Casting & Recording Japanese Voice Over

When utilizing foreign language voice over for a project, drafting the script and recording the talent can take precise planning. Since many languages vary in length when spoken, that time must be accounted for in both the script and when recording. This holds all the more true with Japanese voice over. A commonly used language within video games and animation, the Japanese language is widely used within voice work. However, using such a voice can be challenging, as Japanese is inherently different from English and other western languages.

Though utilizing Japanese voice over takes careful consideration, CMD can simplify the process. We work with clients directly to cast and record the appropriate voice over artists for any type of production. Whether you’re working on a video game, TV programme, or film, we can help you select a fitting talent, draft and translate the script, and mix the final product. While we’ll help you throughout the process, see below for more information on Japanese voice over and key some considerations for using such.

The Japanese Language

An East Asian language, Japanese is spoken by approximately 125 million people. Taking much of its vocabulary from Chinese and even using many Chinese characters, the Japanese language is written far different from English and western languages, which adds to its difficulty when using it for voice over. Both the sentence structure and way the language is spoken vary greatly from other languages and, as mentioned, can make using Japanese voice over a more challenging task.

The reason for this lies within the Japanese language’s grammatical structure—which translates differently for each language. While Japanese phrases may be longer when translated to Chinese, an English phrase may only be a few syllables when translated to Japanese. This and a range of other factors call for precise planning when utilizing Japanese voice over.

Tips for Utilizing Japanese Voice Over

As we’ve alluded to above, there’s plenty to consider when working with Japanese voice over artists for your production. Whether it be narration or voice acting, the language you use will have a heavy impact on how the script is drafted as well as the recording time. So, when seeking Japanese voice over artists, keep the following tips and considerations in mind:

  • Since English phrases are often shorter once translated to Japanese, you must account for this timing difference when writing the script and recording the voice over.

  • The Japanese language is based heavily on formality and degrees of such when speaking. With this, a specific character may call for more formal speaking, while another may use more informal phrases.

  • Aside from differences in language, you always need to consider the type of voice required when using foreign language voice over. What type of production is it? What kind of voice does it call for?

  • Similarly, think about the audience. What type of voice will appeal most to them? A male voice?

Cast & Record Voice Over Talent with CMD

While Japanese voice over calls for a bit more than many other languages, casting and recording the appropriate voice over talent for your production can be simply with CMD. We work with a broad range of non-union voice over talent to provide the perfect voice for virtually any type of production. Plus, we can work with you in translating the script and mixing for the final product.

If you’d like to work with CMD in using Japanese voice over, you can give us a call today at 212-213-9420.