라티스글로벌 [Game Localization] Dubbing in Game Localization - 라티스글로벌커뮤니케이션스

Disclaimer: The articles featured on this blog have been translated from Korean and are based on Korean gaming industry standards

Greetings, we are Latis Global Communications, a company dedicated in localizing games. We provide high quality game services to game developers all over the world. We also provide informative content to help developers successfully expand their market abroad.

Today, we’re going to talk about voice recording, aka dubbing. What is dubbing and what challenges are there when dubbing games?

# What is dubbing?

The dictionary definition of dubbing is the act or process of furnishing a film or tape with a new sound track or adding music, sound effects, etc., to an existing one (source: dictionary.com).

However, dubbing is not limited to films and TV programs. Game localization often features dubbing of in-game dialogue.

It can be seen as translating in-game voice text. Games have many sound components, including character dialogue, narration, and other forms of speech. These must be translated into the target language as well. The most common solution is adding subtitles, but this can be distracting. Dubbing can help improve immersion.

However, many developers consider dubbing optional, not mandatory.

The reason for this is because dubbing requires experts. It requires recording specialists, special equipment, and voice actors that speak the target language. It also needs to go through a process where the visual and audio are synced.

Dubbing is a demanding process that requires a lot of resources, and is usually considered when a considerable revenue is expected from the market. A fully localized game, with its text translated and its audio dubbed and subtitled in the target language, provides customers with fuller experiences.

The problem however, is that dubbing can backfire. Poorly executed dubbing with below average voice acting does more harm than good to the game.

The problem however, is that dubbing can backfire. Poorly executed dubbing with below average voice acting does more harm than good to the game.

That being said, it’s very hard to find capable voice actors who speak the target language and can capture the essence of the character.

Voice actors must be native speakers or at least bilingual. Even the slightest pronunciation problem, or an unfamiliar accent can be detected by gamers.

 Sid Meier’s Civilization V is an example of a poor voice acting. The game features King Sejong, one of the greatest historical figures in Korea. However, the pronunciation and voice acting of the character was so bad that Korean fans were shocked. (https://youtu.be/J3NcTYI058U)

Voice actors for games must have language skills and acting skills. There are two main requirements when hiring a voice actor.

 

  • One, it is important to hire a voice actor who has a voice that matches the character.

  • Two, that voice actor must have proper acting skills.

If the first requirement is not met, this leads to miscasting; meaning the voice does not match the character. Imagine a pubescent character being voiced by an actor with a deep resonating voice. Not only will it not match the character but no amount of acting skill will make it seem natural.

And if the second requirement is not met, you will end up with an actor who lacks acting skills. You don’t want to hear a flat and calm voice when the character is yelling something out of desperation.

It takes a lot to successfully localize a game. In our next article, we will talk about successful cases of game dubbing.

# About Latis Global Communications

Latis Global Communications is a game localization company who offers quality and professional localization services. We provide localization, voice recording, and global CS services so that you can successfully launch your games all over the world. We post articles every Monday for global game developers who want to enter the global gaming market.

Latis Global Communications is a group of experts that know and love games.

The company has extensive experience in localizing various games on PC, console, mobile, and VR platforms.

Our experience and expertise can help your game enter the global gaming market.