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Voiceover
Thread poster: andrea_vk
andrea_vk  Identity Verified
South Africa
Local time: 06:21
English to Spanish
+ ...
Feb 7, 2008

Hello

I have been approached by a new client to do a translation of a corporate video plus the voiceover. I cannot do the voiceover myself as they want a male voice.

I have never done a translation for a voiceover. I have done a subtitling of a video.
Is this something I can do. ALso they want to do the recording here in South AFrica, so there is no many options for the voice over. Can I get someone that has no experience doing voice over, or would you suggest I look for someone with experience?


Thank you
Andrea


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Agnieszka Hayward
Poland
Local time: 05:21
German to Polish
+ ...
Technical requirements for voiceover + professional actor to read it Feb 8, 2008

Hi Andrea,

I might not be THE expert you're looking for, but I've been doing voiceover translations for some time now, as voiceover still is the predominant way of presenting foreign films on Polish TV. (Note: I'm doing voiceover TRANSLATIONS, not the actual reading of the dialogue list )

I'm not sure my answer is going to be of any real help to you, as I detest most of the corporate blah blah I had to do in the past, and today I only do features and documentaries for TV, but nevertheles... Certain rules remain in force, whether for a corporate client or a normal one . If you care for a bit of advice, here it is:

(Please note I'm talking about POLISH requirements and circumstances, they are very likely to be different in your country, as standards (sic!) vary a lot from place to place)

1. Translation for voiceover requires a great deal of feel (and discipline!), as one person (voiceover reader) reads the whole lot, regardless of who's talking (Unless you follow the German standard. They would have a man reading male voices, a woman doing the female ones. If there are many people speaking, they'd have more voiceover readers. This might be due to the predominant role of synchronising [dubbing] in DE. I know it from a number of documentary films with DE voiceover. It's not [yet?] the voiceover standard here in Poland).

By default, in a film (especially documentary/ marketing one), there might be PTCs, OFFs, and narrator pieces, and (by Polish default) all to be read by one person. You have to allow for sufficient breaks between the units in the voiceover for the viewer not to lose track of who says what.

In other words, you have to be able to adjust the text length to the voiceover reader's reading speed and to to viewers' cognitive potential.

And you have to make sure the time codes match the actual audio. Otherwise the reader might be confused, especially if they don't know the source language!

2. All my voiceover experience comes from working with professional recording studios. They allways hire professional voices - be it actors, radio presenters or people with similar talent and/ or experience. If you know someone with a really good voice AND a gift for voiceover, maybe you could recommend them to your client. Just an idea.

3. Ask your client what they expect. Maybe this should come first, before all I've written above


Wishing you the best of luck with this project and beyond,
Agnieszka

[Edited at 2008-02-08 02:10]


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Juan Jacob  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 22:21
French to Spanish
+ ...
Must be top guy. Feb 8, 2008

Voiceover and dubbing are quite difficult.
You almost must be an actor.
I just come from a 3 hour voiceover recording... 50 pages, in French.
Believe me, that's hard... but veeeery well paid.


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dcanossa  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:21
Member (2008)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Not for a novice Feb 8, 2008

Voiceover requires a LOT of coordination and interpretation of what's being read. Not everyone can be an actor, and voiceover is basically "acting" with your voice. And to make things more difficult, you have to coordinate what you say with the original audio/video.

So I suggest you should find someone with experience in voice command. Maybe a broadcaster, a narrator, an actor or such. Not necessarily a professional, but at least someone with some voice command background.

Good Luck!


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yam2u  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:21
Member
English to Malay
+ ...
Someone with experience is always good Feb 14, 2008

Hi Andrea,

The assumption is, of course, that the experienced voice talent would know what to do without much instruction and this would translate in reduced recording time as there would be less likelihood of fumbles. The experienced voice talent is supposed to know how to take time to understand the script, to pace himself in order to avoid voice-fatigue, to match his reading to the base language in as far as his own language allows, etc etc.

However, an intelligent person with a good voice and reading ability may be able to fit the bill quite easily as the learning curve is not that high. Nonetheless if the client's budget can take it, it is always good to have a monitor present (perhaps yourself) when recording in a foreign language. The voice engineer knows pitch and speed and noise reduction and so on but s/he will have no idea if the VT misses parts of the texts or fails to mimic emphasizing certain words.

You mentioned that your client wants a male voice. Perhaps you should check what kind of a male voice - youngish, mature, distinguished, friendly, serious, chatty, low/high voice, etc - because a good voice match to the image in the video is always desirable.

I do quite a bit of VOs, as well as monitor and translate scripts. Anyone interested to work as voice-talents can always take voice lessons. Not all clients have the budget to hire actors and pay their union rates.


andrea_vk wrote:

Hello

I have been approached by a new client to do a translation of a corporate video plus the voiceover. I cannot do the voiceover myself as they want a male voice.

I have never done a translation for a voiceover. I have done a subtitling of a video.
Is this something I can do. ALso they want to do the recording here in South AFrica, so there is no many options for the voice over. Can I get someone that has no experience doing voice over, or would you suggest I look for someone with experience?


Thank you
Andrea


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GregSmith
Local time: 05:21
French to English
+ ...
Voiceovers in SA Apr 4, 2008

Hi Andrea,

I've just come across your post (I was Googling African Voiceovers...) & wanted to find out if you got organised for the voiceover job. Mainly because I'm looking for African voiceover artists myself, but also because voiceover recording, in 50+ languages, is my job, and I could help (have helped?) you out.

If you have any other questions about the job, feel free to ask.

Kevin


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