China produced 1078 box office movies at the industry’s peak in 2018; that’s over 200 titles more than Hollywood. Most of these movies are only enjoyable to a fraction of Chinese people who can listen to their dialects. However, translation and dubbing are helping expand their range of reach to other nations. It’s time to tap into a market of over one billion people using Chinese dubbing.
Dubbing is not exclusive to Chinese-shot movies. You can recall that people in different continents have watched films and documentaries produced in foreign languages, running in local languages.
The most common ways to expand viewership beyond the native production language have been translation and subtitles. While the approach has been practical, dubbing adds another flavor, especially with the localization of sounds, imagery, and modern sound effects.
So, what exactly is dubbing, and what value does it add to a movie or video? Further, where can you get the best dubbing services?
Let’s get right into discussing Chinese dubbing, shall we?
What is Dubbing
To begin with, the most familiar definition of dubbing is translating a movie into another language. The whole idea is to allow the viewers to follow the action even though the original movie was not created in their native language.
The development of dubbing over the years has led to a split in the approach towards repurposing movies. Consequently, two types of dubbing techniques have emerged, all aimed at providing foreign videos or films to local consumers.
However, consumption flavor will vary in both cases. In other instances, the two techniques are combined in the same movie, making the video even more interesting to watch.
· Word-for-Word Dubbing
As the name suggests, the technique is akin to translation. Instead of subtitling, another artist’s voice is used over the dialogues, giving an impression that the actor can talk in a second language. This technique is common because it allows the viewer to follow the action just as the producer designed it.
Word-for-word dubbing is labor-intensive because you have to synchronize each word and action. Any dissonance can make the viewer notice that the dialogues are not authentic. And besides, different languages will differ in wording and the time taken to pronounce a phrase.
Therefore, it requires extra work to synchronize the dialogues. However, a better cinematic experience is the reward for the effort.
· Creative Localization Dubbing
The idea is to localize the movie without allowing the listener to follow the dialogues strictly. For this purpose, translation is artistic instead of sticking to the original conversations. This technique is similar to football commentating, whereby the commentators are not always talking about who has the ball at every second.
Creative dubbing is similar to what a DJ does to music. DJs add sound effects, talk in the middle, send shout-outs, and other aspects that are not specific to the action on the screen. In the end, you have a hyperbole of explained story instead of having to follow the dialogues on your own.
Professional dubbing makes a viewer think that the actors were speaking in the native language. On the other hand, if the dubbing is shoddy, the movie becomes an eyesore.
As such, professional dubbing services will make or break your project.
Uses of Chinese Dubbing
While the Chinese language is the second most spoken language, 99% of speakers remain in China. As such, China has remained as the sole consumer of content from its movie market.
However, Chinese dubbing has offered a new counter to sell old and new productions and make some tidy money.
So, why are Chinese shows dubbed?
1. Provide Chinese Movies and Shows in Other Languages
Chinese movies have excellent stories and action. However, many people outside China have not been enjoying their creativity because of the language barrier.
As China attempts to expand influence worldwide, its movies and videos, which have received global acclaim, are becoming one of the avenues to reach more people. People are also becoming more receptive to Chinese entertainment. It means there’s an opportunity to earn more as a producer.
Consider their iconic actors like Jet Li, Jackie Chan, and Bruce Lee. Dubbing allows these cinema icons to speak other languages apart from Chinese. As the world enjoys these icons, Chinese influence around the world also tends to grow.
2. Expand Viewership for Chinese Content
Look at the following statistics;
English is the most popular language in the world, used by approximately 1.132billion people. If you were to dub a movie or video into Mandarin Chinese, you would almost double the viewership. If you add Hindi and Spanish, you will triple your potential viewers. As such, dubbing in Chinese is helping Chinese movies to enjoy viewership beyond the Chinese nation.
The growth in viewership is quite significant for the Chinese brand. As more people learn about Chinese heroes, actors, and stories, it raises the Chinese production industry’s profile.
3. Revive Old Projects
Some of the mind-blowing Chinese movies and videos were produced decades ago. They made it to the top of charts, and some are now long forgotten. At the time of production, dubbing and translation were not rampant. It means that their beautiful stories got lost in the singular language.
Hence, dubbing is a chance to give these stories a new lease of life. Since non-Chinese language users have not watched the movie in the dubbed version before, it will appear as though you are releasing the film afresh.
Therefore, with Chinese dubbing, you will be topping the box office in another country all over again.
How to Choose Chinese Dubbing Services
Dubbing is a game-changer for movie and video makers. When you have a Chinese show with the potential of accessing a fresh market of 1 billion people, even your fortunes will change.
At the same time, it must be clear that the impact of dubbing on your videos will depend on the professionals in charge of the project. Remember, experts in dubbing might even make the dubbed video appear better than the original.
So, what do you look for when hiring dubbing services?
a) Mastery of Chinese Language
Original Chinese movies use the native version of Mandarin. It comes with nuances and connotations that an amateur or a second language learner is likely to miss. Moreover, the point and intensity of action would be lost in the course of translation.
Nevertheless, since the Chinese language is involved, it is natural to say that the translator must understand different dialects in depth. Such mastery helps the dubbing team to capture the nuance of your movie or video.
b) Expertise in Dubbing
Check the profile of the person you are hiring for the dubbing task. They should have trained in a field that allows them to complete dubbing projects.
Chinese Dubbing is a professional undertaking. It requires double training; one as a translator and the other as an audio technician.
With such expertise, you are guaranteed quality work and an excellent dubbing experience.
Can the person or the company complete your project in the stipulated time and within desired standards?
Capacity is the reason you hire a freelancer or a dubbing agency. Some projects are intensive because they involve lengthy videos. In other cases, you need the work completed fast.
Specifically, Chinese dubbing requires more than basic knowledge. It would help if you had a professional who understands different dialects and captures the nuance involved.
Hire a team or freelancer that can complete the work to standard and within your project’s timeline.
The Best Chinese Dubbing Services
Quality dubbing skills are rare. As such, you might not find them advertised everywhere.
How then do you find the best Chinese dubbing services?
Here are a few hints:
i) Freelance Websites
Freelancing websites gather professionals offering all manner of skills for you to choose from. These professionals are drawn from all corners of the world, enabling you to enjoy the best expertise. Because such platforms tend to be competitive, you get reasonable prices for dubbing services.
What’s more, freelance websites come with a rating and review system. The system gives you an idea of what to expect from a dubbing professional based on performance during previous projects. Such information helps you land the best talent while increasing the chances of getting quality work done.
ii) Dubbing Agencies
Dubbing agencies are a team with the skills and equipment needed to deliver on different projects. They tend to advertise their services as stand-alone companies.
The advantage of an agency lies more in personnel and a struggle that guarantees quality services.
Moreover, agencies have translators and dubbing specialists. They also have editors to ensure that the final product meets the required standards.
Freelancers offer the latest skills option in the market
Once you choose a freelancer, you are at liberty to negotiate the price and set personal requirements. Luckily, freelancers do not have institutions to condone with; thus, making their prices are lower.
Whether you work with an agency or freelancer, your prime target must be quality work and delivery within the desired timeline.
While at it, you must remember that the choice of a dubbing agent will affect the cost of your project.
Look at the project as an investment where quality is non-negotiable.
Cost of Chinese Dubbing Services
Chinese dubbing comes at a cost. The cost accrues to Chinese translation and laying the new audio over the old one.
While you should be ready to pay any price to get quality work done, what issues will determine the ultimate price?
The primary consideration is the language of dubbing. The language of translation involves a skilled translator raising your bill in the process.
The length of your project will also affect the cost. Naturally, longer projects are more expensive because they involve a lot of work. On the other hand, lengthy projects also attract discounts.
Urgent dubbing projects are expensive. Time is money.
The profile of a client also affects the price alongside the dubbing services chosen. For instance, Netflix could be willing to pay more and, therefore, end up hiring a premium agency.
Conclusion on Chinese Dubbing
Chinese dubbing will expand your viewership and consequently increase your revenue. However, these goals are best achieved when you hire professionals to dub the movies or videos.
Work With the Best
Submit your Chinese dubbing project now and get the best services online.
At Bunny Studio, we have experienced dubbing professionals to translate your movies from Chinese to any language.