Understanding the Process of Audio Localization
April 04, 2013
Audio localization is a substantial element for most multimedia localization projects. This blog will list the steps in the process of audio localization and provide some tips and suggestions for audio localization. After reading this blog I hope you will find it is less daunting to start your multimedia localization projects.
- Preparing the script: When you prepare the content for recording, one of the most important things to do is to make sure the script is internationalized. Sometimes this is referred to as creating an international English version of the script that is more easily translated or localized. So you may decide to re-write the script to make it as generic as possible and eliminate any locale specific concepts, stories, jokes, etc…that are only applicable to the source locale.
- Selecting appropriate voice(s) for the project: If you already have the audio recorded in your source language, it usually means that you or someone has gone through the process to pick the gender and dynamic of the voice that is suitable for the video and topic. In that case, you can simply send the source audio sample to your localization vendors so that they can send you similar voices in the target languages. If you have internal language resources available, it is strongly suggested to let your native speakers review and approve the voices. If your budget is limited and the content is e-learning, presentation or training related with rather lengthy scripts, you may consider using "semi-professional" voice talent to save some cost. Some localization providers based in multi-cultural cities would have access to reach native speakers who have great annunciation and intonation even though they are not professional voice talents.
- Localizing the scripts: Once the source script
is ready for translation, be prepared to answer any
questions the linguists may have in order to achieve the best
translation quality. Please note that if you did not edit the
script or internationalize as we mentioned in Step 1, your
translation agency partner will do so as they provide the
localization (transcreation or copywriting) for the script. As
previously mentioned, script internationalization is crucial, and
copywriting is the other necessary step to ensure the translation
is done properly.
NOTE: One mechanical aspect or the audio localization process that I should mention here is that it is a common starting point to have your translation agency transcribe your final English audio script in order to get a written script as many times the initial written script does not reflect what was finally recorded.
- Review and approve the script: Before starting the recording process, please take the time and have your reviewer go through the translated script thoroughly. It will be more expensive and time consuming to go back and re-record because the review was not done carefully.
- Communicate specs for narration and engineering: Please communicate your expectations for the narration and engineering specifics. For the narration, let the vendor know the speed, emphasis, and dynamic. If you the text needs to be recorded in certain time frame, please communicate this at the very beginning of the project. Also specify engineering details, such as the wave range, hard limit, normalize, and the file format (.wav or .mp3 for example) for delivery.
- Audio recording: If the previous steps were well executed, the actual audio recording should go quickly and smoothly. Please note that the voice talents can only talk for so long within a day. If they talk longer than 3 hours, the quality of the voice will suffer. So plan your recording sessions in a way most efficient and comfortable for the voice talent.
- Quality assurance: This is the final step before the delivery. Once the audio files are edited according to the engineering specs, a native speaker or the voice talent should go through each file to make sure everything is recorded correctly and appropriate pauses are inserted wherever necessary.
There are more challenges in audio localization projects than regular translation projects. Please refer to our other GPI blogs regarding multimedia localization:
- The Localization Challenges of Self-Paced eLearning
- eLearning Localization: Multicultural or Multiple Cultures?
Additional resources on elearning Localization services
GPI, a premiere translation company, provides comprehensive localization and translation services for eLearning and training courses. Our Audio localization team will help you translate your eLearning courses and presentations in all languages.
Our services include:
You may gain further insights into translation and localization services and related topics by reviewing some previous blogs written by GPI:
- Localization challenges in translating eLearning content
- 10 Tips for Website Localization
- Tools to Reduce Language Translation Services Costs
Currently, there are no comments. Be the first to post one!
Waleed Eseily - Digital Design Specialist
Waleed is a native Arabic speaker born in Menofeya (the northern part of the Nile Delta), Egypt. He has over 10 years’ experience in multilingual design, desktop publishing and localization engineering. Over the years he has worked for localization and design companies Verso and Future-Group working in the documentation desktop publishing and design departments. He also has comprehensive training and experience in many localization and CAT tools. He holds an array of professional certifications including CIW’s Certified Internet Webmaster and Programmer, IBM Web Programmer and Macromedia Designer and extensive application experience with the Adobe Creative Suite and Microsoft products. He is a graduate from Menoufia University with a B.A in English Language and Literature. His hobbies include gardening, swimming and travelling.