Voiceover Spotlight: Translation

As a voiceover artist, you have many avenues you can go down. Each month, I focus on a particular voiceover niche. This month, I would like to tell you about translation voiceover.

The term for voiceover work for translation is dubbing. The way it works is the voiceover artist will record the preferred language for the television show or film. The recording is then put into the show or film taking the place of the original language.

You may have noticed dubbing when watching a foreign film that was produced in a different country. While you watch the actors speaking, the voice does not match the actor’s mouth. Instead, you can hear your language, so you can understand what is going on.

Voiceover artists doing dubbing work are offset actors. They do not have to act out the parts, but they must change their voice as if they are acting out what is on the screen. This is why being a dubbing voiceover artist takes a lot of skill.

How to Get Into This Type of Voiceover Work

When trying to become a voiceover artist that dubs films and television shows, you must know another language fluently. While you can learn a language well through years of classes and immersion in the culture, those who are natural speakers seem to have the easiest time doing this type of work.

Once you are bilingual or even trilingual, you will need to start recording demos to show translation agencies. You can do this by taking a film or television show and dubbing the language you know. This is the best way to show that you are able to change your voice to match the actors on screen and can accurately translate the language. It is best to record a few different types of films/television shows such as drama, horror, romance, etc. This will show how versatile your voiceover skills are.

When your demos are complete, you can start to market yourself. Reach out to production companies identifying yourself as a voiceover artist specializing in dubbing.

You can also reach out to translation companies. Producers often turn to them to find voiceover artists for their projects. These producers usually have smaller projects compared to the production companies you would market yourself to, but it’s good to get some experience first to pad your resume.

Keep in mind that you do not need to stick to your local area or even the country when looking for work. You can apply for projects and market to companies all over the United States since all of the work can be done remotely. You can also reach out to production companies in the country that you know the language. For example, if you speak Spanish fluently, you can look for work in Spain, Central or South America because you can always use your English skills to dub their shows and films.

Finding work can be difficult, but keep working at it. The more you market, the higher the chances you’ll find a project. Once you have one project, it will give you the experience to increase your chances of getting something else. Good luck to you!