Tips for Voice-artists

When companies are searching for voice over artist for upcoming projects they will probably listen to many samples trying to get the right ‘fit’ for the part. However, it is common for a client to ask for recommendations from agencies. But how do agencies decide on which artist when there may be hundreds of artists for the chosen language. What makes your voice stand out to the client? Contrary to popular belief being the cheapest is often not the issue. Most agencies will have ‘go to’ artists who they have worked with many times and trust to give them the best they can.  Here are some tips that could help you create a more lasting relationship with your voice over companies.

Range of samples

On agency websites there is often samples to listen to that showcase your range and previous projects. Having samples that represent a variety of styles such as e-learning, commercial, and narration makes it easier for the client to imagine you voicing their project.

 

Be reliable

In workplaces all over the world, spanning all the industries, being reliable will make you friends. It goes without saying that being on time to recordings, delivering promptly, and being true to your word will always gain you repeat customers.

 

And if you can’t be reliable…be honest!

Everyone has their restrictions and as long as companies know about them as soon as possible they can be worked with. Say you can only record a couple of days a week, or during the day while the kids are out, or perhaps a massive job has just landed on your lap and you’re worried you won’t get other projects done on time – the sooner agencies know the better they can handle it.

 

Ask questions

Asking questions about a script, deadline, price…is never a bad thing. High profile clients with sometimes highly technical or sensitive topics or scary non-disclosure agreements can make the process confusing or daunting. It’s better to ask the questions early so you fully understand the project rather then making mistakes down the line.

 

Quality

The voice over industry is fierce with competition and even the most impressive of voices won’t be up to scratch if recorded on a smart phone. Getting kitted out with professional equipment doesn’t need to be expensive and there is plenty written on this topic. Although most agencies will have a team of highly skilled studio engineers to clean your pops and erase your clicks, artists producing high quality work will often get priority for projects.  For example, being able to hear that lorry rumble past your window or your hands adjust the script will bring even the best of performances down.

 

Be thorough

Quality agencies will handle most languages from Arabic to Yoruba and although trying for rigorous quality assurance sometimes things slip through the net, especially with less familiar languages. That 5,000 word e-learning module on security policy you just recorded – are you sure you pronounced everything correctly? Perhaps you missed out a word? This is only natural and happens to the best of us, perhaps giving it one more listen will help reduce the chances though.

 

And finally, if the client doesn’t choose your voice – it’s probably not personal!

Don’t be disheartened if your voice isn’t chosen for the project, there are often lots of factors behind the scenes that are in play. Choosing a voice over artist can be very subjective, just don’t give up.

e-learning: How to become truly accessible

The days of spending endless hours travelling to dismal rooms in colleges and night school are over. Job stagnation and an inability to progress in your personal development without investing massive amounts of time and/or money are gone. The rise of the internet has created a whole new world of learning, and it’s massively beneficial to both consumers and businesses alike. If you are looking to improve your skills, learn something new, transition into a different career, or earn that promotion, you now need nothing more than a laptop and a WiFi connection. Wherever you are, whenever you have time, you can learn.

e-learning has taken the world by storm. It’s a highly beneficial method of learning and an extremely lucrative venture for any business.

There is massive potential in e-learning for international success and scalability, but the key to that is localisation.

The internet may have reached almost every corner of the globe, but it has not altered the diverse nature of the population of the planet. We come from different countries, different cultures, and most importantly (from a learning perspective) we speak different languages.

In order for your e-learning course to be truly accessible on a global scale, you must localise it with the native languages of the various areas in which you offer the course. Failure to do so will compromise the local appeal of the course, and damage the way in which your brand is perceived internationally.

Adelphi offers the perfect, professional solution to all of your translating needs. We have a highly diverse and experienced team who are capable of working in any specialist area, and any language. Our track record speaks for itself. We’ve recorded over two million words in the eLearning industry, in over seventy different languages. Our voice-over experts provide top notch local versions of your content, while subtitles, on-screen text localisation, and typesetting for printed materials complete the local experience.

Adelphi understand the unique quirks of different geographical regions and different e-learning courses, and can help you expand your business to a truly global level.

Unlucky Numbers Around the World

For localisation professionals there are many things that have to be considered when changing content. Often, translations take up the majority of the time and effort but you are not finished there. One thing that can often be overlooked but can have a big impact on the content in certain countries is numbers. Many cultures consider at least 1 number to be unlucky and some take it much more seriously than others.

#4      First of all the number 4 in China, Japan and some other East Asian countries is seen as extremely unlucky, it is pronounced ‘shi’. The number is considered so unlucky by some that it is left out in things such as seat numbers, floors and sports teams. The reason for this is down to the pronunciation, in Mandarin and Japanese the word for death is very similar in pronunciation to the number 4. This superstition is known as tetraphobia.

#7      Although in the west 7 is considered lucky in many countries, in the east particularly China, Thailand and Vietnam it is considered unlucky. The reason for this is that the 7th month is the ghost month! The month where hell is open and ghosts can rise to visit earth.

#8      The number 8 is considered lucky in the far east, however in India it is considered unlucky. It is said to be related to the three stars of Saturn or ‘Sani’ in Hindi. It is said to be a relationship breaker and peace breaker and many catastrophes have happened on the 8th or on dates related to the number 8 such as earthquakes, tsunamis and terror attacks, these have all enhanced this theory.

#9      Another unlucky number in Japan is the number 9, pronounced ‘Ku’. The reason for this is very similar to the number 4 except instead of sounding similar to death it sounds similar to torture or suffering.

#13    Probably the most common unlucky number across different countries particularly in the west. There are a few theories for this, most relating to religion. Firstly, the last supper has 13 people and it is said that Judas the betrayer of Jesus was the 13th to sit at the table. Furthermore, on Friday 13th October 1307 King Philip of France arrested and tortured the majority of the Knights Templar, this is where Friday the 13th got its bad rep from. Another theory is linked to full moons, monks responsible for calendars had problems with years with 13 full moons instead of 12.

#17    In Italy the number 17 is seen by some as unlucky. The reason for this is that the Roman numerals for 17 are XVII and when these are rearranged they spell VIXI which means ‘my life is over’ when translated from Latin.

#39   In Afghanistan this number translates to ‘morda gow’ which means ‘dead cow’. This is a well-known slang term for a pimp and as a result is highly undesirable in Afghanistan, so much so that number plates with 39 in them are almost impossible to sell or are often covered up.

#666 Another commonly known number amongst Christian countries because it is the number of the beast (the devil). This is referenced in the bible by John and is therefore considered unlucky amongst Christians.  However, recently scholars believe that the number was mistranslated in the King James bible and is actually 616, but the debate remains open on that.

Have we missed any unlucky numbers from around the world? Or do you have an unlucky number of your own?

Mercedes E350e owners review

Finally got the car on Thursday the 6th of April. Model E350e premium, but was it worth the wait

E350e

First impressions; very nice, extremely comfortable, very smooth and it even smooth’s out the potholes, much better than my old E300 hybrid. As usual with a new car at first you don’t understand why they changed things that you thought were OK before, but after looking at YouTube videos etc., I basically got the car to where I am happy with the controls.

Couple of niggley things such as when cancelling unwanted travel updates instead of cancelling just the travel news the button on the steering wheel silences the station completely so you have to hit it twice, and the cup holders are still a pile of c***p, does anyone know how to keep a small bottle of water upright in these things? They just fall over and rattle around alot . Also sometimes when I unlock the car and try to remove the charger it’s still locked in place so I have to relock and unlock the car.

I’m still getting to grips with the various engine modes but for the moment I just leave it in Hybrid/comfort mode for now.

Usability of the Hybrid system (is it any good?)

I’m still assessing it as I have only had the car a month or so but to date here is what I have found.

My house to the motorway M1 Junction 37 is 0.6 miles. The fully charged car says it has  between 14 to 16 miles (sometimes it says 18) by the time I have gone the 0.6 miles to the M1 the electric meter says I am down to between 9 to 11 miles. Wow a loss of 50% in under a mile. But I have learned to ignore that.

The motorway journey to Junction 34 is just over 12 miles and from then it’s 4.7 mile to my office in S1 through stop start traffic. Total journey to the office is 16 miles. To be honest the car sometimes runs out of electricity and by this I mean the ‘plug the car in’ icon appears about a mile before the office but it will still work using the electric motor but not at any great speed.

My run this morning to the office: It’s a Thursday before the bank holiday so traffic was a little lighter than normal but not a great deal. As usual lost 30% ish of electricity in the first 0.6 of a mile arrived at the M1 with around 11% left. Travel on the M1 to junction 34 very smooth, checked the miles per gallon and nearly fell out of my seat 99.9 miles it said. Very impressed. Then Junction 34 to the car park S1 in slow traffic brought me down to 84 miles per gallon not so bad. BUT I have seen it as low as 50 mpg just depends on traffic and my right foot.

Also yesterday our office car park with my charger in it is out of bounds due to a broken garage door, on the way home with no charge I got just 30 miles per gallon.

Weekend usage, just went shopping 3 times each day, no more than a couple of miles each time but did go up some steep hills. Car functioned in electric mode no usage of the motor even on the steep hills. Got 99.9 mpg all weekend.

Took the car to York for the Easter break. Basically got 50mpg on the way there and on the way back. 

Charging the car on while away.

1st time had to find a charging point, rang Chargemaster who had given me a card with the charger when installed only to be told the card was no longer valid as they had changed their rules, but he said not to worry just call them and they would sort it on the spot when I get to the charger. I even told them the charging point I was going to use as it was close to the hotel. Got to the charging point in York and rang Chargmaster only to be told that it’s not on their system and therefore they could do nothing, plonkers. I called the number on the charge point and they connected me via my Chargemaster account in a matter of seconds. Mmmmmmm.

Some mileage figures

Tuesday 18th April.  Back to work and tried something different this time. Put the car into sports mode to travel the 0.6 mile to the motorway got there with 16 miles left on the electric charge, switched to hybrid and got 62 mpg on the way in to work.

Wednesday to work 58 mpg – home 62 mpg

Thursday 20th to work 65 mpg – home 61 mpg

Friday 21st (still school holidays traffic very light) to work 88.2 mpg –

Car at the dealers trying to find the buzz sound have a C250 as a replacement and got 41 MPG on the way to work.

Conclusion so far

The car: Based on the loaner C250 I have today the E class is vastly superior in ride and comfort and just about everything else. The boot is smaller than the standard E class but thats not been a problem for me, nore is the smaller petrol tank.

Usage: If your wanting a car for long journeys, business trips etc I would say get a standard E220, if on the other hand like me it’s used for commuting between 16-20 miles on a single journey a day then it’s perfect. The main reason I got this car was the low tax I have to pay on it as a company car, the Mpg is interesting but not the main reason I got it. I also get the smug green feel of not having a diesel engine that everyone seems to hate at the moment.