The World of the Voice-Over




"My aim in this “talk” is to try to help “traditional” translators become translators of the spoken word as a first stage and then ultimately become “voice-overs” themselves. I will even talk them through building their home recording studio. The spoken word covers a number of production types. The most common one is the “voice-over”, and as our society evolves from a system of communication on paper to one based on oral communication there are more and more opportunities for translators to work on this type of translation. For example, all sorts of surveys that used to require the ticking of boxes on paper questionnaires are now conducted over the phone, with a computer at the other end recording the answers. There is also an enormous amount of material produced on CD, CD-ROM or DVD and of course on the Internet, to train people. In many cases they are multilingual productions and therefore require the work of translators at one stage or another.  I cover even more specialised translations as well, for example when actors appearing on the screen need to be synched.


Another area of interest is the subtitling of films. Subtitling is more common in certain languages than others. This is a type of translation that is written, but it is also subject to length constraints which are not too dissimilar to those imposed when translating “voice-overs”.


I will also describe what “voice-overs” do and how translators can become voice artists as well. I will try to suggest criteria by which translators and actors can assess their potential and then describe the training that they will need to go through to be able to read professionally.


I will examine what IT can do to help us in our daily work as translators and “voices”. There is a chapter on marketing our services, including making a demo and the all important subject of fees. I will also touch on teambuilding, which might surprise some freelance people, such as translators, used to working on their own.


I will end with a chapter on the work of Frederick Matthias Alexander, the Australian actor who lost his voice and created a technique widely used today to help not only performers, but the public at large to lead a better life through respect for their bodies."