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So You Need a Multilingual Voice Over?


Well you’ve come to the right place! We have worked on a range of multilingual voice overs and have experience with a variety of formats and languages, from French, to Chinese, to Inuktitut, and we will show you the simple steps to a successful voice over project.

Step 1: Planning

Questions and concerns to keep in mind when getting a voice over done:

  • Do you need a male or female voice? Multiple voices? Here are some samples of voice overs in different languages and voices.
  • Is the original audio clear? Are the voices speaking quickly, slowly, distinctly, mumbling?
  • If this is for a video, do you need the audio to be synched to the video timing? This is called audio post-production, and not all voice talents* offer the service. They may only record the audio in their language and leave the rest up to you, so make sure you know what is needed for your project!
  • Are there other sound effects in the video? If you need the audio synched post-production, you will also need to provide the audio files to properly recreate the video.
  • Is there any text on the screen that will need to be translated? Make sure you look for anything that needs translation and ask if the vendor is able to re-insert it into the video file.

*Voice or voice talent: A professional voice actor who records the audio for voice over projects. This may or may not be the same person who does the translation and audio post-production.

Step 2: Transcription

First things first: Do you have a script for your project already? If not, you will need to have one transcribed* from the existing audio file

*Transcribing: Making a written copy of spoken material.

There are various ways to transcribe the audio, including a free option provided by YouTube (warning: heavy editing will be needed!). However, the best option is to use a professional who will include time coding* and make sure no content is missing in your transcript.

*Time coding: Series of numbers beside segments of text in a transcript to identify which time the segments are located in the audio or video file. Please see the example below.

0:00 – 0:05Time coding ensures that the translation is inserted at the right time.
0:05 – 0:11This is especially important for video files to make sure the audio matches what is being shown on the screen.


Step 3: Translation

Now you are ready to have your script translated. You should always keep in mind that the target language may be longer, or shorter than the original, so you may need to allow for a bit of wiggle room with the audio time, video time, or the content. The translator will send back the script for approval before recording, but as you may not be familiar with the language, you will mainly be concerned with the length.



Get Started Today

All this information might seem like a lot to take in, but our project managers make it simple by walking you through the entire audio-video translation process step-by-step.  See how simple our project managers can make your voice over project.  In the end we will deliver you a finalized, high-quality voice over in the language of your target market.

Get started on your voice over project today! Fill out our free quote request form, or call us at 1-877-742-7942!


Related Services:

Audio-Video Translations of:

  • Documentaries
  • Corporate Presentation Soundtracks
  • Instructional Videos & Tutorials
  • Educational Videos

Azaëlle Elliott-Bouchard joined on as a project manager in 2014 after completing her BA at University of Ottawa in Translation with Specialization in French. She is responsible for inbound quotes and estimates as well as leading the management of ongoing projects and engaging with clients to ensure high quality customer service. She recently received her Localization Project Management Certification and has presented at the International Conference in Translation Studies: “Translation and Minority”.

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