It can be a challenge to find voice over talent in a language that is foreign to you. How can you tell whether or not a voice over is good or even accurate when you can’t understand what is being said?
A lot of global voice over productions require voice talents who speak Japanese as their first language.
There are several things that you will want to keep in mind when you are seeking a native Japanese voice over talent for your production.
Try to find someone who is experienced, sounds authentic, and uses the Standard Japanese dialect in their voice work.
It is crucial that you hire a professional Japanese voice over artist. Many freelancers are amateurs who offer voice over on the sole basis that they can speak Japanese.
Consider too that if your Japanese voice talent lives outside of Japan, he or she may even speak Japanese with a bit of the local accent picked up by being immersed in their non-native language.
On the opposite end of the spectrum it is possible to get a professional freelance Japanese voice over talent who lives in Japan to send you an audio file over the Internet. This is known as “net narration” in Japan, and these voice over recordings are created in the performers’ own home studios in Japan.
But wherever the Japanese voice over artist resides, you still need to be careful about their voice over quality. The talent’s voice demos might impress you with famous brand names and the audio will sound great. The voice talent may have a good voice. But the audio quality might be deceptive. You see, the Japanese voice demos they put on voice-casting sites in Japan (and other voice-casting sites everywhere, really) are the best works by the talents. The Japanese voice over for those TV commercials is recorded in high-tech, full-service studios with audio mastering experts at the controls. The voice talent recorded the voice over and went home, leaving the audio editing and mastering to the professionals.
A freelance voice talent records in a home studio and needs to have audio editing skills in order to “clean up” recordings before submitting them to clients. In other words, the Japanese voice samples you hear online on voice-casting sites may not represent the real audio quality of the talent’s home studio.
To be sure about audio quality, the Japanese voice talent’s information online should indicate that the audio sample was recorded in the talent’s home studio. You could also request a voice demo that was recorded in their home studio.
You can hire with confidence a voice actor who lives in Japan. The key is trust. You need to be able to rely on the voice over talent or on the voice over talent’s agent or manager.