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The term voice-over refers to a voice recording that is made for a video, film, radio, video games, or other presentations and superimposed on the video, or in the case of radio, on the background sound track. Often the role of the voice-over is to add explanatory information.
Voice-Over production is a rapidly growing industry. With the rise of YouTube and the increasing use of corporate videos to explain products and services to end-users, companies are creating videos and localizing them for each of their markets.
If you are thinking about localizing videos for your markets, you should consider a few points before proceeding.
Hire professional voice talent.
While it may seem that your best friend has an excellent voice, professional voice talents have years of experience creating just the right tone, using inflections appropriately, and speaking with clear diction. If you are in a specialized industry, you may also want to make sure that your voice talent has a background in that area so that he or she is familiar with any technical terms that come up and will sound more sincere. High quality agencies should be able to supply voice talents from a broad variety of industries.
Insist on native speakers.
Be sure to hire voice talents that are native speakers in the region and dialect of your market. If you are launching a new product in Chile, you need a Chilean Spanish speaker, not one from Spain. The accents are completely different and your local audience will know.
Engage professional translators to adapt your script from English to your destination language.
Professional translators know how to time code each scene of the original script so that when the original script is translated the new script matches those same time codes. When the voice talent makes the recording, each scene will contain the same dialogue and flow at the same rate. You don't want dead air at the end of a scene, and you don't want the talent to speak so fast that you cannot understand him or her.
Make sure your translation agency has a monitor in the recording booth.
Chances are that neither you nor the sound engineer speaks the foreign language that your voice talent is recording. You need to make sure that a native speaker of that language is in the booth with you, following along with the script while the recording is being made. If the voice talent makes an error, you can fix it immediately. This will save you time and money.
By following these tips, you'll be well on your way to creating a localized voice-over that will faithfully represent your brand and grab the attention of your audience in each of your local markets.
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