5 Tips for Managing Your Foreign Voice-over Project

Managing your first voice-over and subtitling project may seem daunting, but a good language services provider will  assist you through the entire process, from reviewing the script to the final recording, ensuring quality while keeping your project on time and on budget.

CETRA website equipment

1.)    Have the translation done by a professional company or translator.

For optimal cost efficiency, the text or script of the document must be translated by a professional. If the translation is of poor quality, the voice-talent may not be able to use the script, and the original file would then need to be re-translated by a professional, increasing your project’s costs and turnaround time.


2.)    Decide on the requested format for the deliverable.

If you have a video or audio file that requires voice-overs, you will want to think about how the final product should appear. Would you like to have subtitles as well? In addition, would you like to have the deliverables lip-synched ? You may want to consider the option to keep the English source completely muted or have it in the background (UN-style). Keep in mind that when translated from English, foreign language audio often expands in length. Your video might have to be adjusted accordingly.


3.)    Determine audio length.

Most LSPs price voice-overs by the amount of time (in hours) estimated that it will take the interpreter or voice-talent to complete the project, in addition to editing, studio, and project management time. Before even scheduling the recording, it is advisable to carefully consider that all of the essential elements are in the script, as post-production edits can be costly and can compromise your budget and deadline.


4.)    Optimize for the target audience.

The target audience is important to the production of the video: is it a highly technical audience or more general? Would you like the voice-talent to be male or female,  youthful or mature? What would you like the tone of the video to be? Is it intended for broadcast or internal use only? The overall effect on the target audience, the production approach and the budget are all strongly influenced by these factors.


5.)    Provide reference materials.

In order for the voice talent to accurately prepare, it is necessary to provide the production team with  the source material. In addition, reference documents and information about your company is useful for consistency in terminology, tone, and message. Sometimes the end client has already translated something on the same topic, or has other training videos or e-learning materials that could help the language services provider envision the end product.