How to Get Started on Chinese Dubbing Services with Animation
Maria Krisette Capati, Author
08 February 2020
Thinking how to grow your Chinese audience?
Audiovisual content is one of the best ways to engage with your viewers who have a short attention span these days.
People lose focus after 8 seconds, shorter than the 9-second attention span of a goldfish. With millions of videos being watched, how can you – as a global brand – capture the hearts of viewers?
This is where Chinese dubbing services with animation can help you grow your business. With the increasing consumption of online videos, you can use them for brand awareness, increase sales, and stay connected with your customers.
China’s largest video streaming platform, iqiyi.com, is still expanding. As of November 2019, iQiyi, the Netflix-like in China, ranked first among its rivals, with a total of 187.61 million unique visitors, 30 million more than that of Alibaba’s Youku.
For content providers such as e-learning companies, creative videos with animation can help in spicing up your courses for your Chinese students. Gaming publishers can benefit from dubbing services, too, where Chinese animations and storylines embedded into the games make it more entertaining.
So, let’s take a look at Chinese dubbing services and why it’s vital in your localization strategies.
Are Chinese dubbing and Chinese voice-over the same?
We sometimes confused these two terms. But dubbing and voice-over services aren’t the same, and each one has a different purpose.
Voice-over involves the process of including voice broadcasts in a film, radio, or television. The texts from the source language are usually transcribed (if no script is provided from the source language) and then translated to Chinese.
Once they are transcribed and translated, a voice-over artist or narrator will narrate the texts. Voice-over is more focused on narration, where the artist applies a storytelling approach.
Dubbing, on the other hand, is more than just narration. The Chinese professional voice-over artists copy the expression, tone, and lip-sync of the artists/actors on-screen animation in Chinese. It’s lively, engaging, and the artists’ voice must adapt to the characters’ personalities weaved into the story or scenes.
Dubbing includes scripts and considerations on dialogues that needed to be translated first before putting everything in production.
One of the trickiest parts in the dubbing process is the choice of words that the translators will use to convey the message in Chinese, following the same time frame while maintaining consistency in both audio and visual experience.
No two languages share the same length of syllables and characters. When the script is translated, there might be shorter lines compared to the English version. That’s where the skills of voice artists and translators come in, ensuring that the original story remains without losing the core message.
The timing of the lip-sync is essential as the animation rolls out on screen.
When to use Chinese dubbing animation services?
Dubbing services are ideal for audiovisual content whose objective is information retention for viewers. Compared to the voice-over features mentioned above, dubbing focuses more on the emotions, accents, and tone of voice.
Dubbing services with animations are ideal for global companies that want to publish videos that evoke high-impact content, whether for educational purposes or marketing. The goal is to make sure that the dubbing services with animation look native or sound more natural to the local audience.
In short, if there’s an emphasis on emotions and characters on screen, dubbing services are highly recommended.
Professional voice artists will have to use engineering tools to produce high-quality deliverables. E-learning companies that use videos to engage with the younger audience can capitalize on the best practices of dubbing animations.
What are the tools used in Chinese dubbing services with animation?
Dubbing requires a long process that includes the translation of scripts and providing contexts in the dialogues of the characters. This will give voice actors an idea of how they can dub it in a way that is relevant to Chinese and adapting to the on-screen time frame of the content.
The tools used in the recording phase are the following:
- Voice Q – it’s a translation and cueing software that automates the dialogue replacement process for audio description, dubbing, voice-over, and subtitling. Think of it as a karaoke where the software displays the synchronized scrolling text on the screen. Voice actors and sound engineering can detect accurate cues to time-frames when dubbing.
For the post-production stage:
- VocAlign PRO – a software that helps in aligning the new dialogues to the soundbite
- WavePad, Adobe Audition, Audacity – tools used for speech alignment or corrects the pitch of the voice actors
How to choose the best Chinese dubbing service provider?
It could be daunting to find the right Chinese dubbing service provider, especially if you had some bad experience from previous vendors. There are also trade-offs in choosing a provider that offers low rates in dubbing.
The result? Poor quality of dubbing and frustrations on the project workflow.
Here’s a checklist of the right dubbing service provider
- Is the agency specializing in dubbing services? How will you know if they’re good at it? Ask for samples and recommendations of clients.
- Do they have an established workflow? Ask the communication channels they use for collaborations within their team and also external organizations such as your company’s in-house team.
- What are the tools they use in dubbing services?
- How do they source their voice actors in dubbing? Keep in mind that sourcing voice-over actors are different from dubbing projects. Voice-over actors’ job focuses on narration, which doesn’t involve much of the emotions, style, and characters’ personalities. Dubbing can also include casting kids’ talents, especially if the videos are for e-learning or entertainment purposes for the younger audience.
- Are they responsive to queries and concerns? How long does it take for the dubbing team to reply?
These questions and checklist will help you decide if you’re in the right fit to work with a team.
Dubbing is a laborious task with a team that includes translation, adaptation, casting of voice actors, recording, and mixing. You must source out the best native speakers and artists familiar with the best practices and never settle for low-cost projects that will result in disastrous deliverables.
If you’re serious in publishing your animated videos, whether it’s for entertainment, business, or e-learning, let us know how we can help you from its conception to completion.
Fill in the form below and we will get back to you with a quote on your project.
As we are constrained by resources, we will only serve those deserve our attention and time. We will only focus on clients who are already decided which projects to prioritize and understand the importance of translation and localization efforts.
Maria Krisette Capati
Krisette or "Sette" for short is a professional writer and copywriter who loves to cover disruptive technologies, digital trends in China, and a myriad of geeky and innovative topics. She's the Content Strategist at AZ-Loc and currently manages the English website and in-charge of the social media channels. She has been writing about China markets, business, and startups since 2012. She has gained her expertise as a China internet specialist and is fascinated by its business ethics, language, and culture. She's a major of Business Management and Entrepreneurship and an advocate of faith-based non-profit organizations. When she's not writing or dabbling with Sophie and the team, she satiates her wanderlust as a digital nomad.