In today’s digital age, videos are a major marketing tool, as they’re accessible from any device and allow a company to get more creative than usual with their content. Videos aren’t just for marketing purposes — they are often an integral part of a company’s platform, like using instructional videos for employee training, product demonstrations, and interactive eLearning. Voice Over translation is a beneficial component to consider when targeting native speakers of languages other than English.
Building Confidence with Voice Over Translation
When you globalize your content, you already know how important it is to translate and localize your work so that a customer, an employee in a foreign country, or a multilingual speaker feels included. It’s not enough to simply translate the words into another language; you have to know your target audience’s culture and adapt your content to fit that. The same has to be done with any eLearning instructional courses and videos, which is why voice over translation is a must for global growth inside your company, as well as outside.
Imagine that you are a newly-hired employee with very little experience in speaking English. Your new employer has just handed you new employee orientation materials, eLearning apps, and employee training videos to prepare you for your job, but they are all in English. Despite knowing some of the language, you can’t comprehend all of the material, and you end up missing a lot of important information, especially if some of the content is spoken in slang or less-formal English.
Frustrating, right? Not just for an employee, but for their employers, too. However, with a voice over translation service, you can adapt all of your eLearning and training materials into understandable content. Voice over translation means using a native speaker to customize your marketing videos and eLearning materials into a language that is native to those utilizing them. This will not only build confidence in your company, but it will assist the learner to grasp the content more rapidly.
Why a Voice Over Translation Service is Necessary
In short, voice over translation makes your localized eLearning content and videos look and sound professional. When you’re only using one language for all of your training materials, an employee may not feel as comfortable with the company and may have difficulties understanding their duties. You also have to consider that, like written content, languages can be very different when spoken. You want your employees and customers to be fully immersed in both your written and spoken content, and while you may speak several languages and feel you can DIY your voice over translation, the truth is, a native speaker can make your content much more effective and professional.
Why Voice Over Translation Surpasses Other Translation Services
It may sound easier (no pun intended) to simply use subtitles to adapt your videos into a foreign language, but this can be problematic, especially if you’re translating eLearning materials. By using voice over translation, you’re gaining confidence in your employee or client as they are able to fully immerse themselves into the material without keeping up with words on-screen. With training materials especially, often the content moves quickly and an employee may have difficulty catching all of the information. If your video also has more than one speaker, subtitles make it increasingly difficult to follow who is speaking, and since many videos are viewed on a mobile device, subtitles can be hard to read. Another thing to consider? many written languages will be longer and more expansive than English, which could lead to broken text in several frames of your video, rather than a neat, fluid subtitle. With voice over translation, your customers and employees can relax and hear everything they need to know in their native language, giving them a level of comfort that subtitles simply can’t compete with. Many languages fall into this category, especially for French audio translation and Spanish audio translation.
Types of Voice Over Translation
There are a few different options when you’re looking to provide your materials with a voice over translation service. When you’re trying to choose, you simply need to look at the format of your video, as well as your target audience. Do they need to hear the original language as well as their native language? Do you want the video to look as if it was originally filmed in your audience’s native language? Your needs can be taken care of with one of these four voice over translation techniques.
- Voice replacement. This technique is exactly what it sounds like and what many clients think of when looking at voice over translation. By muting the original speakers in your video, the new language speakers replace the original words with their native language. The difficulty in this technique is trying to match the original voices, such as emphasizing certain points.
- UN-style voice over. This is a popular choice. Often, many videos and eLearning materials need the original speaker’s voice to be heard in addition to the audience’s native language. With this type of voice over translation, the original speaker’s voice is not replaced, but simply spoken over. The audience can hear the original voice for just a few seconds before the new voice over translation is heard, surpassing the volume of the original speaker. This voice over translation technique is especially helpful when you want your employees or customers to relate to the original voice while still being immersed in their native language.
- Off-screen voice over. This is common with eLearning courses where voice over translation is heard off screen and the user can follow on-screen text and animations. You’ll want to employ this technique when it is not a video being shown. It’s not hard for this type of voice over translation to be produced, often requiring only one actor, and the new language can often be synced to the original text.
- LipSynching/Dubbing. This voice over translation option is probably most recognizable to you as it’s the service utilized in foreign films. If you want your video to look as though it was originally filmed in the audience’s native language, dubbing is the voice over translation you want. While it does provide your video with a level of professionalism that can’t be beat, allowing you to stand out above your competitors, it’s also an incredibly difficult type of voice over translation. It requires not only blending the new voice with all of the other audio in the video, but it also means hiring a voice over translation talent that can match the language to the lips of the original speaker to make it fluid.
- Actor Replacement. While much less common, organizations can opt to re-shoot and film a video with a new native speaking actor to replace the English speaker on-screen. Typically this is done in a green screen type environment. Certainly, this is the most costly option- however if a budget allows, it also may arguably be the most effective solution.
The Voice Over Translation Process
As important as voice over translation is for your multimedia materials, it’s not always a simple process. Like all other materials being translated into another language, a voice over translation requires a lot of detail and skill to make your content as professional and competent as possible. This is not a technique you want to rush through or cut corners on.
The first step in voice over translation is transcribing your audio content. Obviously, there’s no way to translate the content without knowing the script, right? Once it’s been transcribed, it’s translated into the language you’re looking for. Here is where things can get a bit complicated. For example, if you want your content to be translated for Chinese, that’s fine. But you’ll have to know your target audience for the voice over translation. Do you need Mandarin or Cantonese? This is something to think about before you start the voice over translation process, as it also affects which translators are chosen for your project.
After the proof-read and edited script has been translated to as close to the original length as possible, you have the option to review it before choosing your voice over translation talent. At Interpro, we pride ourselves on our extensive list of professional native-speaking talent. We can offer you samples based on your gender and style needs, as well as language. If you’re unsure of the type of voice over translation talent you need, we also have the experience to pick an appropriate speaker for your project. But no matter how the talent is chosen, you have the final word on which speaker works best for you and your multimedia localization.
From there, the new voice over translation is recorded in the technique you’ve chosen, and the video is edited. The video is formatted and synced so that it all flows well and looks and sounds professional. All of your files are received in the language you requested, and you can request changes before giving it your final stamp of approval.
Final thoughts on voice over translation
No matter what type of material you’re translating or what you’re looking for when you’re globalizing the content, whether it’s for customers or employees, voice over translation services are worth it. Localization of your material is not complete if the audio doesn’t match a targeted audience, especially without a native speaker. Let Interpro take your voice over translation project to the next level, providing you with professional, efficient multimedia.