What Should You Look For When Hiring Voice Over Talent Agencies in China?
In Mainland China, for example, most people speak in Mandarin. In Hong Kong and Macau, they talk in Cantonese. Some parts in southern China like Guangdong and Guanxi provinces also speak Cantonese. There are also locals in these areas that are “bilingual” who speak both dialects.
We came up with a list of qualifications to help you search the right voice over talent agencies. Most of the agencies have a team or pool of artists who are native speakers. But take note that knowledge of the language isn’t enough. Talent, creativity, and experience play roles when choosing the best for your project.
#1 Clarity of Voice
Never compromise the clarity of voice. It may take years of practice and experience to be comfortable at the microphone. Clarity and flexibility should be present during the recording or dubbing sessions. It’s crucial that the message they convey is clear to your audience. Thus, you should work with artists who speak fluent, standard Mandarin. Some natives speak Mandarin with slight nuisances on pronunciation and diction.
#2 Personality and Style Matches the Brand’s Voice and Identity
It’s easy to read the script, and sometimes it can sound unnatural or lifeless. You can detect that even when dubbing or recording. So, better work with artists that can bring life to your video or audio message. They should add a personality and style that matches your brand’s voice. If the video is about a luxury getaway promoting a beautiful island overseas, for example. The voice-over talents must speak with such passion, energy, and creativity. It should match what the video shows if it’s a dubbing project.
#3 Flexible and Open for Feedback
Work with voice over talent agencies that have a flexible team. They must be both skilled in delivering clear and crisp recordings and teachable. They must be open to feedback and improvement. Thus, you must ask for a trial voice-over or test to judge the artists’ ability to deliver what you desire for the video. Before you proceed in recording the whole script, test a few lines and paragraphs. It will also give you the opportunity to choose or change the artists if you think otherwise.
#4 Appropriate Pacing
Pacing is essential when working on voice over projects. The timing of the audio and video should match what the original source is saying. The narrator who can pronounce well but cannot speak in proper pacing may mess up the rhythm and tempo during recording. You can also have a chance to discover this by listening to the previous samples they sent over or past projects they handled.
#5 Natural Articulation of the Target Language
Can the voice over talents articulate the target audience language? You see, even Mandarin and Cantonese dialects have differences when they pronounce the words and phrases. Certain natural articulateness will only be produced by someone who’s really a native and speaks standard Mandarin or standard Cantonese. A natural articulator won’t have a hard time bringing the script to life and deliver the lines fascinatingly and uniquely.
Clarity and creative delivery of the voice overs help in catching the attention of your audience. And it will be even more helpful if you translate the script from English to Chinese so that the there can be captioning and subtitling work included as well for your Chinese promotional video.