Welcome to the Podcastfestival 2021 podcast. This fourth festival edition took place from september 23rd through 26rd across four cities in the Netherlands.
In this episode, you will hear a panel on the current state of podcast translation. This panel was part of the transportative possibilities track at the conference in Amsterdam, which we presented in collaboration with Are We Europe and was made possible by the European cultural foundation.
The panel was hosted by Julia Joubert from Bear Radio. Hopefully by the end of this, we’ll come up with some new ideas, some solutions, maybe looking to the future of podcasting beyond 2021 and translating in the podcasts via. So I think without further ado, I’d love to welcome our guests to stage actually, before I do that, just so you know, I’m not a complete stranger.
I am. Julia Joubert for those of you who saw me earlier, I’m part of Bear radio, the co-founder of Bear radio hailing from Berlin, originally Cape town, South Africa, and very happy to be here as well. So I’m going to be moderating this. Just a couple of heads ups for you. We are currently using the, uh, web based app called slido.com with the hashtag translate 21.
So if you have any questions that pop up during this panel, and you’d like to ask that question for the sake of COVID and whatnot, if you can just type that in, Joel will then flag it. And we’ll ask you a question for you, but if your question is kind of a broad one for the panelists and for what they do, and it’s not maybe so timely, we will have time allocated at the end of this about 20 minutes where you can then ask that question live as well, but please feel free to make use of slido.com hashtag translate to 20.
Now to get into my introductions here. Next to me, we have Jake . Let’s give it up for Jay. Yeah. Joining us from the UK. He managed through all the barriers you managed to make it through. So very grateful to have you here. Give you guys all hugs. I’ve had four tests in the last week. Um, Jake is the managing director at potty mow, running global content and partnerships.
For those of you who are unaware, Podimo is a subscription-based app for podcasts, audio books. And as I discovered earlier today, children’s content as well, which I really hope we get into. And it gives you access to countless shows in multiple languages. And one of the things we’re very interested in today’s talk is many of these are being translated and adapted for broader audiences.
Then next to Jake, we have the lovely Lori Martinez. There we go.
Thank you for joining us. Laurie has joined us from Paris. She is the CEO and founder at studio Ochenta and independent Paris based all your production studio that is dedicated to telling stories in multiple languages. I double-checked eight is 20 languages and counting, which is incredible across the podcast.
Medium. Lori is also the creative director behind Meesha podcast. If you haven’t listened to it, get on it. Um, which is a show about exploring the histories of immigrantfamilies. And last, but definitely not least at the very end we have Doris upshoot. Hey, Doris.
Doris is the head of unit at my house of European history, specifically translation and citizens language. She is a translator having translated, written, walks and podcasts. And through my house of European history, she facilitates communication between citizens as they make unifying stories accessible for everybody.
So if you want sure, at the beginning now, you know, we have a very, very expert panel here with you, um, to share their knowledge. And like I said, hopefully we’ll come up with some solutions. So again, a reminder for those hashtags hashtag translate 21, otherwise. How are you guys feeling you guys ready to chat?
Yep. Yep. Great. I think maybe to start, and maybe Doris, I can start with you and we’ll see where this goes, but what factors led to you and my house of European history and I guess for your respect of projects as well, what led to you and your translation endeavors? Um, I have to say, um, we are in the European parliament, in the translation service for us translating into 24 languages is, um, a question of accessibility or for giving people the possibility to read, to write their stories and to read their stories and their texts in their own languages.
And also the podcasts we make, we translate or adapt in 24 languages. So it’s, it’s like a general principle that we want to, to make accessible our content in 24 hours. So it’s nothing for us. This is nothing new I’m. As you said, I’m a translator. I worked in the translation service have been working there for more than 20 years, but before it was more political texts, legal texts.
And now we created this new group, but it’s new service where we want to get closer to the citizen and want to provide also new formats, like podcasts, videos, featured stories and so on. So to come back to your question, it’s really making stories, et cetera. Uh, to everybody. For instance, if you have a, we have this platform, my house of European history is actually an online platform where citizens can write their testimonies about Europe, their experiences with Europe, what Europe means to them, travel stories, history, family, history, anything that’s quite personal.
And they contribute these stories. And we try to, to make them accessible in these 24 languages. Because if you imagine that a Greek person writes a story in Greek a about their history or their experiences and Estonian or a Polish person might not understand it. So this is where we come in as a translation service to make this accessible, this exchange possible, because what we are really looking for is that people write in their own languages and then we facilitate and make it accessible in other languages.
Right. Sounds very similar to what got you started as well, Laurie. Yeah. Um, mine is because I’m coming from the independent space. Um, it’s more through my own personal history with multilingualism growing up, bilingual, Spanish, English, and then moving to France. So I acquired the third language and, um, from there I really felt like there was an opportunity to continue kind of.
Rebuilding bridges across those languages from the ones that I spoke, but then also through the stories that I was receiving as I started producing more and more in other languages, um, agendas, uh, basic mantra is raising voices across cultures. So our idea is always going to be taking a really wonderful story and making sure it’s accessible to everyone.
And it’s something that we did with our most recent, um, pandemic based podcasts, which is authentic stories. It was basically started right after the first lockdown in Europe. And we asked creators from around the world and initially only in three languages. And it eventually, it just kind of sparked now it’s 15 languages represented in that one show because we asked people to send us what was happening to them during a pandemic.
Um, what is your experience during this time? And we received pitches in all of these languages and we couldn’t say no, we, we, we wanted to have them be accessible. So in the same way, we decided to produce them in both languages. So we have, you know, stories in Russian stories, in Polish stories in Greek, um, and then in English as well, translated and with transcripts.
For an added layer of accessibility as well, because there’s also something that we noticed when we were producing. All of these multi-lingual shows is that, um, accessibility goes even further when you have that text available for people who cannot listen to your shows. So, um, yeah, you know, I, I’m a hundred percent with you raising questions across cultures.
Yeah. 15 different languages across 15 different feeds and no it’s one, one feed for that one. Uh, because on agenda stories, basically, it’s something that is, we can talk about that. Cause I think it’s really challenging, especially if you’re trying to target different language audiences, but with that show, The point.
Um, for example, with me, how podcast we released that show in five languages, but each language is in a different feed. So you’re targeting each language market. So the English is in English and it’s for the UK, us, the French is in French for French audiences. Again, the Chinese is in China and in also I’m using a platform in China to help us access Chinese audiences, um, for agenda stories.
It wasn’t the point, the point was to have a, home-based kind of an independent experimental project that wasn’t necessarily thinking about targeting, but more about just having an accessible space of storytelling. Um, and so, because we’re independent, we get to play around like that. Um, and I’m very happy because we actually just won an award for that show yesterday.
Uh, yeah, so it’s the international women’s podcasting award for our changing a story, the world, one story at a time. So, um, and the show is almost that 80 stories. Now we’ve been publishing one story a week since April, 2020. Um, and it’s exciting to see that the project is almost coming to an end and things are kind of opening up again.
Coming full circle a little bit. Yeah. Cool. Yeah. Um, do you see your audience split across those 15 markets or is there is one market listening more than others? I think it depends. Um, we do have a lot of listeners in the English, Spanish French spaces because that’s kind of our origin story. Um, I was originally producing in those languages, so it kind of was easy to kind of follow along that audience base, but increasingly we’re getting listeners in other, in other countries and we’re trying to create new content to target those people more specifically.
But you probably have more to say about the targeting for potty most shows, right. Because you’re now what languages are you guys in now? Uh, we are in. Danish. Okay. Okay. Yes. You got it. Hello, recorded audience. Um, yeah, the company was born in Denmark, so we’re in Danish. Um, Spanish, both Castilian and Latin, uh, Norwegian as of three weeks ago and German and Dutch in 2022 and lots of other markets to come looking at it.
We have very lofty, um, expansion plans. Uh, I can take a stab at answering the question as well, if we were still on that one. Okay, cool. Um, yeah, so I, I joined Pitino two years ago from YouTube where I look under the hood of YouTube lists or viewership shows like the vast majority of viewers coming from a country outside of where that show is made.
So I was really surprised when I joined potty mow and saw really the opposite between 90 and 95% of all the listens on potty mow happen in the listeners native tongue. Um, and we, we foster that hyper-local approach. Uh, and, and it also just clearly presented, uh, uh, opportunity for translation, which is something that happens in all forms of entertainment, media, and very little in podcasting.
I, uh, I tried to cheat a bit to see if there was any other, uh, Podcast translation panels on YouTube before this one. And there is not a, so we’re all making history in this room. Um, but I think that’s how that’s how new the idea is. And we’ve, um, I we’ve done it a lot. We’ve learned a lot. I, I think we’re, we’re coming close to knowing what we’re doing, but there’s still a lot of room for growth collaborated with Laurie, uh, and, and the amazing Agenta.
Um, and we’ve, we’ve translated about 50 shows so far. And in any given month, on average, four of our top 20 shows will be translated from another language in all across all of our markets. How do you determine, I think this goes for all of you, how do you determine which ones you’re going to translate in which not, I mean, Laurie, you like, we just couldn’t say no.
Is that what it is? And you know, you’re 50 out of how many, how do you, how do you decide what you take on, especially considering, you know, the varying size of your. Should I start because we couldn’t say no is an answer that only applies to each of the stories, because it was an experimental show that was started in lockdown in because there was a kind of a, almost a cathartic moment for us as creators to kind of decide, okay, we’re not going to make a wine show.
Now this is not the time for one show. We’re going to leave that on hiatus and we’re going to start something completely different and we’re going to see where it can go. Um, so for that, we kind of left it as an open space for languages, but for the other shows that we do at Argentina, honestly, a lot of it has to do with which markets we think would be more interested in the content.
So, um, with me, ha it’s a good example because that show we created in English, Spanish and French for the first season and it was an English, it was an, uh, an American family. Uh, Colombian family going to the U S and so obviously it’s Spanish and English is it makes sense to do it in those languages and also to, uh, you know, talk to those two audiences.
Um, in French for me was also a kind of an experiment to see if the French would be interested in a story about American immigration, that wasn’t, you know, what they’ve been seeing on Narcos, um, and it ended up working out. And so for the second and third seasons, we decided to continue going in that same lane, um, and expanding each, each season, going from the specific.
Story, which would be English and Arabic for the third season, for example, um, it would make sense because this person is coming from Egypt to go to London. So those two languages, obviously, but then, uh, we’re going for Spanish because Spanish was always our big, big, uh, success story with that show because the stories the show’s named me, huh.
Um, which means my daughter in Spanish. And it kind of comes from that ethos of, um, being a daughter of immigrants. Right. So, um, we always do the show in Spanish regardless. So that’s something that we noticed is that the Latin market and the Spain Spanish market, as you’ve probably seen Jake is, is blowing up.
So that’s something that we’re actually expanding more in. And so new shows that we’re developing are a lot in Latin America and in the Spain, Spain, Spain, Spanish Castilian, Spanish space. Um, but yeah, it depends on the story. To be honest, I am very open to experimenting in new languages that we haven’t done a full show in.
Um, and because of which of the stories we’ve been able to kind of see which languages are interesting to audiences that aren’t necessarily speakers of that language, um, And so we’re using the stats from that show to kind of decide what, okay, what can we do a full show in? Um, yeah, but it’s, it’s hard, it’s hard to decide because you know, some markets aren’t as developed as others when it comes to podcasting.
And so you almost feel like, okay, do I want to be the first fiction show in that market? Do I want to be the first one to introduce fiction to this space? Is that a good choice business wise? Is that something that I can I dare to do? Um, and as an indie company, I mean, it’s, it’s something that we wrestle with a lot internally to say, okay, should we actually try to do that?
Um, and we did it with me. How so? You know, for me, it’s kind of daring to choose the language now, so we have to pick, yeah. Brilliant. Is it maybe a bit easier for you because you have people from these spaces pitching. You the story stars it’s, it’s easier. It’s easier, but it’s also difficult because we have, as I said, the basis is this platform.
We have their text stories there and we have more than 800 stories there. So we had the help of our trainees. We are now sifting through these stories and we try to find those that are most appealing, that are really worth because this podcast production process in 24 languages is a big process. It takes a long time.
It’s a whole, whole, lots of people are involved in it. So we lead. We need to make good decisions to have then also the success with this podcast. So we go through the stories, find personal ones that we find very appealing. And then we introduced, we put it before the editorial board and they make the decision.
Actually, it’s a. Made up of our hierarchy director general in some experts as well. They make the choice. Then if we can go ahead and then the whole process of podcast production on the basis of this story starts, which would mean that we contact the contributor of the story and then make an interview.
We all do it ourselves in our translation service. I’m quite proud to say because we’d had some special training as well to do the scripting interviewing scripting. And then we create templates. We do the recording ourselves. So we had even voice coaching. I’m the, for instance, the German voice of these, these podcasts, we always have two parts.
We have a narrator and the. Voice where we do a voice over and then yeah, the sound of the music and a template sometimes also, um, background noises, soundscapes. Sometimes we’ve started experimenting with soundscapes. Um, yeah, then the final approval, and then we publish and try to distribute through our channels and make it available as widely as possible.
I just jumping on, sorry, I don’t want to, we can get to you on certain Jake if you’d like to. Um, but you’ve now both mentioned the very obvious success of this, right. And, and the success and coming down to. Money essentially. And, and the success rate of how you decide, what you decide is very dependent on with whether you’re going to be able to keep supporting your companies through this.
Now, I think, you know, maybe coming from my house of European history might be a bit easier than say an independent production in terms of making those decisions. But the three of you sitting here today say there was an indie podcost who kind of stepped forward and realized that the story that they’re telling is one that could be, um, very well-received to Spanish audiences, but they don’t quite have the resources to do it.
I think it’s, it’s this chicken egg situation with podcasting, always because you’re like, I need money to make this story, but I need people to hear this story in order for me to make money. How do you, how do you advise that approach? Especially looking at translation and multi-lingual podcast. I think you should use your multilingual superpowers that you already have.
Um, this is something that maybe people don’t really recognize, but Mihai was released in three languages, but I voiced all three of them. First, the show was released and produced by me only. And that was our first ever show for our 10th. Um, I didn’t have the budget for other people to translate the show.
I didn’t have the budget for anybody else to voice it. And as an indie producer, I just dared to use my own languages. And I think something that, you know, Europeans as a whole have that a lot of other countries may not necessarily have access to is just so many, a wealth of multilingual spaces. And, um, Just being exposed to all these different cultures all the time.
And most people in Europe are at least speaking more than one language. So use the other language that you speak, use your peers. Um, if you’re an indie producer, because that can be one of the first resources that you can have, if you don’t have a budget and you’d be surprised if you really feel that that is a valuable story to tell in the other language, somebody is going to find it interesting.
And if you take the time to do it, it might actually pay off, um, which it did for me. And obviously that’s a, um, one in a million chance. Right. But I think if you really believe that that story means something to that community also because it’s, oh, I think it will work in Spanish, but it has nothing to do with that community at all.
Like, you know, with Spain, Spanish, um, a lot of people in Spain, the listeners maybe prefer to hear stories that are based in Spain, for example, um, which we saw with, uh, one of the shows that we worked on, um, with you. Um, so for us, it’s, it’s really thinking about. If you’re, if you’re wanting to make this in another language, then think about what it’ll mean for that audience as well.
It doesn’t matter to them. Will it be meaningful if it’s translated to that language? Um, and Mo most of the time, if you already speak that language, maybe it will be because, you know, somebody else will have your shared experience, um, in the storytelling. Yeah, don’t, don’t be afraid to do it. You can. And when it comes to cost, I think, um, translation can be a good, a good saving.
It was probably a two and a half savings that come along with translation. The half is the cost of translation itself. And that’s the, the half is because sometimes it is less expensive than scripting, but sometimes it’s not. Uh, and so, I mean, you should have a high level of confidence that translation is the right thing to do.
Um, but then you’re also, you’re making, uh, uh, creative risk savings. Um, so that if a show proves itself in one language, you can become more confident that it will work in another language. Uh, and you’re, you’re saving time, um, spent creating new concepts, um, if you’re translating. So, um, the translation itself might not be a cost savings, but I think there’s other, there’s other cost implications that go along.
Okay. Can I maybe say something because we’ve always talked now too about translation, but I think what’s really important is also localization because we, we in our project maybe because it’s the European parliament, we are not in the, you know, we, we don’t really look at, we don’t differentiate. We don’t make a difference between the 24 languages.
We translate in all the language. We do have the staff there. To it. And then we localize, meaning we adapt also to the needs of this country, of this, uh, these languages. So we need to have the cultural contexts there and to be able to, to reach the audience audiences and to, to keep the interest of the audiences.
It’s, it’s always very, very useful to put something in there that catches the attention of that audience. Even if it’s not there in the original. I don’t know if you do it like this as well, but we have a Greek story that’s very Greek specific, but for instance, it could still be very interesting for other people, for Polish people.
If you put something in that draws the parallel already, even if it’s not in your original. So we give our translators a lot of freedom when we, when they do these adaptations for. And I’m wondering how you are handling this. I was going to ask you the same question. Does the European parliament have like, um, like a content analysis of what dif what individual countries enjoy more than others?
Like Laurie was alluding to this Spanish show. And I think we’ve seen true crime is the biggest genre in Polymail. And we’ve seen that genre thrive in so many of the countries where we are alive, uh, and less so in Spain, we don’t have that, but we have teams of native speakers. We have really teams of, we have 24 teams of native speakers and they are in contact with their countries.
So they know what their home countries are interested in, what their fellow citizens, they come from these countries. So we have, we have them there. This is, this is our advantage because we have a functioning translation service already. And now we just use these people for. These professionals for other things than just the, just translating legal texts, resolutions, amendments, you know, this, these kinds of things.
They now they do also audio podcasts and subtitling where they can use their knowledge of being a native speaker. I have a question just so to understand how incredible it is you’re taking. Are you really taking like a Greek story? And translating it to the 23 other languages, your time and theirs. And in terms of the story selection process, do you have an, um, I guess a criteria for which stories get translated or is it just kind of automatic?
No, it’s not. This is a selection process and it binds a lot of resources, especially the podcast production. So we have to be careful in what we select because it’s a big process. We select stories that we find especially attractive appealing, maybe also in the spirit of this common European ness shared heritage we’ve people.
I mean, we select stories where we think that people could connect across countries from, from the Baltics to the south to port to go something that is a bridge. So we selected, we put it before the editorial board where we also have experts and then, and then there’s decision is made and then. Localized adapted into these other 23 languages.
Yes. You know, what’s super interesting is that we are always talking about this being so nuanced, but Disney does this already. Um, the TV medium Netflix, all they’re doing is picking universal kind of stories, and then they translate it to X number of languages already. So I think the application to audio is, is nuanced now, but it’s it’s for people who are trying to wrap their heads around it, being a new thing.
Multi-lingual audio is not necessarily that new. Um, and I think it would be really interesting to like hear, I would love to hear your thoughts as well. What do you think makes a good translatable story? Because, you know, I think everyone has their own different opinion about that, but, um, I don’t think anyone has found like the secret sauce, maybe only Disney for me and the TV world, but in the audio.
Yeah. Yeah. Fictions nonfiction. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I think, um, it’s really hard to dissociate story with format as well. And w with podcasts, I mean, there’s certain formats that, um, are not translatable at all in the interview format. I th I think it, it can be really exhausting and we’ve tried it. We’ve tried so many types of translations.
And I think when you have a story that’s more than 40 50%. Interview, it becomes exhausting for a listener to hear so many, um, dubbed voices and, and breaks in the narrative. Um, and so from a format point of view, I’m really interested in that space that, that we’re really actively exploring, which is somewhere between a podcast and an audio book it’s fully scripted read by a single narrator.
Maybe there’s some breaks for interview when it’s important to do so, but it’s mostly scripted, uh, music in the background, light layer of sound design. Um, but I think we’ve seen, uh, we’ve seen that format work really well in a small number of cases and are keen to, um, to try it. We programmed for a relatively.
Uh, narrow is not the right word because there’s a huge amount of people that are slightly older and slightly less male than your average podcast listener. Um, but we’re focusing on genres that we specifically identified that, um, that group to listen to. So true crime is one, uh, learning is another and, um, self-development and personal stories.
So those, I think of the biggest success we’ve had is with translated is, uh, is true crime. Sorry. Now you’ve mentioned kind of exploring these new opportunities, new avenues, and I think it is very varying when you look at an indie podcast of us, the resources that, um, you Doris and your team have. Um, but would you say then that Edison in terms of content and access accessibility of that content, that if we are talking podcasts, translation, that we’re all.
Choking repurposed content go hand in hand that they’re a must. Um, or, you know, is there a way to kind of pick one and make it walk? Does that make sense? Do you mean like, just copy pasting to another language? Well, essentially, yes, because I think for, for people who are listening, I know we, at least in the room have a varying level of expertise, varying level of resources and teams.
And if we’re looking to, um, I’ll just be the voice of the indie indie. Um, if I were to come forward and say, I’d like to make. My audio accessible, I would like to make it so that somebody could take this and translate to themselves if they wanted to, you know, can I, I can’t afford to build myself a website.
So how do I show people that, you know, I can do this in other languages, if not dubbing, everything. So is your advice then to have it in various forms of media, you mentioned, um, a couple Jake. I also saw on YouTube, which I thought was incredible that, um, what is the criminal minds? Crime junkie? Thank you.
Crime junkie is busy. Um, they’re putting all of their podcasts into American sign language and onto YouTube, which is mindblowing. Are you looking at opportunities like that? But also what opportunities could indie podcast is have easy access to in terms of reusing and repurposing that content. Um, Instagram subtitling on stories, for example, um, we’ve experimented with that.
Tik TOK also has a subtitling feature. So outside of just using something that’s a paid service, you can also just already use the social media tools that you have to kind of repurpose repromote your content in a way that’s accessible to people. I think subtitling is something that we kind of look over when it comes to this accessibility question, when it, um, for multilingual audiences, because people around the world are looking at, you know, dot comes, um, and you know, your site or your webpage, your podcast, Facebook page, whatever is it going to come up in a Google search?
And if you have texts in your show notes with a transcript of your, or link to a transcript, for example, on a Google doc, I’ve seen Andy podcasters do that. People can translate that. In there, Google translate. If they really want to access your content, they will do what they need to to understand it. Um, and I’ve, I’ve heard one, one podcast or came up to me at a conference once and he said, so I love what you talk about with the transcription thing, because I’ve done that.
And I have it set up so that, um, the English translation, if you have Google translate automatically in your browser for Google Chrome, it’ll translate it to your language. Anyway. So if you have your webpage for your podcast and you have the text in English, if you’re an Italian accessing the page, it’ll translate it to Italian.
So the text can be an Italian. You can listen in English and you now have an Italian listener who is interested in your content. So I think if you can’t translate to every language, you can not, at least at the very minimum do the text thing because it does help a lot. And there are tons of AI tools. You don’t necessarily have to transcribe it yourself.
I know it takes a lot of time. That’s like the grunt work of the indie podcasters, you know, transcribing your texts. But if you have a short show, I think that’s one step that I would definitely recommend. Do you guys do transcriptions as well? Yeah, we do. But we have a tool doing that. Clint. I dunno if you know that.
I don’t know. Uh wouldn’t know, but this is what we use, but it’s quite rough, the, what it produces and then we have native speakers looking at it again. Yeah. So, but I’m talking about subtitling. We do subtitles as well. For instance, uh, we’ve done the subtitles for this, uh, Lux film price. Do you know the Lux audience award?
Um, that was a very, very big experience. Something very new for us. We did it last year for the first time and we’re going to do it again, but it doesn’t really answer your question because I, I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t know how to. And you produce this, but maybe you, no, no. I mean, if I would just to congratulate the two of you on the stage that actually do do the translation.
I mean, it’s not a, um, it’s not a switch that you can flick into another language. And I mean, I think if you’re comparing, if you’re comparing again, time savings to making a documentary, it takes five years to produce in one language. Yes. Translation is going to save you a lot of time, um, making that for another language, but it’s not, I mean, I think there’s, there’s, there’s a base level of, um,
literally, you know, word for word translation, but I think what you need on top of that, ideally you can avoid that altogether, but what you need on top of that is, you know, somebody from an editorial point of view is translating, not just the words, but the emotion that the original author or, or, uh, interviewee is, um, is intending for the listener.
Um, and in some cases, taking creative liberties to, to translate, you know, to, to translate nuances and to cultural nuances and to new languages. And I, I mean, please show me the button that you can press to, to get that. But I, I, uh, I guess this is also, I mean, we’re not here to change the world, but you know, if we were to dream, right, like in, if we’re talking technologies and especially having stuff that isn’t behind a heavy pay wall or something open source for people to be able to.
Access that would better the future of translating audio. Like what, what do you bless you? What do you currently need that isn’t there? Where is, where is the gap? Is it the time-saving technology? Is it the automation? What is it that if you, as experienced people experienced in this, what are we looking for?
I actually think it’s not a question of the amount of time that it takes for you to adapt it into the new language or the creative liberties on the content side. If you have that down, pat, that’s fine. But when it comes to marketing it in the new language, in the new market, um, if that automation could be.
You know, robot made, I would be up for it. I think the big thing that happens when you have something like this, that is multi-lingual. If you have a multi-lingual show, um, it’s great when you have a great show, but if you can’t market it or if you don’t have the money to market it and do all of the bus ads that, you know, the big platforms can do, um, or the train ads or whatever, you know, or that the radio ads or the more podcasts as well, if you don’t have the budget for that, it’s really hard to get into a new market.
If you don’t already have an established, you know, knowledge of that market. And if you already have an audience there, um, a CAS does something that is interesting. Um, a cast is a platform that we work with regularly for this kind of market expansion. It’s not the best. I mean, I think they’re developing it very well, but, um, it’s because it’s a new thing, right?
This new multilingual marketing thing is, is. Pretty baby stages. But what they do is they do, um, recommendations on shows and instead of ads that are bought across the ad space, they’ll put in recommended shows that are chosen by each content manager from each country. And so there’s a localization aspect there because you have this kind of curation that’s being done to podcasts that could have a shared audience with you.
So even an indie creator, there could be able to promote their show if they have, you know, if they can contact the account that eight casts, local content manager, and say, I have a show I would like to promote. Um, it’s, it’s interesting cause they’re, they’re able to target a little bit more directly, but still it’s, it’s not as easy for an indie producer to market that way.
And I think if we had some kind of a tool that would allow that to happen, automatic, uh, headliner videos in the other language, you know, automatic ads across the different markets automatically without having to ask anybody like, you know, if the AI was ready for that, it would be great. But it’s it’s, we’re not there yet.
How have you been doing it? Because you, you know, you said you have a different feed for the different languages, the different places. Is it once our typical logging, is it, you know, I have, we have a wonderful social media manager. Who’s now a launched us on tick-tock, which is great. But, um, we also work with local content partners, which is something that big platforms already do.
But as an indie producer, it’s very cool because we get to co-produce with a local company. So for example, when we were trying to market to China, I don’t know how much you guys know about the Chinese podcast market. It’s very, very complex. Um, already your content has to be legally reviewed because of censorship.
Probably. Yes, that’s very important, but also because the content is accessible only through specific platforms that have RSS feeds created in mainland China, you cannot send a podcast into mainland Chinese audiences ears, unless you already have an. Platform there. So we couldn’t make a Chinese version of Mihai unless we worked with a local partner.
So, you know, we worked with, we did a co-production for that one and we worked with the shine at Shanghai based, uh, listening platform and they helped us market it. Um, and they helped us get it onto apple and, and it helped us get to number one in China, which we never would have been able to do. So I think as an indie company and as an indie creator, so.
Creators can do is also kind of reach out to your peers, because if you’re interested in doing something, it can be a collaboration with somebody who’s doing something similar. And they also wanted to explore that, that the fiction format. And so they took a bet on us to see if the Chinese would be interested in fiction.
And so the experiment was two ways and it ended up working out. And so they’re actually going to be making more fictions in Chinese because they noticed that the audiences were interested. So without having to have the crazy marketing budget that some people have, we were able to get that because we co-produced with an indie company.
And I think that’s something that, uh, as a creators here you can do, even in the multi-lingual European, you know, you can network podcasters groups that you’re all in you, you know, podcast, freelance groups, collect, collaborate with your peers. Cause they can be a really good source for getting those marketing tips.
Yeah. Probably mine has offices and all the markets that we operate in and we have marketing teams and we’re also have the unfair advantage of being our own platform with a few million listeners across all those markets. So we can kind of choose to promote a show to not, but something that might be actually helpful for the audience.
I mean, I think, um, collaboration is such a nice thing. It’s, it’s the quickest way to grow, uh, anything and anything on demand, collaborating with somebody who’s got a built in audience, um, already. And I think, um, with translated word. It’s a really nice, potentially nice way to collaborate with somebody.
It’s a, it’s a much smaller ask of them than creating a whole new show. You can say, look, I’ve got the show made already. I’ve translated it for you. It’s going to require two, three days in a studio and we can. And if it’s a story that they’re really interested in, they might be interested in promoting it to their audience as well.
So that’s a, you know, without spending on marketing or with, without being thrown into the dark in a new market and not knowing how to, uh, how to market, um, collaboration can be a really nice way to grow a podcast audience. Doris, how did your team begin that collaboration process? Part of me just expects that they came to you, but you know, how did now I’m really glad we are talking about this because this is actually a weak point or something.
We are struggling to establish networks, partnerships, collaborations, it’s, and it’s so necessary because it’s for us. I mean, we have this platform, we produce content, but the outlet or the distributor. That’s something we really also have to establish. So we’ve, it’s really back-breaking worker sending out emails, trying to find partnerships.
For instance, with archives, we have Malta archives who were very much interested in our content. So we sent them the content. They publish it now on their platform, the house of European history, which is a museum in Brussels. We collaborate with them now and really doing a project with them, with interviews about COVID and how people see their experience.
Since during COVID universities, young people are very much interested in our stories and so on. So, so universities, schools, museums, we try to reach out as much as we can, but it is really step-by-step high doesn’t. Come, uh, very naturally. So we really have to work at it on it to get it done. Yeah. Content people, we don’t think of marketing.
Exactly. It’s like, I’m coming from a PR indie podcast space. Nobody teaches you how to do advertising or anything like that or branding. No. Yeah. And we’ve only got social media recently, so we really hope that this will bring the big kick to know, to do advance. No, just normal social media, not normal social media.
No, but I’ve been this. Facebook, Instagram is not normal for me on the theme of challenges. Um, I agree with, with Laurie that the translation is a challenge, but there is a built in process for that there’s translators all over the world. Uh, there’s transcription experts all over the world. It is possible.
You mentioned marketing as one key challenge. I would also throw another one into the mix, which is the very first part of the process, which is just getting smart about, I think you raised the question already. What are the types of stories and themes, um, that are, that should be translated and, and making that decision on, you know, even if the format is fully translatable, is this the right show to spread to a big audience?
Or is this truly just Spanish or Greek or whatever that may have something that. Testing out at party mode all the time. I mentioned, um, an area that we’ve identified as successful, uh, but, uh, I’d love to, I’d love to grow an expertise and maybe this time next year share what we’ve learned. Um, the translation panel after all of you guys are translation as well.
We do have an audience question just on the content. Um, do you think that the nuances of these stories that are being told get lost when they are translated and how do you avoid this? I think Doris, you mentioned kind of inserting little elements of, of each specific place. I know that’s very important.
Yeah. Is there anything else and have you guys found, I guess those of you like Lori, for example, or, or Jake, when the stories that you’ve heard when you listen to it in the other language, say Spanish or French, that doesn’t really come across the same way and.
It’s a difficult question. It’s a difficult question also, because like, if you have to be able to answer that question, you have to speak all the languages you’re translating into. Otherwise you relying on you really trusting, you know, somebody else with at work. If you don’t speak the language, how has your team like, have they given you feedback on that?
I mean, I trust them because you say you have to trust, you would have to trust the native speakers. Then even if you outsource, I don’t know if you, maybe if you decide, if you don’t speak the language, you would have to trust the freelancer who does it for you with us. Okay. We have the language teams, they are very professional and very experienced, but sometimes, I mean, I cannot check if they might go too far.
If I, for instance, I’m the author of a story and they localize it. I don’t, I can’t really check what they put in there to reach their audiences, but this is trust, I guess. To see they are, the experts are, they are, they should know what they need to, what little elements it needs for, for reaching the audience then, and also for, for the people to understand in that language.
If, if, if I have a, I don’t know, I don’t want to mention Greek all the time. If I have a Portuguese story that mentioned something that’s very local, very cultural, and only Portuguese would understand when I want to transfer that into. I need to put something in so that the German understand what is actually meant.
If it’s, I dunno it could be a food or maybe a festival or anything, but I would need to put some ex an explanation in there. So otherwise the German is totally lost. Doesn’t know what, what, what is meant. So something like that, and it comes down to the language as well, I assume. Right? Those colloquialisms, that would be lacking.
Jake, you mentioned how, you know, you can also just say to somebody, Hey, I’ve translated this for you. You can read. Um, what is your advice then to those people? Are you like read it and have fun with it or just read it? Okay. Yeah, we we’ve tried a variety. We’ve tried. We did. Um, we’ve, we’ve tried some of the works that we’ve translated or through partnerships with media companies like Wondery and, um, we translated dating game killer, uh, in a number of languages and there’s some big personalities in dating game killer, uh, seventies, 1970s talk show host, and we’ve tried various versions of, um, translation.
Voice acting. So like really acting out exactly that, you know, the 1970s archive and the other is, um, overdubbing, which is you can hear the original voice below, and then you can hear a, another voice on top. And I think not only is overdubbing easier, but it’s also a little bit less cheesy and you get, you do get to hear like a, you know, a bit of the voice beneath it and get that right though, isn’t it?
Because I’ve definitely heard over dubbing where it is incredibly frustrating because you know, it’s not just a matter of dropping the levels of the person, you know, the original, but it’s the timing and the kind of bringing it in and out. You saying that you just have that boys talking the entire time and then the overdub the entire, yeah.
So what I meant in that second scenario is almost like, um, news or documentary style where you’ve got somebody speaking in a very, um, straight voice, just so it’s understandable. And then you can hear the, the, you know, the original character voice under it. Um, but we do it in a way, but I don’t know, we don’t call it overdubbing.
It’s voiceover, but maybe that’s a different terminology here where you hear the beginning, you hear the original Polish voice and then the other, I come in, for instance, in German and at the end you hear again, the Polish voice and then there a narrator who explains everything and then the voice again.
So, yeah. Yeah. And I think it’s, I think it’s yes. Um, and, but it also depends on the format. Like, uh, it’s really hard to dissociate translation and format, but when you, if it’s a fully scripted format that can be written to be translated, um, it’s much less of a concern, but if there are a big characters tiger king, you have to hear his, his like Southern American accent to appreciate the story.
That’s it. And that’s going to be much more difficult to train. Yeah, you didn’t go search for the German equivalent of the tiger king energy. I mean, listen, no offense, Germans do that. Great. With a dubbing, you want to enjoy yourself, watch a movie that’s been dubbed over in that they get very creative with.
I would like to raise a topic. Um, the dubbing question in Europe, generally, um, as opposed to other countries in Europe, there’s a predominant dubbing culture, especially in France, for example, where we’re based on the big countries, you’re dubbing, everything. So people are used to seeing pawn. In French with a little bit of the English underneath and it’s translated, they’ll be, they’re really big fan of like renovate renovation Kings, and like all those shows that are really based in the south, which is really interesting voice acting and their voice in American accent in French.
Yeah. It’s very interesting to watch. I got to say as an American watching that it’s, it’s great, but, um, it’s an interesting thing also when it applies to audio, right? Because if you’re coming into a market where dubbing is popular, then you also have to think about, okay, well, if they’re used to hearing that, then maybe we should do it that way.
Um, rather than doing an entirely new voiceover, but there’s something to be said for making a whole new version of a show or a whole new version of something. Um, and then it just becomes an adapted version of the series. Like. People in France fixing houses, like that’s a completely different show, but it’s the same kind of spirit of the show.
Um, and it’s also a lot of that question has to do with the budget that you have. Right. Um, but yeah, I mean, I wonder if, if you have any, any experiences with that kind of dubbing culture and how that applies to the shows that you do in specific languages, because we’ve done a bit of both. Um, ultimately we do like to create a completely new version of the show in the new language and find a voice in that language, um, and adapt the content specifically in the new language.
Um, it’s a lot more work, but it’s something that we found to be very rewarding because it does end up becoming more localized if you do that. But, um, in the European countries or the European languages that we worked in, it doesn’t necessarily work every time. So I would like to know if you’ve had either one with party mode specifically.
I intentionally didn’t speak that yet into the microphone. Uh, cause I don’t know if I have a great answer to it, but yeah. I mean, I know, I think we’re really, really learning. Um, we’re really learning. I mean, just to add to the complexity of the question and we operate in a lot of, um, Nordic countries who have a high level of English speaking proficiency.
So I mean, I think there’s another question on like, do you translate everything or how much do you translate English in there? Yeah. I mean, we haven’t just because I mentioned in the, in the beginning that 90, 95% number of our listeners are listening in their local language. So even if they can’t understand the English language show, we can make a guest that they would prefer to listen in Danish or Norwegian.
So we do, we have been taking a very aggressive approach to translation, which is translating everything and not leaving, leaving any of the English. But I’d be curious if there was that hybrid. Well, I find this really encouraging. I find this great because sometimes the general opinion is about everybody speaks English.
Everybody understands English anyway, why bother? I mean, why should we translate into 24 languages? But it’s really nice to hear that it’s, it’s really rewarding and that’s a 99% prefer to, to listen to it in the, in the, in their language, not just in English, even though they understand a really clear preference.
Yes. So you have very good analytical tools because this is something. We do, if your podcasts or your podcast on the RSS available widely? No. No. Okay. Well, if they were, uh, they would also be on potty mill and then if you can claim them on potty Mo you get access to potty mow studio, you get all the analytics.
Yeah. It will come. It’s a work in progress. Yeah. Yeah. The three of you have shared a lot about your, your learnings and, you know, very open about what still needs growth from each of you. But I think kind of going back to the beginning of your exploration of translating on your various platforms, what were the big learning Cubs for you when you started out?
Maybe Jake, we can start with you crap. Yeah, I think, um, I think we’ve actually, we’ve actually covered a number of them, but just so you know, in terms of, um, uh, format, I think we’re moving when, when we decide to translate a show, If it’s going to have interview in it, it’s got to have such a high degree of success that we’re confident that it’s worth the process of translating all of the interviews.
We know we’re going to put the listener in a place where they’re a little bit less comfortable because there’s so many voices, but the story is so great that it deserves to be told in multiple languages. Um, but then there’s another tier of podcasts, which is, uh, which we’re really actively exploring.
And I think is probably underexplored, which is that like somewhere between the audio book and the podcast, which which can be written to be translated, um, there’s a number of them all over the world. It’s not like they’re not happening, but, but it’s not the predominant format for podcasting. I think one of the, one of our biggest learnings is that we can be, you know, we can be creating those.
We can be commissioning more of those types of shows. Um, if we want to be really actively translating, uh, and then within the translation space, you know, we, we’ve tried in so many ways. We’ve partnered with third parties, we’ve hired our own translators and I think. Uh, one of the learnings there is that this is going to sound really obvious, but not all the translators are the same.
Not all translators are interested in, uh, true crime or romance or self-development. And there are, there are some translators that are into certain genres and some translators that aren’t, and it’s a, if you spend enough time building up the right trusted network of translators, then you know who to give what type of story to, and it can make such a big difference in quality.
Uh, I was about the topic that you, aren’t not doing the translation for a good translator would probably say no, they can translate anything. But I do think it’s. So when we’re talking about content and content is creativity, and again, it’s not just translating language, word for word, it’s translating creative intent.
So I do think that’s important. I think I agree a lot with that question because you, as a creator, you have to also kind of let go when you’re creating an adaptation like that. And one of our biggest challenges is always kind of seeing how much to what extent we want to change the show in the new language.
Um, will it lose the spirit? Will it lose the messaging? Will it still kind of keep that heart that we had written, especially when it comes to fiction as well, because you’re, you’re dealing with these kinds of stories that you’ve spent months and months script writing. And you’ve done dozens of drafts of the scripts, and then you have to go and adopt it.
And it just feels like it’s breaking your heart, especially as a creator, because you’re, you’re, you’re attached to characters, you’re attached to things that happen to them. And, um, one of the first experiences that we had with that was changing an entire storyline for a person in one of our shows. And it was because that market needed a new person.
It did not work. And we had to accept that and it was a mourning phase for the writer more than anything. But, um, I think that the translation process really has to take into account that part of it. Um, I believe that the specialization thing is important, but at the same time, there’s also the idea that an a translator is so much more, uh, also a copywriter, um, because they’re not ever translating word for word, but then the licensed.
To edit into a completely new version is also really hard to find that balance a lot of the time. It, it depends on, you know, the person who’s commissioning the show or, you know, what you end up deciding as a creative that you want to keep and that you say, okay, it’s a no go. I’m not going to change that no matter what language it’s in.
Um, and it’s a hard decision to make, especially if you’re translating sensitive topics interviewing about missing people or especially true crime. I think that’s one that ethically is very difficult to decide how you’re going to adapt. Right. Um, but even in personal stories, you know, for, for us, whenever we do documentary work like that, and we translate it to the new language, some, a lot of the times we’ll leave it a little bit more word for word, because we want to keep that personal aspect to it because we don’t want to create something so new that it feels so distant from the original.
Um, but it’s a really delicate balance. And I don’t think anybody’s ever really found out what it is. I think it’s a project per project like rent, like recipe. For us, the biggest learning curve really specifically about translation was to move away from this traditional political translation into these new formats.
And that’s been a very steep learning curve writing for the ear, writing clear language, putting yourself in more in the shoes of the listener and to, to really think about what they need to know. And then also to make it the text in a way that you can, we can record it really well. You don’t put any tongue twisters there.
So when you are in the, sometimes when I’m in the studio and I have the text and I read it and it just doesn’t come out, I change it. I change it so that it can be easily read and recorded as well. Trusting your voice actors to change your taxes and other big thing. Yeah, I think we do that. Yeah. Yeah, because sometimes it’s just, isn’t, especially in German where you have so many consonants, it does just, just doesn’t.
So doing this. Yeah. These, these new tasks or these new skills we’ve learned, that’s been a really steep learning curve and grace people love it. I mean, we don’t call our translators translators anymore. They are now intercultural language professionals because they do so much. Yes, they do so much more that, um, translate is just too narrow.
We have a question from the audience. How often is the translator also the one providing the voice for that translation. And have you ever faced pushback from original producers when trying to translate their work? Um, the first part of the question, mostly, mostly it’s the translator who is also, it depends on the voice.
Sometimes the very good translators don’t have the, the voice. Uh, but we try to have the same people there. Second one. I don’t think it applies to us. Okay. Yeah. I mean, that was the example I was giving before about the writer mourning because they didn’t want the translation. Yeah. He felt it was butchered, but in the end they were happy with the, they had a long conversation with the translator and they had to heart to heart.
But I think it’s about having a very open conversation about that intercultural exchange, because I mean, I love what you said, that title I’m going to use it now as my title is great. It’s fantastic. Um, yeah. Um, hashtag it like seriously. Um, no, but I think it’s, it’s something that you should really keep in mind.
Um, ‘cause it’s, it’s so difficult. Um, for us, anytime that we adopt anything, it’s such a delicate situation, especially again, we’re working a lot in fiction, so it really is a story that’s been written and created for this. We like to think that most of the shows that we make have that already at the heart.
So we designed the shows like single voice narrator, a lot of the time, because it’s easier to translate, um, fictional characters that we can control in a space that is easy to translate. Um, but in the end you always have to think about that market. Um, but yeah, it’s, it’s hard, but we are open in the conversation.
I think like as a team we have to, we have to be open about it because we know that it, it can be difficult. Is that a challenge you face? Yeah. I mean, just, um, with regards to the two questions, we almost never have our translators read the text, but that’s a really nice idea, uh, which I would be exploring, but the, with regards to the second.
It’s pretty rare that one of our, um, podcast creators, whether created an English or Danish or German or Spanish understands the languages that we’re translating into. So, um, when we’re negotiating or partnership, there’s usually an aspect of approval. And that usually doesn’t mean much because we give it to them to approve.
And they’re like, well, I don’t understand Danish. So like, I guess I just trust you guys, but where I think it is, um, where we’ve had those really critical conversations are again around the sensitive topics, like true crime, uh, w where you want to make sure that if there’s commentary on. A real life event in one language and there’s new or translated or nuanced commentary in another language that it goes through the same rigorous legal process to make sure that there’s no boundaries being crossed.
There’s no accusations, false accusations being made based on assumption. And I, I mean, I think that’s where it becomes. That’s where producers have, um, not pushed back on us, but just said, if you’re going to translate this, you have to, you know, have also have legal clearance
aside from, and I think you’ve very kindly shared a lot of learnings. Um, but I didn’t get to Lori you and to Doris, but any learnings that we maybe haven’t covered, something that you took away from the experience, anything that we maybe haven’t touched on that you’d like to share? No. Then I’m actually gonna move if that’s okay.
We can come right back to that animal. So show there’ll be questions about it, but, um, in a. Pre-conversation earlier, you brought up the fact that Patima produces a lot of children’s content. And I think as you know, this room of podcast is a lot of us, at least I will speak for myself and my co-founder in that we haven’t even thought about that.
But, you know, we joke about Tik TOK and things, and the content consumption is happening at such a young age. Is that something that you have all three have considered, not just specifically to the content itself, but to the languages that there were available.
Um, yeah. Yeah, because yeah, Patty Bollywood, there’s launched a kid’s universe and it literally looks like a kid’s universe. There’s two different versions of it. The one for very young children is like floating bubbles in space and you don’t need to be able to read. You can just click on minions and then you, you get opened up into audio and also audio visual, no video, because I think that the idea behind it is that.
And part of the reason why I think parents are enjoying it more is, um, it’s a screen-free, uh, form of entertainment for their kids, so they can do it in long car journeys so they can feel a bit less guilty about. Zombie ice, uh, and using imagination. Um, and why, what was the actual question? The different languages.
I mean, a lot of kids content is, um, is fully scripted. We are doing some interview based shows more and more, uh, that wouldn’t be translatable. But I think the vast majority of, um, the kids content we have on party mode is already available to us in multiple languages, licensed from license, or is like Nickelodeon and Hasbro and Mattel and universal.
Uh, and they will already have, you know, millions in like in 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 different languages. Um, and it’s, it’s, it’s licensing rather than creating. Uh, but we do have one show that’s, uh, that’s an interview based show where an adult is interviewing kids and we’re starting to adapt. It’s not a translation, it’s an adaptation, which is basically a whole new show, um, to other markets because it’s seen so much success in Denmark.
Yeah, we’ve done one children’s book and it’s so nice. I love it. I really would like to make more like that. It’s about a girl who starts school first day at school, and we did the illustrations. We had even that skill amongst us, our colleagues, so detailed illustrations. So it’s a podcast, but with where you flip the pages of the book, it’s also in 24 languages.
And maybe it’s a good example for how difficult it can be to localize because it’s in French. It was originally in French and there was one children’s song that was also played in there. And then the translators or ILPs, they had real problem to put that into. Languages because they didn’t want to use the French nursery rhyme.
I had some nursery rhyme, but in German. Okay. Then it didn’t fit in because it was a bit longer, but we adapted it. We really localized it. Now we have really 24 nursery rhymes, the most famous nursery rhymes orange country in there. So yeah, it went very well with this localization. It’s quite popular and we would like to do more like that.
Nice. So we don’t have a kids show that we’ve translated into multiple language where we do have one kid show that we tried to have the semi well multicultural. So writing for kids is very difficult generally, but what we did was we partnered with PRX and the states to create a kid show for gen Z, which is what they’re calling the kids that are nine to 12, which I don’t know about that.
But the label is weird. The labels of degenerations are where there might be called gen alpha. Now, I don’t know. Um, but there are kids slash teens. Tweens. And we wrote this fictional show called culture verse, and it’s all about, uh, each kid and their original culture. And they’re basically encountering a myth or legend from that culture and learning about themselves in the process.
So there’s, it’s an anthology series. Each episode is a different, um, journey for different kids. So for example, the first episode is about a Jamaican American kid and he speaks Patois in the episode with his mother and he encounters a Jamaican legend in his adventure story. I’ll let you listen to it.
But, um, it was an exploration of how you can be multilingual at the same time as you don’t like what it means to be multilingual doesn’t necessarily mean. So you have to like do things in many, many languages, but it can also be a way of exposing an audience to those different other cultures. So for them.
American audience. What we did was 12 cultures, 12 languages, and each episode includes the language of that culture. So the second episodes in Cantonese, English third episode, I think was Mexican, Spanish and English, um, and so on and so forth. And so I think that can be another way that we can play around with the fact that we have a lot of multi-lingual children in Europe and people growing up with different languages at home, and also kind of letting them kind of live in that space, um, by listening to content that kind of makes them feel seen.
So in the writing of the kids show that we did the one, um, we wanted to make that the experience. And I think that maybe in, as we develop more and more kids content. Podcast world in Europe, we can play around with that fact that, you know, we have a lot of kids glory growing up by culturally and having them, you know, listen to a podcast in French that also includes some English listen to a podcast in Spanish.
They include some English or Danish or whatever the combination is because there are a lot of combinations and we can maybe play around with that. And I think maybe some indie producers, uh, who are already secretly bilingual and multilingual can use that their experience to create new shows for these, this next generation.
Uh, you’re active, um, podcast listener in most markets is also at an age when they are, they have, they, they can have where they do have, um, younger kids that they can share that passion with their kids. And if you’re making the right shows, you can inspire the parents to turn it on for them. I’d like to, um, I know we had a question come through on Slido, but I might let that person just ask it in person.
So before I hand over to the room, I’d love for you to ask questions. Maybe just to wrap from my side. Um, if each of you had a wish slash pipe dream for the future of audio, audio translation, adaptation, what would it be?
You can think about it. It’s podcast. We can edit it. We’ll edit the silence, right? Okay. Yeah. I mean, I’d love to get to an, a, a level of expertise where we can, um, we can listen to a show and assess it with some set of metrics and, uh, and our, our creative brains and say, if it’s had this amount of success in one way, It will have two times the amount of success in another.
If it’s successful in two markets, it will have five times the amount of success in another and get to a point where we’re, we’re just we’re experts at it. As soon as we listen to something, we can go, that’s a translatable show, or that’s not a translatable show. Um, I think probably, probably all three of us would say we have some degree of knowledge, but I just, I just think it’s, you know, there’s so much room to grow there.
I’ll go last. I’m still thinking, no, I was just thinking the difficult question, but I wasn’t, I was just thinking that, I mean, what I would like to have on our platform is some sort of interactive feature. I mean, maybe it doesn’t answer your question, but it would be really nice too, to have people react to each other’s stories.
I don’t know if you have that or if you foresee that, but it, it would be nice if they reacted with their own content or with their own stories. It’s not just like story or don’t like story, but, but more triggering a whole conversation. This is something I would like to achieve. We are not there yet, but maybe in the future we’ll we’ll get social podcasting app.
Yeah. Somebody’s going to invest in that. Yeah. Um, so this is going to sound a little bit. Crazy crazy, but I would really like to see, I know this is already now becoming a trend it’s still in the early days, but a lot of the time, um, what we have is the same kind of trend as in with Hollywood movies where the movies are mainly made in English, get translated to other languages for other countries.
Um, obviously there are independent films, but the ones that get the most marketing and attention are the ones that are coming from Hollywood and then translate it to many other languages. Uh, this is the same trends happening now with podcasting that are multi podcasts that are multi-lingual, we’re coming from American or English, Anglophone stories that get turned into other languages.
There’s a reason for that. Uh, the us is the biggest podcasting market. That makes sense. Um, same for Hollywood, right? But I think that because this is an independent medium, I would love to see in my dreams of dreams, um, Big firms, these, you know, local firms in these different countries that I think they’re starting to do it.
It’s happening now with Spotify and audit audible, but it’s very slow to go, um, to invest in stories that aren’t just Anglophone or original and coming, you know, picking a story in Poland, picking a story in Greece and turning it into English and making that a Hollywood blockbuster in audio. Um, I think it will happen.
I think it’s going to happen soon. I think the platforms are already starting to see it, but I think it’s going to be slow to get there because obviously we’re in the new space, but I would, I would love to see that happen and yeah, which I was trying to do it, but obviously we’re not the same as these big big platforms.
So that would be my dream to see, to see that. Yeah. Yeah. It’s true. Do you want to say something? What do you think is holding that back? I think it’s just, I think it’s because some of the markets aren’t developed enough for advertising and it’s always about money for these platforms. So it makes sense. I mean, I totally get it as a business decision, but when it comes to down to it, if you’re a giant corporation that can take a risk small one, even if it’s a small one, trying out a new creator, trying out a story in a localized space and seeing if it’s worth doing it in the other direction, you know, that can be something that you can try and be the first to try.
Um, that that is something that can happen. But I think it’s definitely having to do with the advertising because I mean, you know, different languages aren’t monetizing the same way. You know, the French don’t like ads, they just don’t. So, I mean, it makes sense that there’s no advertising there, but the Germans love it, so they don’t mind it.
And so there’s German language podcasts that are being monetized more easily. Um, and so there are German podcasts that are going to be translated, I think first and what ends up happening. And I would love to know if what your opinion is on this is like predominant languages with more speakers. Rich country speakers always get picked to be those big, big language translations.
Right? Um, I think it’s a question of mentality as well as risk taking or mentality. I mean, for us, we are, we are fighting to get also contributions, also written contributions in smaller languages, not, not just the big five, but also in less spoken languages, but it’s difficult because people, they think, I mean, they speak English, they contribute in English, but we don’t want that.
We want it in the original language and, uh, pays off when you do it though. It does. I mean, we did one for the kids show, which again, predominant language or that show is English, but we did one episode with a lot of indigenous, like. People loved it. It was our top show episode. I mean, so I think, you know, if you’re trying to take it from another angle of like the new trend, maybe in a couple of years, I think this is too early to say this, but it would probably happen a couple of years that, that, that, you know, direction of media being Anglophone, rich countries to the other languages could be changed maybe with podcasting, because it is a place where the investment risk is smaller than for movies and for other mediums.
Um, and hopefully it will happen sooner rather than later trends tend to happen in snowballs. And I think it’s going to be that one hit that’s born in, uh, somewhere. That’s not an English speaking country that just does so well that it will create interest among like, oh, what else from that country? Or what else does from that continent?
Well, there’s this funny, there’s there’s one example. I will say that there’s one example of it. Cause I did mention that the platforms are starting to experiment with it, but there was one example, guess this isn’t , which is a Spanish show done by Spotify that they now. Translated to other languages, Portuguese and now Hindi.
So there is, I think it’s going to happen, but it’s gonna start with these tiny things and again, tiny markets, meaning tiny trends and then maybe a big snowball yeah. And conversations like these. So for everyone listening and you in the room, I think we need to yeah. Latch onto this and run with it. And maybe we’ll speed up the process a little bit.
Um, before we say thank you and head off. Um, I think the question that we got sent was kind of answered pretty much. Um, do people have questions that they’d like to ask and come up and ask? Yeah, sure. Um, should we maybe, can we have a fresh pop? Oh, it’s there.
Then maybe he had put that pop filter on this.
Hi, thanks. Thanks for all the insights and all the knowledge. Um, most of you touched the bond, the fact that there are market specific interest or market specific ways that people like to unfold stories. I wonder what are the market specifics that you throughout working in this sector have picked up for the Netherlands?
I really wonder what are, what, what, what makes this Dutch audience stick or what you’ve learned about this? If any of you work, of course, in the escape I did one day podcasts. My experience with that is that the Dutch market is very difficult to translate to if the content is not coming from. The Netherlands.
I do believe it’s a hard language to translate, but our experience with it was that people were receptive to new content, but I don’t have many insights into it. It was a branded show that we did for me tick. Um, and it was a friend show that was translated into Dutch. Um, But I think it’s still very early days to say whether or not there’s a big trend.
Um, I can’t say one, one podcast that is original Dutch and we produced it. It’s about actually a lady who lives in New York and thinks about what it means to be Dutch. It’s very interesting, very interesting podcast. And it turned out really well and people liked it a lot. So apparently this is a topic probably that that’s interesting for all, for everybody, for all countries, but especially for the Dutch in this case, just to jump on that with a Dutch pass and the thing to me, no, it was a Dutch person living in New York, uh, thinking about what, what makes her feel Dutch still, although she lives in the United States.
Yeah, it was very interesting.
Well, she, she actually traced back her family history and that’s where she anchored her herself find the, in the history. Although she, she felt very much at home, also in the states, but still she had this part of her that that was Dutch coming from her ancestors. So this is where she anchored it. It’s not traditions or modern times now, but more from, from back there was that also translated in 24.
Was it successful in the other languages? Yes. I have a theory about that. I think identity content is going to be the easiest universal story that you can get. Anyone who lives in another country that isn’t their own is going to be able to relate to that story. And that’s this, this is you put it very nicely.
This relating to the story. This is what we want to achieve. I mean, maybe we don’t succeed with every podcast or every story we take, but this one was successful. Yeah. Thank you for asking if there wasn’t an ex-pat who’s asked themselves the same questions and got to tell you the most popular podcasts that are coming from Anglophone speakers and friends are about expat being an ex-pat.
They’re also the most popular tech talkers because they just filmed Parisian scenes. But yeah, what’s, what’s your answer to the question. Ah, Jesus Christ. Um, gotcha. Yeah. Now let’s see. So, um, the Dutch audience specifics, well, I feel like the market forward thought looking like somehow in the Netherlands, we have a lot of white men obsessed with talking and the market for debt I would say is pretty much saturated.
So what I’m so sorry for everyone, by the way, doing no, I’m not. Sorry. I hate them. Um, no, but, but no, but so the very specific thing is you’re, you’re, you’re, we’re, luckily we’re S we’re, we’re seeing more and more intricate and more detailed and complex narrative driven podcasts. And I feel like within that, that also of course, uh, make spot guests or search up new stories, which also makes them delve into new communities.
So I feel like this, this form of, um, not democratisation, but demographic creation of forecasting is sort of happening. Um, but as the only like trend wise thing I can report on for now, Thanks. Thanks for answers. Does anybody else have a question? Nope. Cool. Then I think on that note, I just want to say first off, maybe do either of you have a question for one of the three of you?
Well, I actually, it just popped up to my mind. Do you adapt actually, because you say markets languages. What about age groups? Because the colleague mentioned demographic. Um, what about that? Do you have specific podcasts for specifically? We talked about children, but older people, younger people. Do you also cater for the older people specifically with regards to translation?
So if there’s a show that exists for a 40 year old, would we adapt it for a 20 year old same topic? Would you choose also topics that would be maybe more interesting for senior citizens? Uh, or anything specific to age groups, maybe? Um, not seniors specifically, but, um, but yeah, I mentioned we do have a, uh, a specific target group.
Um, but we’re not taking translation into account. I think when we’re, when we’re deciding what to no, we don’t decide. We don’t either. No, I would say that, um, one of the things that I learned when I was doing market research for the languages that we translate to is that mainly podcast listeners or early adopters are pretty much the same age.
A lot of European markets, it’s generally people who are 25 to 40, um, who are educated middle-class, um, and who are on any social media that could be ticked off, but most of them Facebook or Twitter, et cetera, Instagram. Um, so we don’t necessarily think about that when we adapt, but we are also, um, a young company.
Most of the people are millennials on my team, so we’re also creating content for what we would want to hear. Um, so when we adopt it, we also think about that audience in that, in that lens. So what is, uh, you know, what is the 30 something in Alexandria? Egypt is going to think of our show when we make it in Arabic.
That’s kind of the way that we think about it. Um, more about like that lived experience there, but yeah. Thanks. Great. Interesting question. Um, is there, uh, within the audience, I mean, is anybody working on a translated show or is the interest specific incoming specifically in translating your work? Yes, Capla nodding hands it’s.
I mean, it’s really, it’s really a new thing that is not very widespread. So the interest in asking the question and cool to see the headlines, does anyone want to do multilingual or is it really just maybe one language besides your lead of language so far? It’s just the one, one baby steps, baby steps, baby steps.
Um, so it’s a bit like maybe a bit meta, but the idea of translation. So for example, when you translate a Netflix. Obviously the video, like the visual aspect is the same. So it’s the same show just with a translated, uh, script. But when you do translate a podcast and maybe especially a podcast, that’s more like a conversation between two people that something that’s not scripted.
When does it become kind of a new, a different show, um, in itself, because there’s not really anything that other than the script I know which is important, but you don’t have like the same visual that it, someone who had seen the Netflix show originally, um, is experienced in the new translated version of the podcast.
I dunno if I’m making sense, but I guess there’s what elements of a translated podcast link it back to the original podcast. Um, if it’s not like a written script, the branding could be. Um, we did a girl logo for me, how in Spanish. And then we did a girl in a hijab for the version in Arabic, for example, because the story was about a girl or her job.
Um, but I think the branding then also the music and the sound design can be similar. Although again, depending on who your audience is, it might seem a bit, uh, important to change your sound design a little bit more for that local audience. But the theme music is generally the same on our end. Like when we do adaptations, we try to kind of make it so that it seems like a uniform series that’s been created, you know, in multiple languages, but still having that, you know, nuanced version of it.
But it depends to what extent you adapt, right? Because you could make a completely different show. Right. Um, but we, we don’t, we don’t do it that way. We try to make it similar, but different. Thanks. Then on that note, I think to wrap, I just want to say thank you so much to you, Jake, Gloria, and Doris for joining us for making a podcast, dude, I’ll do that again for the sake of editing.
Um, so just to wrap that up, I just want to say a big thank you to Jake, to Lori, and to Doris for taking the time to chat. Thank you to everyone here in the room at the podcasting festival here in the Netherlands. If we could give her on a round of applause,
just so that we have one final, where can we find you? If each of you could let us know whether it’s a tick tock or Facebook or your website, if you’ll just share your details for those who are just listening, where they can find. Yeah, LinkedIn, a widget. Jake, Chad knows my name. It’s right behind me. I think if you search that on LinkedIn, uh, you will definitely find me.
You can find me also on LinkedIn. That’s my name as it is spelt a and you can follow us on Instagram, Twitter, all the places at which ends the podcasts. So at the podcast with an S um, and check out our work transcriptions and different language stuff that we firstname.lastname@example.org. You can find me on LinkedIn and Facebook.
That’s my name. And you found maybe the bookmarks on your chairs, and I have a business, some business cards over there and, uh, yeah, let’s keep in touch. We’ll be great to have stories from you if you would like to contribute. Please do cool. Thank you very much.
Thanks for having us. Thank you.
thank you for listening to this episode. And thanks for the mysterious Breakmaster cylinder for composing this year’s festival tune. Please consider donating to the podcast network. You can find out how through the show notes.