate the podcasts with in-house members (if you have them). Both transcription services with AI tools and professional translators handle the recording and convert the audio to text. Having a transcript of the podcast makes the next step - audio translation much easier.
Bonus: It also boosts your positions in search engines as a plus.
The next step is the translation itself. Here is the main question - to what languages should you translate? While we are going to fully discuss this below, let's take a few examples here. Let's say you run a podcast for your British audience, yet you want to make your content available for US residents (and dialects hugely vary), so you would need to either use AI tools or an American translator so he/she can handle the process.
The translation is a part of localization.
Localization is a more comprehensive approach when it comes to reaching a global audience. It means adjusting the product or a website to a specific target audience. It includes non-textual and cultural components that play a crucial role in different countries. If you want your podcast to really bring value to a global audience, localization should be your cherry on the pie.
What to Consider When Choosing a Target Language for Multilingual Podcasts?
When trying to expand your product to new locales, simply considering the number of native speakers isn't enough to choose target languages for podcast translation. While we can surely say that English remains the main language for localization and audio translation, there are several factors you should consider to make an informed decision. Below you will see some main considerations for choosing a target language in 2023:
The first factor that should affect your choice is market saturation. Simply put, it is crucial for any content creator to determine if there is demand for your product in the chosen market. For that, we recommend starting from the research of the competition and estimating their engagement level in that market with similar products.
Here you should identify the purchasing power of the potential foreign audience and whether your product would be something they want to spend their money on. This will guarantee you are targeting the audience that can afford and would be willing to invest in your product.
Prevalence of Other Languages
In some countries like the United Kingdom, there are several languages spoken. This means you may need to localize your podcast into multiple languages (or dialects) even if you have chosen one country. That is why you should always use the language preferences and usage statistics in the target market to make an informed decision.
When we talk about localization, the number of languages you choose will hugely depend on your budget unless you use cost-effective tools like Rask AI instead of hiring native speakers for each language and dialect. The common practice is to start the localization process by adjusting the product interface, translating help documentation, as well as the website - all at the same time. If you have global marketing campaigns, any promo material should also be localized after the steps mentioned above.
Languages for Podcast Localization: Leading Pack for 2023
For many years now, the top four languages for podcast localization (or localization overall) are French, Italian, German, and Spanish. These are also known as "a classic localization pack" or FIGS (which is the short name created from their first letters).
If you add English (which is a top choice) and they become EFIGS. Translating podcasts from English into these four languages is always a classic way to organize your localization efforts - whether you run a political podcast episodes or a cooking blog. Although this quad remains at the top of the list, creators considering podcast localization in 2023 should also keep in mind the following factors:
French, without any doubt, remains the most popular choice for podcast localization. Whether it is related to native language popularity and good spending habits of the nation or comes from the fact that French residents love the idea of podcasts. While one in every eleven language translation orders from English (both UK and US dialects) is in French, the demand for Italian translation is catching up to German and Spanish. The gap between French and the other three languages remains huge.
The key reason for these languages being the leading choice for podcast localization is that they are highly influential in the business and translation industry. But the situation seems to change thanks to the growth of other emerging nations. These nations, where India and China are the drivers, have already marked the global market with their own languages standing out as possible languages of choice.
Other languages you may consider for podcast translation in 2023 are:
- Chinese (Simplified and Traditional);
- Portuguese (European and Brazilian);
How To Translate a Podcast
The last thing you should know before you are ready to launch your product to a worldwide market is how exactly you can organize a multi-language podcast. Let's dive in:
Choose a Language
No one would be surprised that choosing the right language into which you want to translate your podcast is a good start. As we already discussed above, the final language pack you choose for best translation will depend on many factors - to remind you these are goals, budget, and market you want to attract.
It is always a good idea to choose the most popular languages. To be specific, these are German, Spanish, Italian and French, as 100% international successes in 2023, but you can customize your pack and add a few more languages if the budget allows (for example Arabic).
Spoiler: the budget will allow even more languages with proper tools.
Transcribe Your Podcast
As we said, audio transcription is a crucial step. Here you need to write a transcript of the podcast that captures all of the audio. The good news is that there are millions of translation and transcription services available to do that for you. Having an original podcast language transcript for your content has many uses aside from being the first step in the translation and localization processes. It allows you to make a podcast more accessible to listeners with hearing loss or hearing issues. It also has many benefits of good ranking and SEO optimization, so why not give it a try?
Start Working on the Podcast Translation
Finally, you are at the step where the actual translation happens. Now you have several options to choose from:
- You hire native speaking hosts who translate the podcast (one or two native speakers for each language sounds costly, right?) Yet, you still have this option.
- You hire translation providers. It is usually a team of in-house specialists or freelance translators with years in the field, so they can quickly and accurately translate the podcast into several languages, and it is a cost-effective solution. We recommend getting in touch with decision-makers - translation company owners so you can get as much information regarding the process as possible.
- You use Rask AI as a leading localization tool. Rask can translate your podcast within minutes into over 50 languages (where Spanish, German, Italian, and French are the most popular ones). Besides being fast and accurate, Rask AI is also the best solution in terms of cost/result ratio.
Record the Translated Audio
The next step would be an audio recording (which can also be done in several ways). Here you can also hire specialists for a voice over audio or use an AI-generated voice over. Rask AI captures the smallest changes in the voice of the original speaker, so you can rest assured knowing the translated audio sounds almost like the original voice.
Mix the Audio
The next step will be to combine the translated audio with the original audio. This requires flawless timing, volume adjustments, as well as matching the translated audio with the original source audio. Although it will be better for you to hire specialists at this stage of the process, AI tools can also assist in the process.
Publish and Promote
The last step of the translation (a part of the localization) will be to publish the podcast to the new market through a podcast hosting service or any other platform popular in the chosen locale. At this stage, you can freely reuse translated promo materials to save money and time for podcast promotion.
What About Localization | 7 Steps for Your Market Success
As mentioned above, audio translation is only a part of localization. So if you want to make the most from your translation efforts, localization will be the next logical step. Explore our breakdown of 7 key steps to take so your podcast reaches millions of views (and feels relevant to each locale):
1. Know Your Target Customer
By here, you already know how to choose a language and what languages will be the most effective for your podcast translation. But localization requires you to learn new audiences. This means learning their habits, culture, differences in languages, dates, etc.
2. Plan Your Budget
Podcast localization tends to cost more compared to translation. That is why determining what your budget is (and what is left after audio translation) is essential so you don't end up with good localization but no money for further podcast promotion. Based on how the voice or dub (video dubbing) is incorporated into the episode, the cost will hugely vary. Use Rask AI as a cost-effective dubbing tool.
3. Find the Right Expertise
Find a reputable company that can guide you through the process. While you can always do it with your in-house resources (or even by yourself), it is always best to get additional expertise. Localizing a podcast requires the right tools since incorrect translations or no following cultural nuances will only require starting the process all over again, so check the translation before you move to localization.
4. Choose the Technology
As you may already suggest, the localization process can be easily streamlined with technology. Tech tools can help you manage both budget and time, so you can consider remote recording, automatic translation services (like Rask AI that can also help you effectively localize the podcast later), or un style voice overs to promote your podcast.
5. Start Step by Step
It is always a good practice to start small - place one or two translated podcasts in new markets so you can verify the idea and see how different language versions work for you. In case everything goes successfully, you are ready to move to other languages and locales. If you end by getting a rough translation, get back to the previous step and change either the provider or the service.
6. Promote Your Podcast
Just localizing a podcast isn't enough in modern realities (unfortunately). With such tight market competition and the popularity of chosen locales, you should know how to promote your podcast in new markets and social media accounts relevant to the locale so you stand out from the crowd. By the way, transferring will do wonders at this step - you will greatly improve your search engine ranking with SEO optimization.
7. Monitor Engagement
Once the podcast is created and launched, the next step will be monitoring the engagement. Analyze the results and answer the following questions:
- Is your podcast achieving what you intended?
- Do your podcasts appear to the right users in the right locales?
- Does your business strategy guarantee ROI?
Final Thoughts on Professional Audio Translation
In today's digital world, businesses need to adjust their products to different markets to achieve success. And creating podcasts isn't any different - localization ensures that podcast content creators can reach an international audience.
Although the chosen language depends on many factors described above, the most popular choices in the language industry for translation from English are classic FIGS languages (French, Italian, German, and Spanish). While these four languages have traditionally dominated the field, now the market has changed, and more languages for localization appear and should be considered.
Luckily the tech market makes it easy for content creators and businesses to localize their podcasts. Tools like Rask AI perform all the work, so almost no human resources are required - just choose one language (or few), and you are ready to go.