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

James Shih

Recent Posts by James Shih:

Voice-over Narration for Documentaries

While people spend more time indoors, they're getting a chance to watch documentaries or docu-series that they might not have before. Maybe they want to learn about Ebola or what causes pandemics–documentaries are a great way to learn about a topic while also being entertained at the same time.

Topics: Voice-over & Audio Dubbing Documentary

Seiyuu: the Artists of Japanese Dubbing

Seiyuu or seiyu (声優) is a Japanese term used for Japanese voice actors and actresses. It is a robust industry in Japan that produces a large number of animated series (aka anime) and films that are beloved the world over as the talented seiyuu bring the vast number of characters to life. Each year, the annual Seiyuu Awards are held to honor these hard-working, talented voice performers.

Topics: Voice-over & Audio Dubbing Japanese Japan

The Rise of the Italian Dubbing Industry

[Average read time: 4 minutes]

Topics: Voice-over & Audio Dubbing Italian

Multilingual Voice Assistants

More than one out of five Americans speak a language other than English with Spanish as the most popular second language. In Canada, English and French are the two official languages. In India, there is a wealth of many different languages with Hindi as the most popular and English widely spoken. It makes sense then that companies like Google, Apple, Amazon, and Samsung are making sure that their voice assistants and smart speakers are equipped with multiple languages.

With recent updates, certain voice assistants are able to respond to a bilingual user speaking one language then switching to another without adjusting the settings. Voice assistants are also getting better at understanding the regional accents of a particular language. These advancements take a great deal of research, development, and localization.

Let's take a look at how voice assistants learn languages, some of the challenges involved, and the leaders in voice assistant localization.

[Average read time: 4 minutes]

Topics: Voice-over & Audio Text-to-speech Speech-to-text voice assistants

Tips for Localizing E-Learning Content

With internet access becoming faster and more accessible, there are more and more students opting to learn online. Also known as distance learning, e-learning is a big business that is growing internationally. If you're hoping that your e-learning content reaches a global audience, you'll need to make sure to localize it effectively for each target language and region.

Localization means taking source content and translating and adapting it to be culturally appropriate for a particular country/region. This means more engagement globally with your content as well as making your international audiences feel valued and respected.

Before you start the localization process, be sure to read this blog for some helpful tips for localizing e-learning modules.

[Average read time: 4 minutes]

Topics: e-Learning Translation & Localization localization

Why German Dubbing is So Popular

Ever hear Thanos threaten half the universe with "Ich bin unvermeidlich"?

In Germany you will. If you decide to catch an American film there, instead of hearing the original voice actors while reading German subtitles, you're more likely to see the film dubbed in German. The German dubbing business is strong with a German-speaking population of over 80 million people (mostly in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland) that generally insists on watching foreign films and TV in German. Why is German dubbing so popular? We'll explore some of the historical forces behind German dubbing, how it has become a high art, and why some may still prefer the original audio.

[Average read time: 4 minutes]

Topics: Voice-over & Audio Dubbing German Germany

Linguistic Differences Between Japanese and English

Japanese localization, whether it's providing subtitles or voice-over/dubbing in Japanese, can be a particularly challenging as well as a rewarding process.

Japan is about the size of California, but with a much denser population of 126.8 million people. Despite being a relatively small island country, it is ranked as the third largest economy by GDP and is a cultural powerhouse with films, music, and pop culture that people around the world enjoy. Japanese people are also avid consumers of international content, making Japanese localization a booming industry.

In this blog, we'll discuss some key linguistic differences between Japanese and English to keep in mind when doing Japanese localization.

[Average read time: 4 minutes]

Topics: localization Japanese Japan English

Differences Between European French vs Canadian French

We discussed in a previous blog why it is crucial to know the different regions you want to target when localizing into French for your business. French is spoken in Europe, the Americas, Africa, and many other areas, each with its own distinct linguistic variety of the language.

As a localization studio, the most common French requests we receive are for European French (also less commonly referred to as Metropolitan French) and Canadian French. In this blog, we will share some French/Canadian history, the differences between the two varieties of French, and how it can help your localization efforts.

[Average read time: 4 minutes]

Topics: Voice-over & Audio localization France Canada French Quebec Europe

The Rise of Voice Assistants and Smart Speakers

This past decade we saw explosive growth in voice assistant technology. Voice assistants are software such as Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri, and others, that are able to respond to or perform actions based on voice commands. Smart speakers are hardware like Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Apple HomePod, which have built-in voice assistants and a microphone and speaker to listen to and playback sound.

Voice assistants use text-to-speech, voice recognition, and natural language processing (NLP) to recognize and respond to voice commands. The technology is creating new opportunities in the voice industry, but it is also supplanting some voice work that was originally only done by humans. In this blog, we will look at the history of voice assistants, how they work and are used, as well as some of the ethical/economic implications they may pose to society.

[Average read time: 4 minutes]

Topics: Voice-over & Audio Text-to-speech localization Speech-to-text

The Japanese and Korean Languages: Similarities and Differences

With the upcoming Olympics in Tokyo this year, we will be having at least one Japanese themed blog post each month leading up to the games. In this post, we will discuss the similarities and differences between the Japanese and Korean languages.

These are two of the most popular languages we localize in. Despite being mutually unintelligible, there are some strong similarities between the two languages. Let's get into the details of comparing Japanese and Korean.

[Average read time: 4 minutes]

Topics: localization Japanese Korean

Getting Into the Voice-Over Industry

Since 2009, it has been estimated that demand for voice-over (VO) has increased by a factor of 20. This is due in part to the rise of voice assistants, audiobooks, and podcasts.  This has also led to an increased demand for voice talent.

Do you feel you have a unique, interesting voice? Have you been told that your voice would be great for radio or TV? If so, you may want to consider getting into the growing voice-over industry. In this blog we will go over getting to know your voice and the voice-over industry, recording demos, and deciding if this is the right industry for you.

[Average read time: 4 minutes]

Topics: Voice-over & Audio

How to Localize E-Learning Content: China Focus

From 2020 to 2025, e-learning is looking to boom over $300 billion as an industry. One of the major leaders of that boom is China. Over the past few years, American universities as well as e-learning companies have been looking to expand their presence in China through the e-learning space.

E-learning, also known as distance learning or online learning, has allowed Chinese students from rural areas access to content previously only available to students in major cities. China's Ministry of Education is also now offering off-campus learning centers to students who have issues accessing internet at home.

With these major changes, demand for e-learning content to be localized for Chinese Mandarin has grown. In this blog, we will share the main key elements needed to localize e-learning content with a focus on the Chinese market. 

[Average read time: 4 minutes]

Topics: e-Learning localization Chinese

Key Tips for Doing Commercial Voice-overs

What makes a good commercial great? Voice-over! An excellent voice-over brings an added dimension of character to any ad. The voice actor takes on the role of an expert, a teacher, a friend next door, etc...to share the good news about a product or service.

Marketing and advertising agencies know: commercial voice-over is the way for audiences to connect to a product or service. In this blog, we will share why it's important to know your audience and commercial type, tips for finding the right voice talent, and some important legal considerations when hiring talent.

[Average read time: 4 minutes]

Topics: Voice-over & Audio Commercial

The Difference Between Latin American Spanish and Castilian Spanish (Spain)

Happy New Year! As the first blog of 2020, we will explore one of the most common questions we receive as a localization studio: what is the difference between Spanish from Latin America and Spanish from Spain (also known as Castilian Spanish)? We will dig into the historical influences of the Spanish language and then look at the linguistic differences of Latin American Spanish and Castilian Spanish such as pronunciation and vocabulary. Let's explore the beautiful variety of español  and see what type of Spanish may fit your localization needs.

[Average read time: 4 minutes]

Topics: Voice-over & Audio Dubbing localization translation Spanish

Christmas Around the World

Hope you had a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! As a localization studio, we here at JBI Studios work with many different languages for clients from all around the world. We understand that knowing a little bit about other cultures goes a long way with making connections and creating strong professional relationships.

In this blog we will have some fun and explore how Christmas is celebrated around the world. Understanding the local holiday traditions of different countries during this time of year is helpful for localizing your content for the holiday season.

Let's get on Santa's sleigh and let the reindeer (sometimes switched out for kangaroo in Australia) take us away!

[Average read time: 3 minutes]

Topics: localization holidays

The Arabic Language: History and Localization Considerations

Yesterday, December 18th, was World Arabic Language Day! This date was designated by the United Nations in 2012 to commemorate December 18th, 1973 when the United Nations adopted Arabic as the sixth official language in the organization, the other five languages being: Mandarin, English, French, Russian, Spanish.

Topics: localization Arabic

Japanese Animation: A Brief History and Tips for Dubbing Anime

Anime, also known as Japanese animation, is a major cultural export from Japan that has had and continues to have a strong international influence. From Astro Boy in the 1960s to the massively successful animated feature Your Name in 2017, Japanese animation is in great demand around the world, therefore so is anime subtitling and dubbing.

In this blog we will focus on anime dubbing by first giving some historical context and then sharing key tips and reminders for dubbing Japanese animation into English.

[Average read time: 4 minutes]

Topics: Japanese animation anime

What You Need to Know About Language Interpretation

As long as there has been language, there has been language interpretation. The English word for "interpreter" is derived from the Latin "interpres", meaning "person who explains what is obscure." Interpreters facilitate spoken communication between two parties that do not speak the same language.

Language interpreters can be found in courtrooms, conferences, hospitals, recording studios, and many other locations. What form does interpretation take and how is it used in localization? In this blog we share what you need to know about interpretation.

[Average read time: 3 minutes]

Topics: localization interpretation

Localization for the Holidays

The holidays are here! In the U.S. we will be celebrating Thanksgiving tomorrow. It's a wonderful opportunity to spend time with loved ones and enjoy good food. The day after is the unofficial shopping holiday of the year, Black Friday, where U.S. residents pack the stores in search of deals. A few days after, on Cyber Monday, Americans hit the internet for online sales.

However, the U.S. is not unique in having a shopping holiday or even Thanksgiving. In this blog, we'll explore how different countries celebrate Thanksgiving and country specific holidays (shopping and otherwise) that businesses should pay attention to.

[Average read time: 3 minutes]

Topics: localization Chinese Japanese

Why Captioning & Subtitling Increases Video Views

Captions and subtitles are proven, cost effective ways to increase the number of views your videos receive and help attract and reach audiences that might not otherwise watch your videos. In this blog we cover the different types of text on screen and why you should consider adding captions and subtitles to your videos.

[Average read time: 3 minutes]

Topics: Voice-over & Audio localization Korean

Fill Out Form