Why Professional Translation Services Help Build Your Business’s Reputation with Voice Talent Selection
Voice-over and dubbing have long been a part of multi-lingual audio, video, and multimedia content. Inserting voice tracks into media allows the viewer to absorb the content without putting in the effort of reading subtitles. Voice-over also allows you to use a voice actor to deliver dialog and narration in a manner that fits the emotion and personality of your brand and content.
While voice-over and dubbing have been around for many years, an astonishing amount of voice-over is poorly done. Many organizations do not understand the importance of connecting with their audience and do not put effort into finding an appropriate voice actor. The truth is that finding the right voice actor will make your content more memorable, relatable, and engaging.
But how do you find the right voice actor, especially when you don’t understand the language? Here is a quick guide on what to look for when finding the right voice actor for your brand or content.
Voice Actor Gender, Age, and Tone
The most basic division in voice actors is based on gender. Gender norms are different across the world, so you should choose voice actors in a manner that conforms to cultural standards. Some associations are relatively consistent, such as cosmetics being feminine and sports cars being masculine. If you understand your target audience, you should be able to choose the gender of your voice actor without much difficulty.
Beyond gender, the next most obvious division is age. Are you marketing to youth? Parents? Senior citizens? People are more likely to connect with a voice they recognize as part of the same group as themselves. Some voice actors are specialists at sounding older or younger than they are, which is particularly useful when voicing children. Working with child actors can be challenging, so adults often read their parts.
Once the correct gender and age are identified, you should next consider the tone of your content. Everyone can feel excited, serious, or romantic, but some actors are better at communicating these emotions than others. Make sure you cover the entire emotional range for each voice you need – one character may go from angry to calm to happy over the course of a 30-second advertisement. If any of those emotions fall outside the range of your talent, it may compromise the entire performance.
Fortunately, the tone of someone’s voice is surprisingly universal. “Masculine and serious,” “caring and motherly,” and “young and playful” are recognizable across languages. If the actor sounds right for your brand, they are probably a good fit even if you can’t understand what they are saying. When looking for a more nuanced mood, it is worthwhile to discuss your needs with a professional agency to help find the right talent for your content.
Regional Accents in Voice Acting
If you are reading this, you are probably fluent in English, and if you are fluent in English, you know that not all native English speakers are the same. British accents are considered refined and educated, while accents from the Southern US are down-to-earth or rugged. Using a British voice actor to narrate a commercial for a Southern-style fried chicken restaurant would be a poor fit.
While this is obvious when thinking about our own language, we sometimes forget that foreign languages also have regional accents or dialects. The Portuguese spoken in Portugal is noticeably different from the Portuguese spoken in Brazil. German spoken in Germany is substantially different from the German spoken in Switzerland – even though they are next door! Getting the accent right will let your audience know you understand them and help build relationships.
Regional accents are very hard to appreciate as an outsider, which is why professional help is essential. Work with an experienced translation service, and discuss what population you are catering to. A professional translation service will help you find voice actors who match not only the language but the local accent or dialect of the people you are targeting.
The Right Voice-Over Recording Studio
Choosing the right voice actor is very important, but it is just as critical that they have an excellent studio to work with. It doesn’t matter how talented your voice talent is if the recording equipment is inadequate, the sound mixing is poorly done, or the synchronization is off. People are surprisingly sensitive to sound problems, and it can often be impossible to fix issues with audio if the initial recording is bad.
This is why Ding Tech has its own professional studios to record. Great studios mean our quality is consistent and smooth. Working with agencies that do not promise professional recording is risky, as you have no guarantee of the quality of the final content.
Finding the Right Voice Actor with a Professional Localization Service
Now that you understand the importance of the right voice actor, you are ready to start the hard part: finding a voice actor. Even if you know what you want, searching for the perfect performer on your own can be a lot of work. It is critical to work with a company with experience in the field.
Ding Tech has over 13 years of voice-over and translation experience. We have created audio, video, and multimedia content for over 20K clients. We pride ourselves in finding brands big and small to find their voice in international markets. Register for a free consultation to discuss your voice-over project.