It’s more than just pronunciation…
Voiceovers are more than just accurate pronunciation and enunciation; they’re about conveying the essence of a message, capturing the cultural nuances, and resonating with the intended audience. This is where multilingual voiceover artists shine. Beyond being linguistically adept, they are cultural chameleons, adapting to the context of the content they’re presenting. Their understanding of different cultures, garnered from living in various countries, allows them to embody the authenticity required to bridge gaps that mere translation can’t.
One of the distinctive advantages of employing multilingual voiceover artists is their ability to interact directly with the client during recording sessions. While interpreters can certainly facilitate communication, the direct rapport between the artist and director accelerates the creative process. The artist can grasp the director’s vision more precisely, ask questions on the spot, and fine-tune their delivery based on immediate feedback. This level of engagement leads to a more authentic and resonant final product.
The irreplicable human touch…
It’s undeniable that technology, including AI, has revolutionised numerous industries, and voiceover is no exception. However, the human touch remains irreplaceable. The warmth, empathy, and cultural understanding that a multilingual voiceover artist brings are elements that resonate with audiences on a deeper level. The advice for aspiring artists is clear: nurture your linguistic talents and cultivate an awareness of diverse cultures. Embrace your uniqueness, as it’s a shield against the automation tide, allowing you to craft experiences that AI can’t replicate.
Read: Human Voice Vs. AI - Can Ai really compete?
As part of our spotlight blog series, we asked Cromerty about here experience as a British multilingual voiceover artist. Here she delves into her journey and explores how her proficiency in multiple languages has propelled her career in the voiceover industry. She writes about how not only how her linguistic skills have elevated her abilities as a voiceover artist but also how they have facilitated stronger client relationships and more effective communication.
-Listen to Cromerty’s Demos HERE
The Future Sounds Multilingual.
As AI is increasingly putting barricades in front of many voice over artists, it’s more important than ever to be flexible and show a willingness to adapt.
One of the ways I have committed to doing this, is by exploiting my ability of being able to speak several languages.
Whilst at school, I studied French, German and Spanish to GCSE, and Latin just for the fun of it. I took French and German to A-Level, which, at that time, were a little limiting as it was essentially restricted to literature, rather than about culture or the nuances of the language itself.
Hurrah, I thought (in English), I will never have to speak another language again.
It was only when I took my IT degree that I was able to work in Germany for a year, whereby I really experienced being immersed in a new culture and had the chance to learn German fluently.
My very favourite moment was speaking to a Swiss German on a train to then West Berlin, and being asked “Where do you come from in Germany”, and, when I said I was English, was told “You should lose that accent. You sound very common”. I was so very, VERY proud.
Shortly after my degree, I relocated to Luxembourg, learning both Luxembourgish and Belgian French, and studying Chinese and Finnish, after which we moved to Switzerland where I then learned how to speak Genevois (interestingly, it’s been obvious that all countries can be snobby about accents. The Vaud area for instance are quite convinced they speak a purer form of French than the French themselves).
I had to give up Chinese as I am completely tone deaf (the vocal coach for Cats tried to teach me singing, and said I was a Lost Cause), but, grammatically, it was far easier than Finnish (which is similar to Latin, with more cases than a Town Square Market Place on a Thursday afternoon).
After this, we moved to Minnesota, where I took up Spanish, and learnt all the South Americans variations for the word “pop-corn”.
Finally, with the move to the UK, and the arrival of the Pandemic, I decided to learn Welsh – something I’d always wanted to do, as my Nan was born and bred in Cardiff.
This time, the sheer amount of foreign language resources have been amazing. The first two years of my Welsh course were completely free (we’re still the same group of people meeting once a week on Teams, four years later), and even now the university is still providing the lessons on-line.
There is an abundance of literature in Welsh, BBC news, radio and TV, and even some movies on Netflix have Welsh sub-titles, so it’s easier now, than when I was at school, to really become proficient in a language.
Being able to speak several languages has really helped me move forward in my voice over career. I still have a slight English accent, of course, but I also have LOADS of enthusiasm.
I’ve done TV adverts in German and French, a video game in German, radio adverts in Spanish and loads of multi-lingual IVRs (which are particularly useful for global organizations, who would like to use the same voice across the entire phone system), and even done games using Klingon, High Valyrian and Greek (I can read the alphabet, but only know how to say “Σ’αγαπώ. Έχεις μπανάνα;”.
Not only that, being able to chat with directors directly in recording sessions (sometimes an interpreter is supplied) helps so much in getting things moving. After all, it’s not just about saying the words correctly; it’s about understanding the cultural context and subtleties that accompany them.
A successful multilingual voiceover artist doesn’t merely read scripts – they become conduits of culture, and I think that this understanding of different cultures, from having lived in so many countries, helps both to communicate well, and provide the right sort of tone and read to a script.
My advice to anyone right now is to polish off those linguistic skills, and get out there. Use whatever abilities you have and make yourself stand out. AI is not going to go away, but we can beat it off with a tightly rolled up copy of Paris Match
The role of multilingual voiceover artists extends far beyond reading lines in different languages. Our talented multilingual voiceover artists are not just translators, are storytellers who bridge cultures, capture nuances, and create emotional connections. Their ability to connect and have direct interaction with clients ensures greater understanding of creative visions, and their authenticity thrives, despite the technologically driven landscape.
So, if you’re looking to communicate across linguistic divides, then considering hiring one of our talented multilingual voiceover artist to make the connection as smooth as possible.
Plus, many of of our multilingual voices have professional home studio set ups, so you can direct them as a record from anywhere in the world – logistics need never be an issue!