VO Test for social media

Introducing Muneer, Arabic voice artist at Adelphi Studio
Professional voice artist
Professional voice artist

Muneer is a Syrian-American voice-over artist who is proficient in North American English, Modern Standard Arabic and also Syrian dialect.

Muneer’s voice can range from professional for corporate videos, to fun and zany. He has a versatile voice suitable for any number of projects.

His voice can be described as warm, friendly and high energy.

Introducing Asma, Arabic voice artist at Adelphi Studio

Professional voice artist

Asma has a great love for voice-over work and certainly loves her job.

Her voice can range from deep and rich to high and child like, she is very versatile.

She is experienced in recording commercials, IVR messages, narrations, eLearning projects and also language learning guides in Arabic.


Foreign language voice-overs – Common problems and solutions

When a company is looking into having voice-overs recorded for their videos or learning materials, there are common problems that they may face. Below are some of them and the solutions to make the process simpler:

Communication is paramount
Before starting the project, all parties should agree on the precise workflow and schedule. This should include the division of tasks in the project, what services the suppliers are providing and in what format the deliverables will be produced. 


  • It is always a good idea to establish communications between the voice-over production company and whichever party is going to produce the end result of the project. There may be specifications or aspects to the task that you had not considered, and collaboration between technical experts helps identify these early.

Be 100% sure of the languages required
Make sure you know your target audience and their spoken language, e.g. Spanish is spoken in Europe and also in South America and so is Portuguese; there are a multitude of varieties of spoken Chinese. Recording the wrong variety of the language can be a costly and embarrassing mistake.


  • Find out from your client or the end-users of the voice-over which country it is going to be used in or get advice from a voice-over company first. A good localisation company will be able to guide you through the process and give you suggestions as to the questions you should be asking your client.

Spoken cues to match visuals
If you would like your translated voice-over to be time-synced with an original video, you need to consider that many languages have different grammatical structures and where your cue word might be at the beginning of the English, it could be at the end of a translated sentence.

Language length
Sometimes the translated language is much longer than the source language, and the voice-over artist may have to speed up their reading speed. If this is not possible, either the script will need to be simplified and cut down or the original visuals will need to be edited to match the length of the foreign-language voice-over. Trying to get an intrinsically longer language to fit into an un-editable video or presentation is one of the biggest issues we come across as an e-learning localisation company. Here are some examples of text expansion:

English Original
As a global company, we must comply with all local and international laws.

Russian Translation
Будучи международной компанией, мы обязаны соблюдать как местное, так и международное законодательство.

French Translation
En notre qualité d’entreprise mondiale, nous devons respecter toutes les lois locales et internationales.

voice samples


  • If you need a target word spoken at an exact time, allow for manoeuvrability within the script in some way to allow this to be matched. Communicate this with your voice-over provider.

Time coding
When producing voice-over for a video, voice-over scripts need to be time coded, otherwise the audio can be out of sync with the video. This must be done accurately or someone will have to redo it further down the production process.


  • If time-coding yourself, find out if your format is suitable for the script. You can ask the voice-over provider about this.
  • If the script is not already time-coded then this can be done before translation.

Keeping these in mind for your next e-learning project can help to avoid common problems and mistakes.

Localisation tips – Working with Advertising and Design Agencies

Adelphi has worked for advertising and design agencies from all over the world localising their print materials, creating subtitles and dynamic on-screen text for video as well as recording and publishing voice-overs

Having material localized can often present a learning curve for design and advertising agencies. 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.

Printed Materials

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, 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.

Arabic or other right-to-left languages require that documents have their alignment flipped. This takes longer the more complicated the design. To see more typesetting samples go here


The most usual problem we find when subtitling a video is that the original film has been edited precisely to match the English. This causes the same problem as explained above with typesetting: the translation runs longer than the original English and the resulting text either does not fit the same time slot or is too long to be read at a comfortable pace. We can improve the situation with tweaks after we have finished the work, but it is always better to take expansion of text due to translation into account and add more pauses in the original video.

We see another common issue particularly in animated or explanatory videos: important graphics are placed in the area where subtitles would normally be run (mid-bottom region of the screen) where they can end up being obscured. In the past we have been able to work around this issue by slightly scaling down the video and adding a border around the video while keeping the resolution of the video the same: this allows us to add the subtitles without interfering with any important graphics. To see more subtitling samples go here


As with subtitling, timing is often an issue here if it turns out that no allowance has been made for languages that are longer than the original English. If we are then asked to sync the voice-over to the video, the timeslots given are insufficient as they stem from the timing of the English and don’t take into account natural text expansion due to translation. Therefore, where possible, it is best to add a few seconds of space before and after each portion of script. This allows our voice artists to be able to deliver their lines as faithfully to the original as possible without being rushed to fit into a specific time slot. This does depend on the language and some languages are shorter than English when spoken. It’s best to ask us in advance, letting us know the languages you require so we can advise the best method for that language.

Another issue that we have encountered in the past is the backing music or score to a video. Sometimes clients like to turn down the volume during speech and then turn it back up afterwards. We occasionally see this in marketing videos, where the sound mixer will lower the volume of the music when someone on-screen is talking. This is a great dynamic effect for the original version but for voice-over it can cause problems: the artist may need to rush the delivery of each line in order to finish it before the volume on the original video turns back up. If your video has this feature then we can replicate it in our localised version, but we would need to receive the background music on its own with no volume tweaks, so that we can adjust it ourselves. To hear our voice artists samples in over 75 languages go here

To Translate or Not to Translate

In many cases company names, product names etc. remain in English, but sometimes these terms have already been localised into the language required, or have an agreed foreign pronunciation for voice-over. We need to be told about these, though often we do our research before recording to see if there are indeed any such pre-existing localisations. If you have had material translated before, no matter what it is, it may help us get the translation just right.

In short, asking Adelphi before you design or start filming can save you time and money. No matter what your project is, if it is going to be localised into foreign languages just let us know and we can advise you.

Featured Voice Artist on Adelphi Studio – Malay speaker Andrew


“I started doing voice overs for Adelphi in late 2016. Working for them has never been easier as the translated text from English to Malay language is ‘to a tee.’ This makes my job so much easier. Also, reading the file numbers as opposed to separating the voice-over files (which may come up to a hundred files at times!!) this speeds up the job, which is a good thing, as it’s all about turnaround. They also pay a professional fee and have a good payment term. Looking forward to working with them again.”

Language: Malay

Voice: Male, deep and authoritative.

Andrew is a Malay voice-over artist, who began a broadcasting career in 1995 and delved into VO’s that same year. He has recorded an array of jobs from simple reading for school kids to corporate videos. Among them, courseware for the Ministry of Education of Malaysia, Northport, Honda, Perodua, BMW, Sarawak Convention Bureau, Petronas, Bumi Armada, Ambank and RHB Bank. To hear more of Andrews samples go here

Professional voice artist

Play sample:

Video narrated by Andrew



Voice-overs vs subtitling – Which to choose for your e-learning project?

Whether to choose voice-overs or subtitles for your e-learning project can depend on a number of considerations, such as:


Subtitling is much cheaper than voice-overs, so if you have a limited budget subtitles might be the way to go. For voice-overs the cost will depend on the voice artist or artists you choose, studio time, editing of the raw audio and syncing to the video, all of which adds up. It can also depend if your voice-over is timed or not, if you require lip syncing or semi lip syncing which also adds considerable time and cost to the production.


Subtitles usually have a character limit of around 44 characters and 2 lines per subtitle but subtitling can be made to fit your video whereas voice-overs depending on the language, can be much longer than the source language. Resulting in the voice-over being too fast for the allocated time in your presentation or video.

voice samples

Projects delivery times

If you have a short delivery time or deadline for your projects then the time finding, choosing, recording, editing and syncing the voice-overs should be taken into consideration. Whereas subtitles if translated properly using SRT files, can take a fraction of the time.

SRT files are time coded documents that can be imported into the subtitling software which then puts the correct subtitle with the correct sequence, after this there is only a visual tidy up required.

Example of an .srt file

SRT translation

Adelphi Studio has added typesetting in over 120 languages to its website.

Our in-house typesetting department has been typesetting foreign language materials in over 120 languages for over 20 years. With clients like Disney, Jaguar Land Rover, Vidal Sassoon and hundreds of advertising and design companies worldwide. All our typesetting is carried out in-house and includes proofing. We also produce eBooks too.

Adelphi has been producing foreign language typesetting for over 20 years, in fact it’s how Adelphi got started, adding voice-overs, subtitling and our other services later as we looked to offer more localisation services for our clients. Up to now our typesetting services have been on a stand alone website but we thought it would be better to offer these services through adelphi Studio. We have many sample to look at and if we can help in anyway please get in touch.

Graphics localisation
We can also localise any graphics in the document using Photoshop or Illustrator, depending on the image we could require the original layered data with live text, not outlined text. We have the latest Adobe CC applications.

Data required
We need the English original data for us to adapt into your chosen languages using InDesign, QuarkXPress and other professional typesetting software, 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.

Deliverable data
We can supply the finished document as a print ready PDF set to your specifications, if required we can also outline the text in InDesign so you can print from the InDesign file itself.

Get the most out of your typesetting localisation project

  1. Many languages will expand once translated from English, so we’d recommend you leave some space for this. If in doubt, just give us a call and we’ll be happy to help.
  2. Your style can be central to your project, but sometimes simple really is best. Bold, italics, and even colours in the same paragraph can sometimes just not translate into your chosen language. By avoiding this you can also keep your costs down and speed up delivery.
  3. Drop caps and uppercase for emphasis can look great in English, but some languages don’t use them. This is where our company’s typesetting experience can help you.
  4. If you want to place text over an image, try to add it within the document rather than in the image itself. That way we can edit exactly what you need changing.
  5. As an experienced typesetting agency, we know our fonts and some languages have more restrictions than English. Our staff can show you which fonts work in whichever language you desire, right down to the different weights and condensed versions.

Voice Artists: How to Care for Your Voice (Part 2)

There are many variables that can cause issues with your voice including seasonal atmosphere changes, general body hydration, stress, tiredness… the list goes on! In this blog, we will look at the general day to day care tips all voice artists should know. It is important to prevent problems by knowing your body, your voice, your limits, and how to take care of yourself.


Dehydration can be caused by many factors; not enough water, smoking (first or second hand), caffeine, alcohol and salt can all cause your body to lose water so you should try to avoid these as much as possible. Staying hydrated is very important for your vocal cords as they are surrounded by a mucous membrane, which must stay wet and fluid for the cords to work properly. A lack of hydration causes this membrane to thicken, which makes your throat feel clogged up.

Lemon flavoured water is often stated as being a favoured drink to help bind the mucous and flush it out if there is an excess of it in your body. On the day of the voice-over recording session try to drink as much water as possible, and during the session drink Room Temperature water as cold water can cause your vocal cords to constrict and tense up.

Dairy products are a bad choice for any voice professionals as they can cause the mucus to thicken, coating the vocal cords and affecting the smooth operation of the larynx. Food such as cheese, milk, yoghurt and ice-cream should all be consumed sparingly when using your voice professionally.


Before a voice-over recording session you should try to get a good night sleep. You will find that the lack of energy from a bad sleep causes your vocal muscles to tire quickly and be less flexible than normal. This lack of energy can then lead you to over compensate by forcing the sounds out which creates tension and ultimately pain and hoarseness in your larynx.

No shouting!

You should also always try to avoid straining your voice by not shouting. Excess strain can eventually cause nodes on your vocal cords, which limits your range, flexibility and tone.

Finally, before a voice-over recording session always be sure to warm up! See part 1 of this ‘How to Care for Your Voice’ post for some tips on warm up techniques.

Voice Artists: How to Care for Your Voice (Part 1)

For voice-artists who work with their voices every day, maintaining it well is essential. As a voice-over artist you need to ensure that you provide your clients with a reliable service, as well as keeping yourself comfortable!

There are many techniques thrown out there, claiming to be the best way to look after your voice, and in this blog we will look at some of these, and talk about ways to improve your vocal control.

Warming Up Routine For Voice Artists

Your vocal cords (or vocal folds) are found in the larynx, and just like an athlete wouldn’t do a serious work out with first warming up, voice over artists should first ‘stretch’ the muscles found within your voice box.

Starting with humming is a nice way to begin to relax these muscles in your larynx, as well as creating a nice resonant sound. If you work through syllables such as the ‘velar nasal’ gn sound found in onion, stretching it out, sliding up and down in pitch. Working with arpeggios, scales or glides that both climb and descend in pitch is a good way of ensuring you warm up in all parts of the range quickly and without strain. Next up, lip and tongue trills help to loosen the throat, jaw, tongue and lips, spread the vocal folds so that they vibrate mainly at their edges, and encourage relaxation.

Articulation is key in voice overs, to ensure that the words of the script are formed properly so you get the clearest read possible. Tongue twisters are a great way to help your annunciation and articulation, and they can also assist with the development of tongue muscle memory for particular vowel sounds. Here are a few examples:

1. Assists with R and L vowels

Red letter, yellow letter, red letter, yellow letter, red letter, yellow letter

2. Assists with moving from the front of the lips to the soft palate and back again.

A proper cup of coffee from a proper copper coffee pot.

3. Makes you move your lips from an Ooh shape to a flatter A shape and really get your mouth moving

Wayde went to Wales to watch wrens riot

4.  This one is for forward tongue placement

I am not a pheasant plucker,
I’m a pheasant plucker’s son
but I’ll be plucking pheasants
When the pheasant plucker’s gone

5.  This exercise works the soft palate and back of the mouth

Six sick hicks nick six slick bricks with picks and sticks

Finally, yawning helps you naturally relax your jaw, extends your soft palate and regulates the oxygen flowing through your body. A ‘yawn-sigh’ helps you work on your range, sliding all the way down from the top of your vocal range to the lowest grumble you can reach. You’ll know when you reach your limit! Make sure you do this last, and only do this a few times per warm up… you don’t want to strain your muscles too much!

Latin American or European Spanish: What’s The Difference?

Spanish voice-overs and language services

European Spanish, sometimes known as Castellano, and Latin American Spanish can be understood by Spanish speakers all over the world, however there are many differences between the two, both in phonology and vocabulary. When choosing foreign language voice artists, it is important to select talents who speak the right variation for your audience.

A very clear distinction between European and Latin American Spanish is the pronunciation of the letter C, when followed by an I or an E, and the letter Z when followed by a vowel. In Spain, the letter C is pronounced as /θ/, or the ‘th’ sound in English. However in Latin American this is pronounced as a ’S’ sound. One of the most popular urban myths which claims to give reason for this differentiation, is that there was once a Spanish king who spoke with lisp, which was then imitated by the Spanish population.

The way in which the second person plural is conjugated can be a good indiction of whether someone is speaking European or Latin American Spanish. Speakers of Latin American Spanish will always use ustedes no matter who they are speaking to. However speakers of European Spanish will use ustedes only when addressing a group of people who are perhaps older or more important than them. For everyone else, they will use vosotros. In a similar vein, it is common in Latin American to hear the word ‘you’ as vos, whereas in Spain this would be .

As well as this, in many places in Latin America you will notice the ’s’ sound sometimes goes missing or is ‘swallowed’. For example the word está can become eh’tá. This feature of speech is actually also common in the southern parts of Spain.

Spanish Voice-Overs, Translations, Subtitles, and Localisation

Communication between speakers of the two is usually always fluid and much like communication between the speakers of UK and US English who may use different vocabulary and have different accents, but have no trouble understanding each other. However in terms of voice-overs, translations, subtitles and localisation, it is important to identify which market you want to speak to and then use resources from this area. If you want to hear the differences yourself, take a look at our European and Latin American voice-over catalogue!

Authorities in Korea to Fix Menus Lost in Translation

Computer-guided translation tools have come up with some baffling translations across the world, but now Korean authorities are tackling the problem head on the Korea Times reports.

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism in Korea are cracking down on these mistranslations of Korean restaurant menus into English that have begun to embarrass some Koreans.

Korean Menu TranslationA task force including the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs has been created to tackle the issue, with the help of the National Institute of Korean Language, the Korean Food Foundation, food experts and native English, Chinese and Japanese speakers to standardise the foreign names of Korean foods, and a new website will be launched with the new translations to minimise further errors.

This issue is not just with English translations. Rep. Yeom Dong-yeol of the Saenuri Party revealed late last year that among 274 restaurants in Seoul with Korean-food menus in Chinese, a third had “seriously wrong” translations.

Some of these errors include ‘Pollock Stew’ being translated to ‘Dynamic Stew’, ‘Beef Tartare’ becoming ‘Six Times’.

Our Translations and Voice-Over Translation Service

Here at Adelphi, as a leading translation, subtitling and voice-over agency, we ensure that our translations are fully accurate and that we only work with professionals translating into their mother tongue. We are a member of the Association of Translation Companies (ATC), who require member companies to adhere to a strict code of professional conduct, are subject to the rulings of a professional ethics committee and carry full professional indemnity insurance cover to safeguard the interests of the translation purchaser. All our translators are members of either the Institute of Linguists or the Institute of Translations & Interpreters with a minimum of three years experience to ensure your voice-over translation is done to the highest professional standard.

Find out more about our translation service now.