JBI Studios' Blog on Voice-Over, Dubbing, and Multimedia Localization.

James Shih

Recent Posts by James Shih:

Expand Your Business with Video Marketing & Localization

Video is king when it comes to online marketing. It's estimated that 72% of customers prefer video content over text content and that videos improve organic traffic by 300%. These are just some of the statistics that show why videos are the best way to improve brand awareness and sales. To expand that awareness to a global market, add video localization to your production process.

In this blog we will go over the benefits of video marketing and how video localization is essential in reaching international target audiences.

[Average read time: 4 minutes]

Topics: Voice-over & Audio Video Translation localization

Tips for Being a Translator and Writing for Translations

Translating from one language to another is a complex art, one that artificial intelligence is still trying to catch up to. Translation takes much more than spoken fluency in a language, it requires specific knowledge, skills, and guidelines. Also, if one is writing English text to be translated, there are ways to write to avoid translation mistakes or ambiguity. In this blog, we will discuss the main skills a translator should have to be successful and tips for writing text for translations.

[Average read time: 3 minutes]

Topics: Voice-over & Audio Video Translation translation

Voice Acting Tips & Challenges for Video Games

Video games are big business: total video game revenue in 2018 was $43.8 billion, surpassing total global box office revenue by over $2 billion. Along with faster mobile devices and more games being localized for global audiences, the ease of entry into playing video games has expanded the market and the number of players. This comes with a growing demand for video game content and thus video game voice-over.

Topics: Voice-over & Audio Video Games

What to Know When Localizing Animation

Whether it's a cartoon TV series from Japan or an animated feature from the U.S., animated content is a huge industry around the world. With streaming media services like Netflix and Hulu, there are new distribution outlets allowing for more animated content and wider reach.

This accessibility brings with it an international set of challenges and needs to be met. What many may not know is that when watching a foreign animated film or show, a great deal of care has been put into adapting the animation for that particular market.

In this blog we will share some fun examples of animation localization around the world and explore the key things to know about localizing animation.

[Average read time: 3 minutes]

Topics: Voice-over & Audio localization animation cartoons

Helpful Tips For Korean Localization

Last week on October 9th, South Korea celebrated Hangul Day, a holiday dedicated to the invention of the Korean alphabet, Hangul (한글). Many fans of Korean pop music (K-pop) and Korean dramas (K-dramas) from around the world posted online their love for the Korean language and Korean pop culture.

Korea is a strong market for localization: despite being much smaller than its East Asian neighbors, China and Japan, South Korea has a competitive economy with a GDP per capita higher than China and a booming entertainment industry whose global influence arguably rivals that of both of its neighbors.

What are some key things to note about the Korean language for localization? Why does Hangul have it's own holiday? We'll explore those topics in the blog below.

[Average read time: 3 minutes]

Topics: Voice-over & Audio localization Korean

Text-To-Speech: The Future is Now

From Apple's Siri to Amazon's Alexa, voice assistants are incredibly popular and are shaping how we use and interact with technology. Voice assistants can be asked to play music, turn on/off lights, schedule appointments, and more. We may not be too far off from having an intelligent-like J.A.R.V.I.S. program (ala Iron Man) that we can command and manage most aspects of our lives.

Topics: Voice-over & Audio Text-to-speech

Audiobooks: Narration Tips for a Growing Industry

Being based in Los Angeles, CA, we here at JBI Studios know what it's like to hit LA traffic and experience long commutes. What's helped our sanity and the sanity of many other commuters is listening to audiobooks. It's a big industry: Pew Research found that 1 in 5 Americans listen to audiobooks with the two most popular locations being in the car or at home. As a result, the demand for narrators has grown and many voice actors are adding audiobook narration to their repertoire.

Topics: Voice-over & Audio Audiobooks

Tokyo 2020: Tips for Japanese Interpretation

2020 is just around the corner and so is the Tokyo Olympics! In preparation for the expected 40 million tourists to arrive next year, the Japanese government has stepped up its plans to revise Japanese-English signs, invest in translation technology, and train more interpreters.

Topics: Voice-over & Audio interpretation

Audio Recording & Post Production Terms You Should Know

If you're just starting out in the voice-over/dubbing industry, it can feel like everyone is speaking a foreign language. Sample rate, bit depth, mixed/unmixed audio...these are just some of the terms used by audio engineers and project managers that can be confusing.

Topics: Voice-over & Audio Dubbing

Directing Voice Talent: Tips and Best Practices

Voice directors help guide the performances of voice talents while also giving them the freedom to explore. At JBI Studios, we understand the importance of directors, particularly native-speaker directors for foreign language projects, which is why we offer having a director for every recording session.

What does it take to be a great voice director? Below is a list of key tips and best practices for voice directors to follow to get engaging performances from voice actors.

Topics: Voice-over & Audio Dubbing localization Entertainment

Taiwanese Mandarin vs Chinese Mandarin: What's the Difference?

A common question we get at JBI Studios is: what's the difference between Mandarin spoken in Taiwan and Mandarin spoken in Mainland China? They're both the same language, just with some specific regional differences, much like American English compared to British English. In this blog, we'll explore how those differences in Taiwanese Mandarin and Chinese Mandarin arose, what those differences are, and how this knowledge will help you reach your target audience.

Topics: localization Chinese

How Artificial Intelligence is Reshaping the Translation Industry

In the biblical story of the Tower of Babel, humans initially all spoke one language. They wanted to make a name for themselves and began construction of a huge tower to reach the heavens. As the tower grew, God saw the hubris of the humans and came down to confuse their language ("babel" comes from the Hebrew word "to confuse"). The architects and workers, now all speaking different languages, were no longer able to communicate and abandoned construction. They then scattered across the world...and the human translation business has been booming ever since.

Topics: translation artificial intelligence

What's the Difference between Chinese Mandarin and Cantonese?

When people refer to the Chinese language, they generally mean Mandarin (普通话 putonghua). Mandarin is the official language of the People's Republic of China and Taiwan as well as one of the four official languages of Singapore. It is the most widely spoken language in the world with approximately 1 billion speakers.

Topics: Dubbing localization Chinese

Key Tips for a Successful Dubbing Project

Foreign films and TV shows are gaining popularity in the U.S., especially with streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime adding more foreign language content to their roster. With this rising trend, there has been increased demand for dubbed content.

Dubbing, also known as lip sync dubbing, is defined as replacing the spoken language of a media project with another language and matching the lip movements of the character on screen. Dubbing gained a schlocky reputation in the 1960s and '70s when Hong Kong martial arts movies were dubbed in English with little regard to lip syncing. Along with over-the-top performances and awkward wording, films with poor dubbing were called too "dubby".

Since then, lip syncing has become a key feature of dubbing and the art of dubbing has improved considerably (though some are still nostalgic for those Hong Kong dub films). Here are some key tips to make sure your dubbing project excels and doesn't fall into the category of being too "dubby".

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Topics: Voice-over & Audio Dubbing localization

The Difference Between Localization and Translation

As the world becomes more interconnected with advancements in technology and faster internet speeds, there has been a growing demand for multimedia localization. What is localization and how is it different from translation? In this article we will define and compare these key terms and discuss how they can help your content reach a global audience.

Topics: Translation & Localization multimedia

Why Does Japanese Use Chinese Characters (Kanji)?

With the popularity of Japanese anime, manga, and pop culture, there has been a rise in Japanese language learners internationally. For these learners, one of the major difficulties in learning the Japanese language is its writing systems, three of them to be exact: katakana, hiragana, and kanji.

Having three systems can complicate things for language learners and as a localization studio, we have to make sure that the right character set is used.

For native English speakers, the phonetic systems of katakana and hiragana are relatively simple, but then there's kanji. Kanji, Chinese characters used in Japanese, has over 2,000 commonly used characters. A frustrated language learner may ask: why does Japanese, a language completely different from Chinese, use Chinese characters?

In this blog, we will discuss the historical origins of Japanese writing, an overview of the three writing systems, and arguments for and against kanji.

Topics: Translation & Localization multimedia Japanese

3 Benefits of Working with a Localization Studio

Translation and localization help build a global audience for your business and your brand. Many businesses are not sure how to go about localizing their content for another country. That's why there are multimedia localization studios, like JBI Studios, that specialize in services such as dubbing in a foreign language or creating captions and subtitles to connect your brand to audiences around the world. Here are three main benefits of working with a localization studio.

Topics: multimedia localization translation

5 Reasons Why Captions and Subtitles are Awesome

Ever watch a large ensemble show with an expansive world and strong accents (we're looking at you Game of Thrones) and ask, "What did she just say?" This scenario highlights the importance of captioning and subtitling: instead of missing what a character said and getting concentration fatigue, captions will show you the dialogue and keep you engaged in the story.

In fact, according to a National Institute of Health study, the benefits of subtitling and captioning include better learning comprehension, attention, and memory of video content for all audiences, not just the hearing impaired or ESL learners. 

As a localization studio with captioning/subtitling services, that's great to hear! In this article, we will discuss five reasons why captions and subtitles are awesome. We will also address some of the arguments raised against them. 

Please note: the benefits below apply to both captions and subtitles, though some of the examples may be specific to one or the other. We will go into more detail in benefit #3 on the differences between captioning and subtitling.

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Topics: Subtitles & Captions Translation & Localization multimedia

Traditional vs. Simplified Characters: A Brief History of Chinese Writing

Chinese is currently the most widely spoken language in the world at roughly 1.2 billion speakers worldwide. One major characteristic of the language is its writing system with thousands of characters containing intricate lines and shapes. However, did you know that there are two Chinese writing systems: traditional and simplified? Here at JBI Studios, we work with a large number of Chinese translation, subtitling, and voice-over projects. Knowing the difference between the two systems is essential.

So what is the difference between traditional and simplified and why do both exist? To confuse language learners? The real answer is actually much more complicated and interesting.

[Average read time: 4 minutes]

Topics: Subtitles & Captions Translation & Localization multimedia Chinese

Deepfakes and the Future of Voice Acting

As a professional localization studio, we pride ourselves with working with some of the best voice talent in the world. Great voice-over actors are able to modulate their voices and express strong emotions with such ease and complexity that it's hard to believe that a computer would ever be able to do so. Enter deepfakes. Deepfakes are a harbinger of the drastic changes to come in the entertainment, media, and political landscape.

[Average read time: 4 minutes]

Topics: Voice-over & Audio Text-to-speech multimedia

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