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Updated: Jan 18, 2023

It's not always easy to add dubbing in a different language to a video in an original language. Although some languages are similar to each other in terms of lip syncing, some languages need to do something extra for dubbing. For example; If we don't consider the exceptions when dubbing an English video into French or Turkish, the timings will often be similar. Especially if a dubbing translation is made instead of a normal translation, it can be successful every second. For example, when creating a Russian dubbing of an English content, if we do not have a chance to discard the content that may be unnecessary from the text (a contract, declaration, etc. whose words or phrases cannot be changed), and if this is an animation video or a graphical video with only a voice-over, we can add additional frames and scenes to the video. If it only consists of lip sync images, we can ask the voice actor/actress to speed up as much as possible. But this should be the last resort as it will affect the natural performance of the artist.

In this article, I tell you; I am presenting information on the comparison of the durations resulting from the vocalization of the same text in different languages. In this type of localization work, if you do not have alternative methods, you will be able to decide more easily on a project basis whether dubbing translation is required, other than normal translation.

As a reference; I take the poem 'Do not go gentle into that good night' by Dylan Thomas. The English voice-over of this poem takes approximately 1 minute. You can think of it as plus or minus a few seconds. Voiceover of a text with 1 minute of English voiceover with a normal translation in other languages will give approximately the following results.

Norwegian: 1:05 French: 1:10 Turkish: 1:10 Dutch: 1:10 Hindi: 1:15 Chinese: 1:15 Russian: 1:20 Spanish: 1:20 Hindi: 1:20 Japanese: 1:25 Italian: 1:25 German: 1:30 Portuguese: 1:30 Arabic: 1:35

Voice actors can often reduce text time by up to 25%, as they push their performance the most. For example; Regardless of the language, the artist will be able to take a text that takes 2 minutes to voice to 1 minute and 30 seconds at the most. Moreover, it will greatly reduce its performance. Therefore, if you have a performance concern about your pr

oject, you can request your voice actor to reduce the vocalization time by a maximum of 10-15%. So, the same 2 minutes of text; I recommend pulling it up to 1:45 max. That you never reduce, of course, the most requested :)

Advertising voiceovers are the place where voice actors have the most difficulty in minimizing the time, as each additional second will bring additional cost to the brand.

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The book you'll be doing the voiceover is going to be sent to you beforehand. You will have a few days before you start recording. I highly recommend reading the book before signing up. It is very important not only to read, but also to learn the correct pronunciations that you are not sure about, to study how foreign words are pronounced in their original language, and to take notes. I use iPad and Apple Pencil, I take notes on PDF using different colors. In this way, I continue to contribute to my total performance without pausing during the recording, without losing my concentration or physical condition.

First of all, not using tobacco products is a very important advantage. In audiobook voiceovers, your voice is not accompanied by background music, as in commercial and promotional film voiceovers. This means that the audience is left alone with your voice. Due to the extra mucus secreted due to nicotine use; You will be responsible for the extra sounds that will occur in the mouth, nose, nasal and throat areas. You will also have piled up additional work on the sound engineer, who will process the recording in the next stage and make it ready for final use. Moreover, your breathing performance is also very important in this respect, especially in projects that take such long hours.

It is important to go to bed early the night before, to stop drinking alcohol 2-3 days before, to have at least 8 hours of sleep, and to start the recording in the morning, if possible, at least 2 hours after waking up.

Your tongue, palate and teeth cleaning is also very important before registration. After a standard healthy breakfast (donuts, not oily products. These may upset your stomach.) Be sure to brush your teeth before the recording session. You can even repeat this every time you enter the studio if possible. Consuming 1-2 bites of Golden or Granny style green apple after brushing your teeth before the session will also enable the sound engineer to do less editing in the later stages. Of course, as in every job, drinking plenty of water is a must for book voiceovers.

While the performance will vary from person to person, a voice actor's 2 hours of finished work in a workday would be optimal. Except in exceptional circumstances, this period should never exceed 3 hours. Considering the 2-hour recording, it is ideal for each session to take around 20 minutes, with a total of 8 sessions. (Reduced to 15 minutes after editing)

An optimum 15-minute break between sessions is ideal. If possible, it will be useful to breathe in the open air, move the body, and stand. Staying away from the recording environment and not talking or chatting in between brings gains in the long run. Your concentration will not be impaired. A lunch break is essential in the middle of the day. During the 3rd and 4th sessions, your stomach will start to growl, which may negatively affect the recording. Drinks such as dairy products, coffee, cola and soft drinks should not be consumed, and spicy and acidic foods that will strain the stomach should be avoided.  It is possible to record 2 days in a row, but if possible, do not force the 3rd day. You can give yourself 1 day off and then continue.

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