The video production world is shrinking, but cultural and language barriers still exist when shooting internationally. Not only are major studios shooting globally, but more corporations are utilizing local crews to work with their affiliates abroad. When corporate producers travel for production they should obviously familiarize themselves with local customs, getting a grasp on the language may be much more difficult. For those who are shooting in China the translation app, Hollywood in China, maybe a valuable tool. Designed for the iPhone the application translates English productions terms to Mandarin Chinese with both a character translation and an audio version. Developed by Crews Control director of photography, Dean Head, the Hollywood in China application translates thousands of production terms from English to Mandarin with every production term possible, from “aperture” to “Zeiss.”
Even with a basic understanding of Mandarin most productions terms, like “gaffer”, are not part of the daily vernacular that you may learn in Mandarin 101. The Hollywood in China translation app provides those unique production terms for a crew but also offers plenty of typical language like “consultant” or “recording,” that may help you speak directly with your talent or client. Dean Head has also developed a Hollywood in Hong Kong app that works with Cantonese for those shooting in Hong Kong. When shooting abroad, you don’t want your production to get lost in translation. With the Hollywood in China app you have a plethora of unique production terms at the tip of your finger.
Do you have a production translator you use, or have any tips regarding language barriers? Please share with us your experience.