Plenty has been said about the benefits of translating your content, on why you should communicate with your target audience on their own language and talk to them on their own terms.
Today we want to discuss going the extra mile: doing Voiceover for your content.
Voiceover is a better way of connecting with your audience. You can turn your existing audio-visual content into material for every audience by addressing them directly on their language.
Sounds simple enough, right? Well, voiceover has its own set of challenges and it is important to know how to face them in order to get your first project right, and avoid falling into the many pitfalls that can turn your first attempt into a nightmare.
We will now give you an overview of the key aspects of voiceover hoping that this information will help you with your future projects.
The script – Creation and Format
Creating the script properly is perhaps the most important step since any issue here will be dragged on to the translation, then to the recording, then to the video editing, all the way to the final product.
Sometimes the script is not available right away: maybe it was lost, or maybe it never existed. In these cases, the first step is to do a very careful transcription of the original audio and to get the transcription reviewed in detail before moving to the translation step.
It’s important to note that a script isn’t just a transcription of what has been said on the audio. A script must have a very specific format that, in broad terms, must contain the following:
- Time codes
- The speakers must be clearly identified
- A space for the original and translated texts
- And of course, it must identify clearly to which audio or video it corresponds.
Even if you already have a script, it is important to invest a bit of time and money to have it formatted as explained above. It will save you even more money and time in the long run since it will reduce the need of re-translations and re-recordings.
Translating scripts for voiceover
First of all, it is important that the translation team has access to the source videos for reference and context.
Second, the translation team needs to be made aware that the translation is for a voiceover, since it will affect the tone of the translation.
Last but perhaps more important, it is imperative to translate using sentences that have a similar length than the source sentences. The reason for this is that longer sentences take longer to record and then the audio will be out of sync with the original. Since the translations will usually be longer than the original text, the translation teams can use techniques like paraphrasing or reformulating sentences in order to produce translations of the right length, at the same time that the original meaning is maintained.
After the script is translated, we finally got to the recording stage and there are many aspects that need to be taken into account. Here is a (by no means exhaustive) list of key aspects:
- Maintain the same number of voices than the original, using different voice talents
- Make sure to keep the same gender for each voice
- The audio must have the same equalization than the original
- Please make sure to always maintain the same speed of speech and ask your voice talent to report any section that is too long and that requires them to change the speed on which they read the script
- If the script has terms that need to be kept in English (e.g., Names, Brands, etc.) please make sure to spell them correctly in English
- Time codes in the script need to be strictly respected, especially when it is necessary to synchronize the voices with what is being shown on screen, or with music or effects.
Audio Embedding and Synchronization
The final step is embedding the audio files to their respective videos.
In this case it is important to make sure that the audio matches with what is on screen. If any issues are found on this step, then a re-translation and/or re-recording will be necessary.
Another critical aspect of this process is the final video quality of the videos with Voiceover. Replacing the original audio with the translations is a process that can damage the video quality if not done properly. Make sure that this step is performed by video editing professionals.
We are ready for the challenge
Voiceover projects are different than regular translation projects, they have many small details and potential pitfalls you can fall into. It is important to work with a partner that knows how to handle this type of projects with all its peculiarities.
Would you like Voiceover for your videos? If your answer is “YES!” you have come to the right place. Contact Australis today and be amazed with the results.