Let’s talk about the benefits of working with a bilingual voice talent.


In most markets and territories around the world, you will find an audience made up of a mix of cultures, languages, and ethnicities. And your company’s product or service will need localization services to integrate seamlessly and accurately into that market. It’s important to capture their linguistic flavors, their comedic slant, and to create an appropriate tagline in each language, which can either make or break a product.

Accents, Delivery and Influence

In my career as a bilingual (English / French) writer, translator, and voice actor over the last 25 years, I have encountered many instances where content was simply run through machine translation and expected to meet the mark. And I’ve heard, for example, radio commercials voiced in both languages by unilingual voice talent who were not able to deliver on the accent or capture the flavor of the second language in that market. The result: your brand sounds like it’s not in touch with your target audience.  There is a missed opportunity for a great ad campaign to reach all the members of that population in their respective languages. It goes without saying that people believe and get influenced by people who sound like them and where they come from.

Benefits of Working with a Bilingual Voice Talent
Working with a bilingual voice talent who knows the nuances of each language can be an asset to your company. Here’s why:
– They can pronounce all the words correctly in each language with the appropriate accent.
– They know about inflections, language melody, and the correct way to hit the mark in each language when it comes to delivering a line of drama or comedy.
– They offer continuity for your product or service because they know your specs and product briefing.
– They are bookable in one session to voice both languages.
– They can offer suggestions on how to improve the content if some segments are tricky (unless it needs to go back to regulatory or legal review first) and may also offer translation services.
– They can speak to the client, producer, or audio engineer in their language during the live directed session.

Here is what the Experts Say
Memo Sauceda, Treasurer at World-Voices Organization, is a bilingual narrator (English / Spanish) and offered his expertise on this topic. “You can also help if the translation is poor, and there are some nuances and ways of saying things colloquially that only a native speaker will know. For example, using a plural when it should be a singular or the other way around. And even using a feminine instead of a masculine word or preposition. If the bilingual talent is Latin, we are very hard-working, but we also appreciate humor, and are not afraid to use it if the recording is getting tense and it’s needed to defuse the ambiance. If we are waiting for approval and have time to kill, we can also tell some stories about our country of origin or places to visit.”

Ramesh Mahtani, Director of International Relations at World-Voices Organization, and a voice talent who speaks four languages and voices in English and Spanish, stated that, “directing the voice talent is smoother and more effective if the client doesn’t speak the same language, and cultural nuances and colloquialisms are better understood by the talent’s knowledge and expertise of the language.”

Choose Bilingual Voice Talent
So, say yes to working with a bilingual talent to help elevate your product or service. It will help you capture the essence of the languages and cultures of your target audience within a given market.

We invite you to browse WoVO’s vetted professional member directory on voiceover.biz to locate the perfect voice for your project.

By Katherin Vasilopoulos, President-Emeritus, World-Voices Organization (WoVO) and bilingual voice actor (English and French)

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