The Art of Voice-Over Translation

While some of the magic of post-production may appear easy to achieve to the average viewer, there is actually a great deal of precision and work that go into creating a high-quality, seamless and professional final product. This is especially true when it comes to localizing audio.

What Is Voice-Over Translation?

Voice-over translation is a technique in which actors’ voices are recorded over the original audio track. The original audio track can then be heard slightly delayed, in the background. This method of translation is most often used in documentaries and news reports to translate words of foreign-language interviewees or to explain information. In many countries, it is also commonly used to translate feature films.

Voice-overs are not to be confused with “dubbing” which most commonly refers to the replacement of the voices of the actors shown on the screen, with those of different performers speaking another language. With dubbing, the voices need to match the characters on the screen. With voice-overs, the new voices stand apart from the original dialogue.

The Voice-Over Process

The voice-over process requires a team of talented production specialists. Writers, producers, voice talent, audio engineers and mixers may all be involved.

Once the script is finalized, it is localized, which means the language is adapted to the specific target market. It is then taken into an audio studio where it is read/acted by a voice artist. A typical voice-over translation is usually done by a single male or female voice artist. The new audio is then edited into the original film or video.

The process of audio post-production is quite simply, an art form. Completed poorly, voiced-over audio can distract viewers from the original production. However, produced with expertise, the end result will appear seamless and flawless.

Our Top 3 Tips For Achieving a Flawless Voice-Over

It’s important to make sure your project’s translated audio has local appeal in your target language markets. Here are our top tips for how to achieve this:

1. Select a post-production team with extensive experience in voice over translation in numerous languages as well as local dialects.
2. Be sure the selected voice artists match your specific targeted needs. Whether the voices are male, female, young, old, etc., they need to be an ideal fit for your production.
3. Have a local linguist review the final product to verify quality assurance. They should triple-check to assure that the translations were all correct.

CMI is a premier provider of localization services nationwide with a special focus on international content, including dubbing, and subtitling.  We also provide closed captioning.   Drop us a line if you’d like to hear more about our services.

Would you like to learn more about the difference between voice-over and dubbing?  See our FREE guide below.

FREE Download:  What is the Difference Between Voice-Over and Dubbing?