You have a movie, cartoon, advert, radio spot or any project that needs Arabic voice over and you are not quite sure how to go about it? You ask around and the feedback around you just makes things more complicated because you realize that there are too many factors that come into play when choosing the proper Arabic voice over talent that would ensure a great final product? Well, we have compiled a couple of best practices that might help you take the proper decision.
1- Understanding the project type and the requirements:
That is a no brainer really, but choosing the proper Arabic voice over talent is still a very important part of the project. A good director can help you cast the right talent since he/she usually knows the strengths and weaknesses of the talents that they work with. For example, some talents are really good for cartoon based projects and some are better for drama and others are really good at recording ads. It is very important to understand the project requirements very well and trust the director’s recommendations for a successful project.
2- Identifying your target audience:
Every Arabic voice over job is supposed to speak out to a certain target audience; literally. Hence it is essential to be able to speak the target audience’s language. If you are talking to kids, you need to be able to speak their lingo, and if you are talking to business men you should be able to convey confidence etc… Consequently, adapting the translation to your target audience’s style is a very important aspect in delivering a powerful voice over project.
3- Choosing the right Arabic dialect… If any:
There are 300+ million Arabs in the Arab world who speak hundreds of different dialects. However, the good news is that modern standard Arabic is common for all. Hence, if you want to reach a vast majority of Arab speakers, you should always pick modern standard Arabic for your projects. Nevertheless, modern standard is not always the best option since it is very heavy and a bit classical and definitely is not the first choice for a comedy series for example. instead you can opt for a lighter local dialect such as Lebanese that is still understood by the majority of Arabs.
4- Preserve the essence of the original reference video track:
The majority of voice over projects that we work with at the studio usually have original English reference and M&E tracks. We find it extremely essential to preserve the essence of the original reference while working on the Arabic voice over track. Our job at the end of the day is to make sure that we are properly communicating the client’s message in as much authenticity as possible.
5- Provide clients with exceptional mixing and mastering services:
Last but not least, mixing and mastering are the glue that holds the final project together. When poorly performed, mixing and mastering can easily turn a great voice over project into a major flop. Hence, it is important to work with mixing and mastering engineers that have experience in Arabic voice over projects. You have to understand the the Arabic language is very hard sounding and can create a lot of sibilance, hence a talented sound engineer needs to be able to properly deal with the sibilance while making sure that the words are understandable and without affecting the overall audio track quality.