Voiceover and audiovisual is a powerful communication channel for businesses looking to attract customers and engage with employees.
It allows firms to speak directly to people on a more personal level and engage with them in ways not always possible through standard text-based communications. However, companies need to bear in mind their audience at all times, as different parts of the world have their own set of unique cultures and customs.
Whether it is for a commercial, marketing video or an on-hold message, firms have to strike the right tone with every message they create, or else they could find themselves alienating the very people they are hoping to attract.
The cornerstone of any successful multilingual voiceover project, businesses need to think about the geographical location of the artists and vendors they are going to use and consider the logistical challenges. Multi-language projects, with each language requiring the participation of in-country reviewers can cause major challenges in planning and project execution, so it’s often a good idea to work with a company that can provide all languages and post-production in-house. Pre-project planning should also include creating a brief covering recording style and pronunciation guidance, in addition to any specific voice modulation or post-production requirements.
The majority of businesses do not have specific experience in putting together scripts. Segmentation of paragraphs representing different scenes, time-coding to ensure accurate video synching, and audio file naming convention all need to be considered to ensure that the process goes off without a hitch. Localization providers like EQHO can either create the script, or provide guidance on what it takes to make a good script.
Reach a global audience
For businesses entertaining ideas of global expansion, being able to connect with different markets is essential. Scripts can be translated and voiced into over 65 languages by EQHO, while at the same time addressing internationalization issues such as possible text expansion, which occurs in virtually every language adapted from English. One tip is to develop video using pseudo German content, as most other languages will fit within the space occupied by German text. If German fits, it’s a safe bet other languages will too. By using an expert localization provider, companies not only can be sure that the most appropriate language will be used for the target audience, they can also be sure they are covered for all other non-linguistic aspects.
Choose the right voice artist and recording style
Whether the production is for an eLearning course, documentary narration or an infomercial, it’s important brands weigh up which type of recording will be best suited to their objectives. Each different talent has their set of competencies. While some talents will lend themselves well to narration, others are better suited to creative voiceover productions, so it is important that companies consider this when evaluating the most suitable voice artists for their project. Likewise, whether the recording should have a ‘live’ or ‘dead’ studio sound, this will depend on the purpose of the recording.
Pronunciation is key
It would be pretty embarrassing if a business’ name were to be mispronounced in their corporate video or employee induction course, not to mention adding delays and additional project costs to put it right. This is why pronunciation guides are so important, as they eliminate the chance of pronunciation issues. Company jargon and acronyms may be part of day-to-day language for company employees, but firms should never assume that people outside of this bubble will automatically understand. Pronunciation guides can be a mixture of written description and audio files and should always include any potentially ambiguous terms to cover all bases. If you aren’t sure, add it to the glossary! Numbers should also be considered as part of this process, as firms might have a preference over whether or not to say zero or O, for example.
EQHO provides a full suite of multimedia localization solutions, including translation, voiceover, subtitling and closed captions in over 65 languages. All projects are conducted in-house at our professional voice studios and multimedia lab. EQHO has voiced, dubbed and subtitled hundreds of videos for commercial, training, public and social awareness purposes. One such project involved providing translation and video dubbing for The Media Alliance for their ‘Redraw the Line’ campaign, promoting the issue of climate change in Southeast Asia. Their high-impact videos were voiceover dubbed by us into 4 languages; Thai, Vietnamese, Tagalog and Mandarin.
*Photo courtesy of Unsplash/Pexels.