Video Translation: What is UN Style Voiceover?

The UN style is probably the least familiar type of video translation voiceover.


It’s certainly not as popular as off-screen narration or lip-sync dubbing (which is so common that poorly synced dubbing is a cliché. However, our customers are always happy with this option because it’s cost-effective, very Allows for accurate translation of scripts, and is suitable for many types of content such as documentaries, testimonials, interviews and speeches.

But seriously, what is it?

Before explaining this, it is best to look at a very brief model of the United Nations style:

In video translation, the English language voices of the on-screen speakers play for a while, and then after 1-2 seconds the foreign language voices start. The volume of the English language is reduced to about 20%, so the viewer clearly hears the foreign language, but still registers the original audio, especially the emotion and cadence.

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If a video also contains parts of off-screen narration (common in documentaries), UN-style recording usually replaces the audio entirely, as it is not connected to on-screen speakers.


Content authenticity

The UN format was developed specifically for documentaries and news footage because it maintains the authenticity, and integrity of the source material.

For example, if you have video footage of former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa giving a speech, you don’t want to replace his voice with an actor’s voice. It sounds like a funny way to translate a video, and besides, viewers want to hear his voice. With the UN style, you get enough of Villarraigosa’s voice to register his emotions, nuances and tones. Also an easily accessible audio translation, as follows in the video:

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Advertising videos additionally depend on realness, particularly client meetings or tributes. UN-Style is a good option for them as it maintains the integrity of the original footage, which is important for building brand trust and loyalty. Similarly, the UN style is perfect for corporate videos (especially CEO videos) as well as skills training or instructional films, infomercials and educational content.



In addition to the degree of authenticity it lends to projects, the United Nations model has three main advantages:


Lower cost of recording: Because sync is not as close as lip-syncing, sessions are less labor-intensive, and this is reflected in the overall cost.

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Less Talent Used: The most common casting strategy is to use 1 talent for all narration (if it’s in the video), 1 male talent for all male speakers, and 1 female for all female speakers. The talent of This means UN-style projects can usually be completed with 3 talents (most dubbing projects require 10-15), dramatically reducing session fees.

Translation accuracy: UN-style translations only need to be edited for timing (for text expansion, which we discussed in a previous blog), not lip-sync, to make them more accurate. . This is especially useful for videos that contain legal language, difficult terminology, or even skills training… basically, any content that requires accurate translation.

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Because UN-style video does not hide the translation process, some consider it a “faithful” voiceover. It doesn’t rely on any gimmicks, such as lip-sync dubbing, but instead actively tells the viewer that they’re hearing a translation, and even suggests that they check it against the original content. can. This transparency and integrity is key to its strength as a voiceover option.


Problems encountered with video translation

As the world becomes smaller and smaller due to technological advances such as the web, it becomes more and more obvious that the first step to understanding another person is to understand their language. As motion pictures consider a depiction of culture, and as they are becoming well known in lands that they were not created for, the capacity to make an interpretation of the film into an alternate language turns out to be increasingly significant. As media opens up to individuals all through the world, video interpretation turns out to be more significant.

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At its simplest, video translation allows a piece of media to be understood by any group for which it is translated. Most translators work from a film script to ensure the best possible translation. They will also watch the film to make sure their meanings are correct. This will allow them to rewrite the script in the language the video needs to be translated into, allowing for some cultural differences.

It is these cultural differences that can make a particular film interesting for translators. Translators are nervous about cultural issues, because they can make a simple translation more difficult. With some languages it gets more interesting, because sometimes there is no direct translation from one language to another.

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For example, insults are a large part of European languages, with many curses. It is virtually impossible to speak any European language without hitting some sort of curse. When translating it into Japanese, which has almost no native curses, these curses need to be translated with the same sentiment as the source material.

Translating from Japanese involves a number of cultural issues, as culture is best represented in its language. It even has verb tenses to show respect towards others of a higher social status, which makes it interesting to maintain from one language to another. Fortunately most languages have the same basic concepts or translation is almost impossible.

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Video translation allows movies and games to find a wider audience. As it happens, they allow one culture to gain a better understanding of another. They allow for a greater appreciation of different cultures, especially if the translator does some research into the culture and allows some insight into it. It can be a daunting task, especially to make sure the translation is accurate, but it’s an important one, especially in a world that’s getting smaller with every tweet and email.


Finding the best video translation services

Due to modern communication and travel, the world has become a global village. Globalizing a product is essential if you want to sell it to a worldwide audience. The main requirement is to focus on every segment of people, thus you need a good translation service. There are many types of these services – the more efficient type you choose to go with the better you will achieve your goal. Video is a very effective way to communicate with the market, and it will require the use of video translation services. They will help you create videos in different languages ​​to promote the product in many global markets.

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