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

Recording Voice-Over for Voice-Assisted Devices

We're in the midst of a technological revolution powered by artificial intelligence, and voice is at the center of this sea of change. In the 1920s and 30s, the introduction of radio allowed voices to reach every home and changed what we listened to. Now voice technology is allowing individuals to control a multitude of devices through voice commands and is changing what we speak to.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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

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.

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

5 Reasons Text-To-Speech Will Be the Standard for Accessibility Audio

Text-to-speech is now widely used – most notably in the recent boom in smart speakers, which rely on TTS voices like Alexa and Google Assistant. But there’s another field in which TTS voices are about to become just as important – audio accessibility voice-over for documentation. Because multimedia localization is closely tied to accessibility services, it’s crucial for language service providers and post-production professionals to understand why TTS will come to dominate this particular field in 2018 – and how to be ready for these projects.

This post will list the 5 reasons TTS will become the standard for document accessibility audio in 2018.

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

How to Use Text-To-Speech (TTS) Voice-Over for Document Accessibility

Document accessibility is one of the more common uses for text-to-speech voice-over. Why? Because TTS is a great tool for producing large amounts of voice audio in a short amount of time. But it’s also a relatively new tool, one that comes with a unique set of challenges  in particular for multimedia localization projects.

This post details what you must know to make documents accessible in multiple languages using text-to-speech.

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

The Future of Text-to-Speech and What It Means for Voice-Over

We’re going to end our month-long focus on text-to-speech by looking to the future – specifically, the future of TTS. It’s already everywhere – the new assistants on Amazon Echo and Google Home, for example, are very sophisticated TTS voices coupled with voice recognition. Because it’s a cost-effective and rapid option for VO production, TTS will come to dominate various VO applications, especially when they require localization.

In today’s post, we’ll look at the future of TTS, and the three voiceover applications that will benefit the most – and the most quickly – from this technology.

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Topics: e-Learning Translation & Localization Text-to-speech

Has text-to-speech really improved that much? Listen for yourself.

In today’s post the text-to-speech voices will do all the talking, so you can hear for yourself just how good they’ve become. They’re more natural, better at reading texts – and there are more of them, in more languages. This is why today they’re a viable option – and very a very cost-effective one as well – for foreign-language voice-over services.

If you haven’t heard TTS voices lately, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

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

3 Pronunciation Musts for Text-to-Speech Voice-Over Recordings

Text-to-speech (TTS) is everywhere, and you’re probably using it every day. Siri, Google Now and Cortana, or the voices you hear in GPS navigation apps, customer service phone menus, or even the messages at the train station – they’re all text-to-speech voice fonts. Better yet, they’re an exciting technology for corporate and e-Learning voice-over because production with them is so cost-effective and rapid. But they do present a few challenges, one of which is pronunciation.

This post will provide the three rules you must follow to ensure proper text-to-speech voice-over pronunciation, with a video example for each one.

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Topics: Translation & Localization Text-to-speech

Can text-to-speech be used for video translation? (Yes!)

Text-to-speech (or TTS) is one of the big news stories of 2017. It’s a crucial part of the success of Google Alexa and Amazon Echo, both voice-operated home assistants. Its maturation as a technology will be a key component to the development of artificial intelligence. And, of course, it’s going to radically change video translation services – in fact, it’s doing so already.

This post will look at how text-to-speech can be used for video translation, using video examples created by our team.

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

What to expect in 2017 for voice-over, dubbing & subtitles

2016 is coming to a close, so today we’ll look at the voice-over, dubbing and subtitles trends we can expect in 2017. The year ahead will mark a shift in marketing and video distribution, as more content migrates online, and streaming – which is particularly localization-friendly – outperforms traditional distribution channels. 

This post lists the three main multimedia localization trends we expect to see in 2017.

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Topics: Voice-over & Audio Dubbing Subtitles & Captions Translation & Localization Video Translation Text-to-speech

Can text-to-speech be used for video voice-over? Yes – we have proof.

Text-to-speech has reached a kind of maturation point as a technology. The synthetic voices (or voice “fonts”) are starting to sound really good. And, more importantly, TTS is a cost-effective and time-saving alternative to human voice-over. So naturally, we’ve been getting questions about whether it can be used for video. The short answer is yes – you can definitely use it for video voice-over.

The long answer is a tad more complicated – as you’ll see in the video in this post.

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

3 tips for Olympic visitors who don’t speak Brazilian Portuguese

Starting this Friday, Rio de Janeiro will host the 2016 Summer Olympics, where athletes from 206 delegations will compete in 28 sports. The Brazilian Tourism Institute (EMBRATUR) expects over half a million international tourists for the Olympics, and needless to say, most of these visitors will not be fluent or native-speakers of Brazilian Portuguese. Fortunately, they now have access to powerful communication and translation tools that will make travelling through Rio de Janeiro much easier.

This blog post will provide visitors to the Rio Olympics who don’t speak Brazilian Portuguese – or anyone visiting Brazil – with three useful tips for using these tools.

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Topics: Translation & Localization Text-to-speech

Adobe Captivate now supports text-to-speech for e-Learning translation

This is very exciting for e-Learning translation. Adobe Captivate has supported text-to-speech (TTS) generation since version 5, providing users with a powerful tool to increase course accessibility and engagement. However, this has been limited to English for the US, meaning that localization projects only have human voice-over as an option.

This blog post will look at the languages added, and provide a video sample of the voices themselves.

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Topics: e-Learning Voice-over & Audio Translation & Localization Text-to-speech

Audio & video translation needs by industry – a quick guide

A language services provider (LSP) client of ours recently sent us two very good questions:
1. Which industries require audio and video translation the most?
2. Is there anything we should be aware of for each industry?

These two questions are crucial for LSP’s who want to expand into audio, video and multimedia localization – or who just want a sense of what to expect from a diverse group of clients. For our non-LSP blog readers, this post should give you an idea of what multimedia localization challenges your industry may face.

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Topics: e-Learning Transcreation Voice-over & Audio Dubbing Subtitles & Captions Translation & Localization Video Translation Text-to-speech

Listen to a text-to-speech (TTS) voice in our video sample

Intonation and pronunciation advancements improve the text-to-speech experience

Text-to-speech (TTS) is a radical and very exciting new technology for corporate and e-Learning voice-over. It's a cost-effective option for high-volume, informational voice-over projects – for example, making health care program guidelines (which run into the thousands of pages) accessible.

In fact, TTS is already used in various applications – think Siri and Cortana, or metro announcements, or even phone user directories – but most people don't realize it. In today's blog post, we've uploaded a short video featuring a text-to-speech voice, so you can see what the buzz is about.

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

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