Work

Raising the bar on translations

Originated a process that brought “How the Economic Machine Works” to audiences worldwide

Client: Bridgewater

Background

When Bridgewater—the largest hedge fund in the world—released an animated video explaining fundamental concepts about the global economy, millions of people took the time to watch it. The video hit a nerve, and company leaders realized they could do even more to remove roadblocks that prevent people from understanding how the economy works.

Lex Nabarro of Lexaeon, then Bridgewater’s head of public relations, had led the transformation of an academic white paper authored by company founder Ray Dalio into the consumer-friendly animation. Lex was again enlisted, this time to greatly expand the video’s reach by overseeing its translation into several European and Asian languages.

The Work

Viewers of translated versions should feel as if Dalio himself were speaking to them, and experience the humility and gravitas he brings to the English version—equal parts entrepreneur, statesman, and fellow traveler through economic uncertainty. To ensure nothing was lost in translation, a process was needed that would achieve Dalio's intent by replicating the quality of his emotions as they evolve from start to finish.

Lex began by creating a voice map of the original version, carefully noting inflections, changes in emotional tone, and other subjective characteristics. He then used that map to develop a framework for selecting voice talent and systematically evaluating narrators' credibility and authenticity. This diligent approach required working with narrators and recording studios in a different way and adjusting the process for Asian languages. “How the Economic Machine Works” was ultimately translated into seven languages, bringing Bridgewater’s consumer-friendly learning tool to cultures around the world.

View the Translations

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