Ancient Languages in a Popular TV show

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  • Ancient Languages in a Popular TV show

    Background Information

    Client’s Industry

    Entertainment (TV)

    Type of product

    Script translation, transliteration, recording; Dialect Coaching 

    Type of project

    Multimedia Services, Translation, Recording

    Languages involved

    Aramaic, German (modern), German (from 1000 AD), Old Norse/Swedish (from 1000 AD), Russian

    Volume of work

    Scenes with foreign-language dialogue/content

    Time frame

    On going as needed for duration of show, 2008-2014

    Project Brief

    During the explosion of the vampire genre in the entertainment industry, a long-running TV series (the Client) captivated vampire fans around the world during its 80 episode run over 7 seasons from 2008-2014. Because of the immortal nature of vampires and other supernatural creatures, many characters in various episodes are thousands of years old and therefore speak a variety of languages. In order to keep the scenes as realistic as possible, the Client tapped into Paragon’s linguistic expertise to help their actors speak these ancient languages.

    The Problem

    Over the course of the 7 seasons that their TV series ran, the Client’s writers created a complex universe of vampires, werewolves, and other ghouls living in the modern world. Some characters were Russian immigrants and communicated in Russian. At other times, flashback scenes took place in Germany during World War II. The main linguistic challenge for the Client, however, was dealing with the ancient languages that the scripts called for, because they wanted the script as accurate as possible but knew that finding experts in these languages would be challenging. From rituals involving Old Norse or Aramaic to Old-German-speaking werewolves leftover from 1000 AD, different scenes and unique scripts came up on an ongoing basis. The Client needed these scripts translated and recordings of the lines being spoken as a reference for their acting talent.

    The Solution

    After Paragon exceeded the Client’s expectations by delivering translations and recordings to help their actors and actresses speak German and Russian properly, they knew that we could handle any language challenge they faced. Our network of professional linguists extends beyond just the best certified professional translators and interpreters and includes historians and other scholars who enjoy working with us on unique projects. Our project managers leveraged these resources to deliver precise translations in the required languages, and also provided recordings that could be used by the directors and other members of the production team to ensure accuracy. Without compromising our dedication to speed and quality, the Client was able to submit the lines to us knowing they would be returned quickly, without ever affecting their production timeline. Paragon is proud to be collaborators on episodes that earned the Client Emmy and Golden Globe awards and nominations. 

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