Featured Voice Artist on Adelphi Studio – Afrikaans Speaker Pascale


“I love the challenge of breathing life into the written words from a script and ‘hear’ a character emerge. I’m convinced I have one of the most fun jobs in the world!”

Professional voice artist

Pascale has been working as a professional multi-lingual voice over artist and actress since 2003. She can record in English and Afrikaans.
She has also worked as a voice and dialect coach, at various drama and theatre academies, as well as on Martinus Basson and the Handspring Puppet Company’s production of Tall Horse.
Her experience ranges from commercials, documentaries, training dvds, on hold messages, books and animations. One of her favourite jobs is creating character voices and crafting accents from around the world.

Languages: English, Afrikaans

Voice: Female, Crystal clear, friendly, versatile, mid-range


Accented English Voice-Overs

Firstly it is important to understand what accented English actually is, it isn’t Scouse, Cockney, or Brummie. These are regional accents and although requested fairly regularly, they are not the same as accented English. It is also not, South African, Australian, North American etc. Again these are regional as they are English native speakers. Accented English is therefore English spoken with an accent when it is not their native language. People in different countries tend to have a similar English accent which can be recognised, for example a person from India who produces an English voice-over will maintain an Indian accent which can be recognised as English with an Indian accent.

So what are the needs for accented English? Why not just have a native English speaker perform the English voice-overs? There are a number of reasons that are listed below.

First of all, speaking English with an accent helps to link the world. We live in a globalised society where virtually everything is spread to other countries, because English has become the global language then it is often used and recognised. Keeping an accent helps it feel more localised and reach more people.

Another reason is workforce diversity, this links to the above point as many companies have offices globally and a lot use English as their ‘business language’ and as a result, maintaining an accent will help to reach employees and maintain a local feel.

Furthermore, Hollywood often uses accented English for characters in certain regions; if a movie is set in a different country the characters will sometimes have accents from that country but still speak in English. This helps the movie feel more genuine (even if the actor is not from that country).

Finally, accented English can sound more legitimate to a target audience. For example advertisements or charity campaigns focused on a region may use accented English artists to give it a more legitimate feel. This can help boost marketing and sales as the audience feels like they are receiving information from someone in that country.

There are some commons problems that can arise when using accented English voice-overs. Firstly, faking the accent. The film and TV industry is often guilty of this and has been criticised in the past for adding to stereotypes by putting on an accent, rather than finding someone from that region. There are many cases of actors and actresses butchering the accents as they are unable to completely rid themselves of their native sound. Examples of this are Brad Pitt’s Austrian accent in 7 Years in Tibet and Mickey Rourke’s Russian accent in Iron Man 2.

Another big problem faced when working in accented English is the needs of the client. There is a fine line between having enough of an accent to be recognised but not too much of an accent that it is hard for people to understand the English. Sometimes clients will want the sound to sway towards a harsher accent or a more understandable/English sounding accent. Finding this balance can be very difficult. When selecting an artist it is well worth listening to their English sample and maybe discussing if you need a harsher or softer accent.

A further difficulty can be whether certain words or phrases need an accent at all. For example if a voice-over is recorded in Dutch accented English and it contains a company name that needs to be said in the strict English style. This can be a major problem if the country as a whole struggles with certain sounds and these happen to be in the name. An example is how McDonalds is pronounced around the world, in Korea it is pronounced mac-don-aye-der and in Singapore mac-donna. These pronunciations are accepted in the countries, this problem basically depends if the client is willing to accept the different pronunciation.

A final common problem is that English accented voice-overs often take more time which is largely due to the artists not being fluent in English and therefore making more mistakes which is completely understandable. A result of this is that pieces are often shorter or sessions may be broken down to allow more time for the artists.

Next time you’re planning your voice-overs, whether as a client or as a voice-talent, keep these points in mind to help your accented English projects be the biggest success they can be.

How to simplify the On-Screen-Text localisation process

When companies seek to localise the on screen text (OST) in their videos the process is often misunderstood. It isn’t always a case of just replacing the original text with the translated text and the ease of this depends on a number of factors that original designers may be unaware of and this can cause problems later on. These problems will make the localisation process take longer and also cost more, so it is essential to understand the process and therefore avoid making these mistakes.

First of all before proceeding with the localisation of OST you should consider the following aspects of your video:

  • Is the text animated? It’s always easier to localise still text rather than animated text. Animations can be very simple… or very complex!!
  • What language are you translating it to? Some words and phrases vary a lot in length between different languages. So you need to keep in mind that when translated, the text size might need to be reduced or increased in order to fit the source video design. Another issue concerning the translation is that the font used on your video may not reproduce the characters correctly in the target language so you’ll need to consider changing it to a more suitable one.
  • Right-to-left or left-to-right languages: The way a translated text is displayed must be taken into account since it would need to be re-adjusted from your original design. For example Arabic is a right to left language so if you need to translate from English to Arabic the text will be written from the opposite side so your design may not look the same or may need to be altered.

The image below shows the difference in text length when working On OST localistion.

There are three ways of working with OST localisation:

1 – Working with the original project and footage (the easiest and cheapest process).
2 – Working with a discreet version of the video and re-creating the text style and animations.
3 – Working with the final video, covering or patching the original text and adding the new translated text on top of it (the most complicated and expensive process).

So what are your options going forward for these three different methods?

1- Working with original projects and footage:

The best way to stay on top of things is to have a clear idea about the final usage of your video when originally designing it. If you know that the text appearing on-screen will eventually be translated into other languages, then make sure you keep your original data/footage and the video editing projects. Remember to ask your video editor/motion graphics designer to keep all the data safe!

Another important thing to keep in mind is that keeping the original material organised and labeled efficiently will make the process much easier and faster.

2 – Working with a discreet video:

Sometimes, video editors or video editing companies are not allowed to give you the projects that they have used for creating the video. If this is the case, you can still ask them to keep a backup copy of all the data. Then when the time comes that you need to localise the OST, you can get in contact with your video editor and ask for a discreet version of the video.

The discreet video would be a version of your video exported without the OST.

For example:

Then you need to deliver the final version of the video in it’s original language plus the discreet version to the company that is going to translate and localise the text. For example, if you are localising an English OST into a Spanish OST, the English video will be used as reference for style, font and animation in order to input the Spanish OST, which will be implemented on the discreet video.

Even if you can’t provide the localisation company with the source editing projects, any additional information that you can provide will make a difference in the efforts required for this task. For example you can provide info like the font used, font style, colour, size, etc.)

If you need advise creating the discreet version of the video contact a localisation company with your source video and you will receive the specifications needed to successfully produce it!

3 – Working with the source language video:

In the worst case scenario you might not have access to either the original projects or a discreet version of the video. If this is the case and you still want to proceed with OST localization, there are some things you’ll have to keep in mind:

If the background of the text is a still image or a plain color, the text can probably be localized.

If the background of the text is a moving image, then it is very unlikely that localisation is possible without putting the text into a box and adding the box over the original text which will obviously take up some of the video. In this case you can ask the localisation company to provide you with OST alternatives in order to work around the situation whilst maintaining the style of your video.

Here are some visual examples to give you an idea:


In this case A, the solid dark color behind the text makes it possible to localize, as the source image doesn’t vary throughout the duration of the OST:

(OST localized English to Spanish)


On the example above (B), the text cannot be localized without the projects files/source data or a discreet video because the footage behind it is a moving image. Contact the localization company to ask for alternatives.

Regardless of your requirements and knowledge of on screen text localisation it is always important to contact a reliable localisation company that can advise you of best practises. It is also worth doing during initial design phases if you suspect that you may require localisation work in the future but maybe not immediately.


Featured Voice Artist on Adelphi Studio – Russian speaker Alexey M

“Hi friends, it’s Alexey, Russian voice over talent from Adelphi Studio! If you are looking for a voice for your project, we’ll help you with pleasure”

Alexey has been working with Adelphi for over 2 years now and has helped us with countless projects. His voice is clear and professional, but can adapt to suit your project. Which is why so many of our clients come back and ask for him specifically.

Professional voice artist

Language: Russian, Ukrainian

Voice: Male, deep and trustworthy

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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.



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


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.


Localising printed materials – tips and advice

Adelphi has been localising printed materials for over 20 years here is some advice on the do’s and don’ts when making the English version.

Often, we find that designers are not aware that their work will be localised further down the line, and even if they do, do not necessarily know how to adapt their work to make the process easier later on. Below are some examples of the most frequent mistakes we encounter. Avoiding these can save you a lot of money and can ensure that your work is completed in the quickest possible fashion with the minimum of fuss.

Some designs simply fill the page with text, leaving no room for text expansion. Most languages (with some notable exceptions) run longer than English and some of them run much longer. This causes the localised versions to have to make some sort of compromise: either text becomes smaller or a condensed font is used, or some material is completely cut out for brevity. Neither scenario is ideal, so it is much better to consider this aspect of the task at the design stage.

Overuse of text formatting features like coloured text, bold text and italic text etc. can slow down the localisation process, as the formatting needs to be applied to the precise word or phrase in translation that is equivalent to the English. Sometimes, this does not work at all if the target language has a dramatically different word order.

Embedded, non-editable text in images require extra attention or can be impossible to edit, and can slow things down dramatically, especially when over the main part of the image. Where possible, the text should be made available for editing in InDesign. If not, we will require all of the PSD files to work with.

Avoid designing paragraphs or “word clouds” with mixed font sizes that look good in English but have no chance of being replicated in the target language: quite often they do not have the same impact when localised and can often be “lost in translation”. Furthermore, due to word order difference, key words in English at the beginning of a sentence might end up in the middle or at the end of the sentence when translated.

One of the most frequent issues we encounter is incorrect and inconsistent usage of style sheets, in particular where one style has been used but in some instances bold text, italics or even different fonts have been changed manually. This can cause the most significant delays of all, and is the biggest source of small typos we encounter during internal QA.

Sending the artwork to be typeset BEFORE it is signed off by the client is never a good idea, and neither are new design changes after we have already started the work. We can do nothing in situations like these where significant changes are requested mid-project but start again and present new figures for the work, delaying work and incurring further costs for the client.

Localisation from English to right to left languages

These include languages such as Arabic, Urdu, Hebrew, Dari, Farsi, Kurdish and Pashto.

Right-to-left languages require that the documents have their alignment flipped. This takes longer the more complicated the design. We recently had an English design that the designer went to town with angles, images with 45 degree angled sides, text boxes with 45 degree angles. It was obvious they had no idea that it was to be localised into Arabic because when flipped all the angles were reversed, that’s ok if the image is large enough to accommodate this but in 90% of cases this does not happen. Therefore it took us twice as long to set this document as normal costing the client twice as much.

Right to left languages also do not have uppercase, this is a problem we often come across as the English has uppercase sentences or uppercase words for effect. With Vidal Sassoon we agreed that where the English had uppercase we would substitute a bold font. Not quite the same but it gave emphasis where required.

Traditional (Cantonese) and Simplified (Mandarin) Chinese

Both Mandarin and Cantonese refer to spoken languages whereas Traditional and Simplified donates the writing systems. Mandarin is the official language in mainland China and Cantonese is used in Hong Kong, Macau and the province Guangdong.

chinese samples

Chinese is one of the few languages which takes up less space when translated from English. Both Traditional Chinese (Cantonese) and Simplified Chinese (Mandarin) DTP therefore requires an understanding of the layout of Chinese and the ability to modify the design of the document to avoid large spaces and unsightly gaps in the translated Chinese document.

Chinese fonts

Legally to print your materials for use in the PRC you must be using fonts that are licensed for use in the PRC, otherwise you will be breaking the licensing agreement of the font manufacture. Adelphi has over 100 fully licensed fonts for use in the PRC. To see a list of our Chinese fonts please click here

Font problems
It is very important that the diacritics are correctly lined up otherwise the word meaning can change. The correct font must be used to display the diacritics in the right position.

 Correct Thai  Incorrect Thai
Thai Thai-incorrect

Care has to be taken with some Hindi fonts, as occasionally they are not all mapped to the same keyboard layout, this means that some Hindi fonts cannot be swapped with another Hindi font, as some characters will corrupt. This means that the translator must use a standard professional font that can be used in the typesetting application, also some Hindi fonts do not have bold or italic options.

Line spacing in languages such as Burmese when the text has much taller characters than Latin text, because of this Burmese and other languages such as Cambodian, Hindi etc., often requires more vertical space between lines.

Text expansion can be a problem

For Instance in German typesetting text expansion can often be an issue. There are often very long compound words in German, which can create problems. This can produce untidy line-breaks when placed in narrow columns and so being able to hyphenate the text in the correct place is important.

Julian, unser Auszubildener,
kam zu uns während eines
so hat er es sehr schnell

In some German compound words, the first word serves to describe the second word in more precise detail, for instance die Zeitungsindustrie (the newspaper industry.)

They even have awards for the longest German word of the year! In 1999 the winner was: Rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabenübertragungsgesetz. The monster word consisted of 63 letters, 20 syllables, and ten individual words—all to express a law having to do with British beef (Rindfleisch) and the so-called “mad cow disease.”

Data required

We need the English original data for us to adapt it into a foreign language this is usually supplied by the design agency as a “collect or package” which includes all images, fonts and links (images) to the document. Without these we cannot create a print ready PDF as the deliverable.

To see typesetting samples go here

Adding Subtitles to YouTube

SRT and YouTube

Many companies now host their videos on YouTube and add subtitles by uploading a translated SRT file. This is a very cost effective way of having your videos subtitled. There are limitations as you do not have control of font or position etc.

Here is how it’s done:

How to upload subtitles and closed captions

  1. Visit your Video Manager and click the drop-down menu next to the “Edit” button for the video you’d like to upload subtitles or closed captions for
  2. Select Subtitles and CC
  3. Select the original spoken language of the video from the drop-down menu (157 languages)
  4. Click the Add subtitles or cc button and select the language of the subtitle or caption file you want to upload
  5. Select Upload a file (Details below)
  6. Choose the language at the top of the screen
  7. Choose the type of file to upload
  8. Click the Choose file button and browse your computer for the file
  9. The file will auto-populate and let you know the timing of each subtitle or closed caption

you can turn the subtitles on by clicking the captions icon at the bottom of the video. Depending on your location, the captions icon will look like one of the following: or