How To Translate Your Videos To Mandarin

How To Translate Your Videos To Mandarin

With more than 16% of the world’s population speaking Mandarin Chinese, it is the language with the most native speakers worldwide. So, what exactly is Mandarin Chinese? Why is it so popular? And how do you translate your English videos to Mandarin?

What Is Mandarin?

To begin, let’s clear up one common confusion: what is the difference between Mandarin and Chinese? Well, like many languages out there, Chinese also has dialects. Mandarin is one of many Chinese dialects mainly used by people in the northern part of China. Cantonese is another popular Chinese dialect, which is used mainly by people from Hong Kong and the Guangdong province.

The Chinese, however, did not invent the term Mandarin. Interestingly, the Portuguese first used the term “Mandarin” to refer to the court magistrates and the language they spoke. The Mainland Chinese refer to Mandarin as 普通话 (pǔ tōng huà) or 国语 (guó yǔ) in Taiwan.

History of Mandarin Chinese

China’s immense landmass has long been home to many languages and dialects. When the Ming Dynasty ruled China (1368–1644), Mandarin became the language of the ruling class. Beijing became China’s capital in the latter part of the Ming Dynasty and remained so during the Qing Dynasty (1644 - 1912). As Mandarin is derived from the Beijing dialect, it became the official language of the court.

The Mandarin Chinese language was first widely used in China in the early 1900s when the nation adopted it as its national language.

Since Mandarin is a dialect of the Chinese languages, Chinese characters are used as part of a writing system in Mandarin. There are more than 2,000 years of history behind Chinese characters. Chinese characters were originally pictographs, but as they became more stylized, they came to represent both ideas and objects.

The Chinese writing system is one of the most complicated parts of learning Mandarin. A Chinese government initiative began simplifying characters in the 1950s in an effort to improve literacy. That is why today we have simplified and traditional Chinese writing systems. Thanks to this movement, Mandarin gained popularity. Today, countries such as Taiwan, Singapore, and Malaysia have the highest number of Mandarin speakers out of China.

How To Translate Your Videos To Mandarin?

1 - Transcribe Your Video

The first step to translate your video is to transcribe your video.

Transcription is the processing and transferring speech sounds into timed text displayed on the video.

Usually, you will need to transcribe your videos manually and it is a very time-consuming task!

Luckily, there is VideoTranslator.

VideoTranslator uses artificial intelligence software to transcribe your videos automatically.

Automatic video transcription can help you save time by instantly converting your speech into timed text. This way, you don’t have to manually type the text and adjust the timed text one by one.

To transcribe your video with Video Translator, follow the below process:

  1. Log in to your Video Translator account.
  2. Upload your video using the quicktranscribe button.
  3. Select the language and dialect of the video and click the accept button to trigger the transcription. The transcription process will run in the background.
  4. Once the transcription is complete, go through and check the transcription for proper grammar e.g. capitalisation and full stops.

You can save your transcription as an SRT file, and we will tell you why this is important as we go through the next steps.

2 - Translate Your Transcription

Once you have a transcribe, ideally in SRT format, you need to translate your transcription. If you speak both English and Mandarin, you can obviously translate the texts by yourself. However, if you don’t, that’s when VideoTranslator comes in handy!

VideoTranslator can automatically translate your transcription.

To do this, you have to:

  1. Go to the action button > Translate.

  2. Choose Chinese as the language that you want it to be translated to, choose whether you want simplified or traditional Chinese translation, and click accept.

  3. Create a different name for the translated video. You can also choose to overwrite the existing video by ticking the box. Click submit.

    Example of a good file name: CN_VideoName

  4. You will be redirected to the Root page. Find your new file and click edit.

  5. You will be able to find your translated transcription by clicking on the caption button.

  6. Download the srt file.

3 - Burn Your Subtitles

There are 2 methods of burning your subtitles: online and broadcast.

Online video subtitle is the usage of timed, coded text as a sidecar file which includes captions. When this is done, viewers have the option to turn on or off the subtitles or switch between languages.

Meanwhile, broadcast video subtitle is when subtitles are burned into your videos. In other words, it means adding subtitles to your videos permanently as part of the video image. This makes sure that captions cannot be turned on and off by viewers, but conveniently display as default.

If you want to use online video subtitles, you need to save the subtitle in SRT format, as it is the format used by YouTube, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Find out how to upload SRT files to your YouTube, Facebook, and LinkedIn videos here.

If you want to use broadcast video subtitles, you need to use an application to permanently embed the subtitles. Find out how to permanently embed video subtitles in Adobe Premiere Pro here.

You can use VideoTranslator to embed the subtitles permanently.

Here is how to do it:

  1. Open your video that’s already been translated to Mandarin (Chinese) in VideoTranslator.

  2. Click on the action button > auto overlay.

  3. Edit the font style, size, and colour according to your preference.

  4. You can choose to add a stripe, highlight, or not put any styling on your text. Click confirm.

  5. You will be redirected to the Root page. Click on your file and press the edit button.

  6. Your video will have embedded captions on it.


Congratulations! You now know what is Mandarin and why and how to translate your videos to Mandarin.

Learning a new language can be very difficult for some people. Expanding your market requires some knowledge regarding the language. If you are going to hire a professional translator, things can very quickly get expensive.

So, what is the solution?

The answer is by using VideoTranslator.

VideoTranslator is a smart application that can transcribe, translate, caption, and provide voiceovers for videos into more than 60 languages and 120 dialects.

With VideoTranslator, you can easily make video SEO in your target language and enable potential customers to find you.

Why don’t you try it out for FREE here?

For more information regarding VideoTranslator, don’t hesitate to contact us at!