Voiceover Localization is More than Dubbing
What is Voiceover Localization? Isn’t it just “dubbing” into another language? Not quite: it’s dubbing with strategic marketing purpose in mind. Voiceover localization is the process of adapting voiceovers to make them more appealing and understandable to a target audience in a specific country or region. This involves translating the voiceover script into the target language, as well as carefully choosing voice actors with a suitable accent and tone for the audience.
Voiceover localization is important because it helps businesses and organizations reach a wider audience and build stronger relationships with their customers. When people hear content in their own language, they are more likely to engage with and be persuaded by it.
Strategic Targeting in the Production Process
If you are considering using specialists in voiceover localization, there are many factors to consider, such as:
- The target audience: Who are you trying to reach with your voiceover? What are their cultural values and preferences? Perhaps you want a neutral accented voiceover, which we will discuss in the third part of this series, “Neutral Accent English for Voiceover Localization”.
- The purpose of the voiceover: What do you want your voiceover to achieve? Do you want to inform, persuade, or entertain your audience? Or all of these?
- The tone of the voiceover: What is the overall tone and style of your voiceover? Do you want it to be formal, informal, or humorous?
- The accent of the voice actor: What accent do you want your voice actor to have? Do you want them to have a neutral accent, or do you want them to have an accent that is specific to the target region?
The Process of Voiceover Localization
Once you have considered these factors, you can begin the process of localizing your voiceovers. This involves:
- Translate the voiceover script into the target language by a qualified translator. It is important to make sure that the translation is accurate and culturally appropriate. You cannot trust AI translation on its own. However, a mix of work done by AI and human translators can work very well.
- Carefully select your voiceover actors to ensure that they have a suitable accent and tone for the audience. This is key for Voiceover Localization. Make sure that the voice actor has experience in recording voiceovers and working with remote recording technology with video such as Source-Connect or SessionLink Pro if needed.
- Record the voice over in a professional studio using high-quality equipment. Ideally, voice actors should be directed to deliver the voiceover in a clear and concise manner. However, an experienced voice actor should be able to also work without live direction if needed, especially if given precise timings for the sections. When working without direction, a voice actor should deliver two full takes of the whole program along with alternate takes of sections that are open to significantly different interpretations of tone.
- Professionally edit the voiceover to remove errors and assure high quality audio. Also, the voice may need to be synced to the original language program. Again, do this in postproduction with experienced editors. Some multi-lingual voice actors with their own professional studios have the experience and ability to edit and sync to other languages. Ask if they provide that service, which requires an extra fee for editing.
Achieving Your Marketing Results
Once the voiceover localization process is complete, you will have a high-quality voiceover that is tailored to your target audience. This voiceover will be suitable for a variety of different content types, such as marketing videos, e-learning courses (especially courses with gamification), and software tutorials.
Voiceover localization can be an important tool for your marketing strategy. By localizing your voiceovers, you can ensure that your content is widely accessible and appealing to a global audience. It’s more than just dubbing, and with the right team of specialists and voiceover actors, you can achieve it.