Voice dubbing

Voice dubbing

What is Voice Dubbing?

Voice dubbing, also known as voice replacement, is when a movie or program is being translated in a foreign language but instead of translation through written subtitles, the translation is done through an actual spoken track. Voice dubbing is significantly more time consuming and difficult than written subtitles, as on average it takes around one hour recording which respond to five minutes of narration (when UN- style is used) and even more for professional lip-sync dubbing. The audio, which is aimed at replacing the original sound, is performed by professional voice over actors who has to not only be fluent in the foreign language but also be able to deliver it with artistic rhythm, excellent timing in order to match the original audio as close as possible, and last but not least- to be able to carry out the intended feeling of the original into the translation.

Once the new audio is recorded, it then takes time to clean up the voice track and equalize audio levels, which is time consuming and requires excellent professionalism. It is highly advisable to hire a voice over recording studio to create a high quality content.

Different Types of Voice Dubbing

UN-style voice over: This type of dubbing is being done when someone is being interviewed with the assistance of an interpreter. An example of such is a news report where a sportsperson speaking a foreign language is being interviewed. The person starts to speak in his native language and few seconds later a voice over starts translating. By allowing the original language to be audible, the type of dubbing preserves the tone and authenticity of the character and the situation.

Lip-sync dubbing: This is widely spread technique where the original language has been replaced with the target language. You cannot hear the original audio and the new voice over is being so well lip-synchronized, that it is made to look as if the actor is originally speaking that language.

Looping: Looping is an expensive and time-consuming procedure which is usually being reserved for high-budget feature films. It requires Automatic Dialogue Replacement (ADR) equipment. It involves looping short phrases of narration at a time, as a machine assists in matching the time code for the original language with the new audio track in effort to have it be completely seamless and synchronized.

Lock-to-picture recording: This technique is similar to looping but does not require all the equipment which therefore makes it less expensive. A professional voice actor watches the video as he/she translates, in an attempt to follow and match both audio and video cues. In this way the voice actor can dive in and completely act out the scene, keeping the original rhythm, feeling and intonation.

Translation differences for voice over and dubbing

Translation techniques and approach differ depending on the type of program (on-camera/off-camera). UN-style dubbing, for example, requires direct translation and improvising. However, if the case requires lip-sync or looping, the translation might be time consuming as in order for the speech to be completely synchronized, it is required that syllable counts must be the same in both languages and words beginning with letters, requiring specific mouth movements (generally open vocals O, A, but also M, S, R) are matched as much as possible.

Article provided by Gloc Media

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