Conclusion

 

"If you have stayed with me this far, then you have come a long way from being a translator of the written word to a specialist of the spoken one, or from a stage actor to a voice-over specialist. You will have seen that through hard work and training you can improve your skills and acquire new ones. Translators will have a new string to their bow if they specialise in translating the spoken word and they could even start new careers as voice artists. Remember, there is a lot of competition in that field as there are many actors who are ahead of you here, but you could catch up with them by working on improving your voice. Actors, if they happen to have a foreign language, could also develop translating skills and here again, it will not happen overnight. They will have to go through arduous work, honing their writing skills in their own language and developing a great understanding of the foreign one they have chosen to learn. There is training around; many courses are run to learn languages and to learn how to translate. The problem is the willingness of the individual to invest time and hard work to achieve the required standards. Some actors “rest” quite often in between productions; therefore in theory they should have the time to learn a new trade. In practical terms it would be ideal for some actors as they could take the translation work almost anywhere on a laptop and use some of the waiting time in this profession to write a translation. Indeed, many actors are writers in their own right and take their computers with them on locations sometimes. It is a fantastic way not to lose your spirit when there is no acting work around and you can also supplement your income this way. But actors, remember, always translate into your mother tongue, never try to do it in a foreign one! I am emphasising the word actors as I would expect professional translators to know about that.

If you have read this far, I know that you are people who like a challenge, as it is a challenge for both translators and actors. Translators are very often people who like to work on their own and who might even be a bit shy, so imagine the leap they would have to make to become a professional voice. But it can be done! This is what I have tried to explain in this book.  Translators can find out easily if they can read aloud and if they can, how to improve their reading. I have also explained how to train the voice to sound convincing, furthermore I have given information on how to build a home studio and how to market these new services. Budding actors might also benefit from the studio reading techniques which are a bit different from what they do on stage. The appropriate behaviour in the studio is also explained in the chapter on Etiquette and should prove useful to newcomers as well as old hands who might have forgotten a thing or two. 

Writing the book I have also realised that it would be very good if clients were to read it! Some would probably understand a bit more of what translators and voices are confronted with when they have to make a foreign version for them.

I think I have used a common sense approach to making foreign versions through my career and if all parties concerned were to do the same, their quality would improve dramatically to the benefit of the end client and all concerned."