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Written by Martin Joly
on March 19, 2020

Over the last several years, digital technology has made creating content not only more affordable but more effective as well. Brands of all types are now embracing this unique trend of digital content creation, and while this is certainly effective in many ways, it can present its fair share of challenges when it comes to dubbing that content into other languages.

A lot of projects that target families and younger demographics require brands to record with children during the post-production process which, depending on your personal experience, may not be something you're looking forward to. However, at Andovar, we feel it's important to note that recording with children to create high-quality content can be done with little difficulty! In fact, it's probably a lot more straightforward than you might think. You just have to keep a few key things in mind:


1. Understand that every project is a bit different from the next

One of the most important ways to make sure that your recording efforts with children are as successful as possible first requires you to acknowledge the unique qualities of each project.

To begin with, you're going to want to be very careful with your approach to line lengths. Content aimed at children will typically feature shorter lines in order to make it more digestible for a younger audience. When dubbing into other languages however, sentences in other languages like Spanish can naturally expand and become considerably longer when translated.

Overall, child voice actors aren't expected to speak for quite so long per line, but they may still have to do several lengthy scenes which can take multiple tries to get right. Because of this, you should try to write to the strengths of your child actors in order to get the best performance out of them. Don't approach things in the same way that you would if you were writing for adults as a child's performance can be much more greatly affected by the requirements of the recording session.

An editor updates a script to make it more accessible for a child actor

 

2. Embrace your performance requirements

Along the same lines as before, keep in mind that animated children's content in particular can be quite broad in nature. This means that hitting the right tone is a key part of your content's ultimate success.

Don't just find child talent who can recite lines. Depending on what you're dubbing, they may also need your voice actors to sing. This means that you'll need a director and a studio engineer available to compliment this skill set as it will be necessary to keep the actor on pitch and in line with things like time signature changes.

If your support staff understands the unique performance requirements that you face, it will be far easier to actually meet those requirements when it comes to working with child actors.

A child actor interacts with a robotic display

 

3. Build more time into your schedule

Incredibly talented child actors are skilled in different ways than adult actors (there's really no getting around this fact). Because of this, you're going to need to budget these challenges into not only the quoting of a project, but also the casting and production timelines as well.

Essentially, working with kids is going to require a bit more time than you may otherwise be used to. If you build this into your schedule and embrace it early on, it can become a creative asset instead of a logistical liability down the road.

Marking a date for a recording session

 

4. Consider using adults instead

Finally, if all else fails, don't discount the fact that there are many versatile, high-quality adult actors out there who are accurately able to mimic the sound of a child's voice.

Remember that because you're working primarily in terms of voice-overs, nobody will actually be seeing the actors in question. This means that if you close your eyes and simply listen to a performance that sounds like you're listening to a child, the rest of the audience will likely interpret it that way as well.

Is it 100% authentic? No. But it's a great way to get that impact you're going for without all the logistical issues that may come along with it.

An adult voice actor records in a studio

 

Get in touch if you have any questions

Working with child actors has its fair share of problems, let alone bringing high-quality localized content into other countries and languages, but choosing an expert localization provider should negate many of these issues. As a leading provider of translation and localization services (including voice-over), we take pride in our ability to offer high-quality solutions that are accurate, culturally sensitive and tailored to your needs, no matter the location or language. 

If you'd like to find out more information about how to best go about working with children, or if you'd just like to further discuss the needs of your own localization projects in more detail, please don't delay. Contact Andovar today!

Check out the Andovar blog to find out more about translation and localization

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