The Art of Voice-Over Translation

by | Mar 20, 2023 | Language, Translation

Have you ever watched a foreign film where the actors’ voices are replaced with translated audio? It’s only one example of many applications of voice-over, especially in a rapidly globalised world wherein video content from different languages is consumed worldwide. Voice-over translation is essential for businesses looking to effectively communicate with international audiences.

In this guide, you will discover why a translated script is worth the effort and what to consider when hiring voice-overs.

What is Voiceover Translation?

Voice-over (VO) is the process of replacing the original audio with another audio track. Voice-over translation is about translating the original script for the video into another language. It follows a process called phrase-syncing, which involves timing the translated script to correctly match the speech of the speaker in the original language. The goal is to make it easier for the actor doing the voice-overs to be synced with what the speaker is saying on-screen.

Voice-over translation is essential for news broadcasts, documentaries, movies, and TV shows. In news reports, for instance, foreign language interviewees have the original audio replaced by a voice talent who will voice over the original speaker using the script translation.

But it’s not just in the mainstream media where voice-overs are used. They can also have various applications such as e-learning materials, training videos, marketing collaterals, brand videos, etc…

Do I Need Voice-Over Translation Services?

If you want to allow your business to cross borders and fully exploit the benefits offered by script translation and voice-over, then yes, you need voice-over translation services.

There are plenty of inherent advantages to doing a voice-over translation, whether as a standalone or when compared to other video translation methods.

Subtitling translation has its perks, but some people are distracted by the presence of subtitles. It is a good option if you want to target an audience that prefers text-free translations. For certain types of footage and video content, the audience needs to concentrate on the footage shown. Adding subtitles and captions can take the focus away from the video’s visual content, and your message might not be delivered accurately.

Moreover, the pacing is an important factor to consider if you decide to use a voice-over talent. The pace of voice-overs is designed to match the speech of the native speaker, which makes it more fluid and natural. On the other hand, subtitles cannot offer the same advantage, especially during dialogue. As a result, you can expect better synchronization with using a voice actor for the script translation.

Multilingual Voiceover Services

woman with a script using a micMultilingual voiceover services are a valuable asset for businesses looking to effectively communicate with their international audiences in their native languages.

Hiring multilingual voice-over services is a cost-effective solution, as it allows businesses to reach a wider audience without having to invest in separate translation services for each language.

Instead, organizations can rely on a single multilingual voiceover service to provide translations in multiple languages, making the process much more efficient.

Why Should You Use Voice-Over Translation?

Localization is a vital tool to facilitate globalization. Employing a voice-over talent comes with many benefits, depending on the purpose of the content that requires translation services for voice-overs.

Below are some of the most important advantages of translating videos to your target language with the help of a native speaker.

1. Expand Your Audience Reach

The most obvious benefit of using a voice-over translation is the ability to expand your audience’s reach. The better you can reach your target market, the more you can achieve the purpose of the content.

However, you get the advantage of reaching your target audience globally if you hire a professional voice talent for the translated script. You can tap into new audience share that you wouldn’t otherwise have reached if you did not use translation services to different languages.

2. Boost Your Sales

As a business or brand, you always strive to find ways to improve your ROI. Using voice-over translations enables you to achieve that because you can align your branding message with the target audience and their native language. At the same time, it helps you acquire more leads for your business so that you can capture their attention and interest in your products or services.

3. Tap Into a New Market

It is somewhat related to the first benefit listed here, which talks about expanding your target market reach. Now, you can target individuals who speak a different language than the language used in the original audio. You can carve a new path for your business so that you can expand or achieve global reach.

actor with headphones using a micHow Are Voice-Over Translations Done?

The process of voice-over translation involves several steps, each of which is crucial in ensuring that the final product meets the required quality standards, including:

Translating the Script

Script translation is an important step in the process of doing a voice-over. The translation is the heart and soul of this process, even though some people might focus on the actual voice-over. Without an accurate script translation, you won’t be able to enjoy the benefits of hiring a professional voice-over actor.

Translating scripts for voice-overs is a specialized field, despite the expansion of the translation industry over the years. Briefing the translators is very important to ensure you have a translated script that you can work with. Many translators are experienced in translating written language. Therefore, you must look for translators with experience translating videos for voice-over.

Understanding Context

When briefing the translators for the script, you should give them the source file and make them watch the video. Context is very important in translation, especially for a voice-over. It’s not just about preserving the meaning of what is being said. Context is key to accurately conveying the message.

Matching The Translated Script With Speaker

With voice-over, the translated script must match the pace of the speaker in the video. The translator must strike a balance between ensuring accurate translation and keeping it within the same pace as the speaker of the original audio and video.

To ensure the best results with the translated voice-over, involving the speaker in the recording session is important. If there are any issues with the script translation, they will be available to produce a more suitable alternative for the script.

Recording the Audio

After the translation, the script is recorded by a native speaker voice actor. It’s important to work with a voice talent who is also a native speaker, as there are nuances in the language that will be hard to deliver accurately if you don’t speak the language perfectly.

Replacing the Original Script

Once the voice-over recording is completed, the recorded voice-over will be placed over the original audio track. The replacement process will enable viewers to hear the translated script over the original audio, which eliminates the need for subtitles or captions in most cases.

person holding a tv scriptThe Bottom Line

The art of voice-over translations is a complex process that requires careful consideration of various factors, such as language, culture, tone, and context. A successful voice-over translation will effectively convey the message of the original content to a new audience, while also capturing the essence and nuances of the source material.

By paying attention to the details and working with skilled professionals, it is possible to create voice-over translations that are not only accurate but also engaging and impactful.

MLC offers professional multilingual voice-over translation services to help businesses expand their reach across different languages and cultures. Our team of experienced voiceover actors will deliver high-quality translations that accurately capture the meaning and tone of your original content. Whether you need voice-over translations for training videos, movie trailers, or other multimedia content, we can help you communicate effectively with your target audience. Contact us today to request a quote.

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