Making a localised video - changing the original dialogue track into another language - is called Dubbing. Dubbing is the preferred localisation method for audiences in the Spanish speaking world, parts of Africa and parts of Asia. Elsewhere sub-titling is equally acceptable.
The process takes time. Once your programmes script has been translated, timed to fit, and checked for technical accuracy it is ready to be re-voiced. This a complex process and requires us to select the appropriate voice talents for the job. We have a roster of many native speakers from a full range of countries. Selecting the right foreign voice is critical - get the wrong dialect, or character in a voice and it will undo all the value of a good translated script. Normally we would allocate an hour of studio time to record 20 minutes of translated script. We will 'rock and roll' the video - recording a voice in sections whilst playing back the video on screens to ensure timing and context. Our voice artists are good, and single takes is often the norm.
There is a choice of ways to mix the final programme, depending on the content. Whilst we can replace the voice audio with a new language, often, and particularly for documentary style programmes, we choose to retain the original voice in the background - at a low level.
The final process is to re-mix the soundtrack with the music scores, and ambient sounds - known as Music and Effects or M+E. Graphics for the on-screen text will then be created and edited into the programme, prior to checking and final mastering.
Case Study: This is a programme originally produced in German and then translated and dubbed in French and Spanish. This a typical corporate project requiring careful translation of a script with many business references. Selection of the right voice talent is important, as is a sensitive approach to the editing and remixing, so not to lose the emphasis conveyed in the original language. The final process was to re-master and provide a range of video files for use on company intranets.
Sample of the production process: This clip shows the process from original to localised versions. Produced for SAP as one of 3 videos originally recorded in English, we were commissioned to produce variants in Russian and German for all programmes.
Dubbing was the preferred option with lip-synched voices from our actors. We composed a new music soundtrack and added sound effects to compliment our new animated graphics in Russian and German.
Case Study: This is a documentary shot by Green Field TV in Nicaragua for Dunhill - originally produced in English and then translated and dubbed into Spanish and Russian and subtitled in Italian. We produced the sub-titled versions for specific markets. You can compare those here.