What a German voice-over talent can do for you
The German expression for German voice talent, or German voice actor, is “Sprecher”, and sometimes also “Profisprecher”. Many German voice actors work from their own studio, delivering their voice recordings to their customers via the Internet. There are also agencies that represent German voice talents, although representation by agents is more common in the USA. Mostly, the voice talents record scripts in the German language, but from time to time, scripts in English with a German accent are needed.
Translating into German
When handling time-sensitive scripts translated into German, such as those used in videos, it is important to provide a voice-over-friendly translation. This means that the number of syllables in the German translation should not exceed the number in the original script. Because German is 20% longer, the translator cannot conduct a one-by-one translation of the content. It is important to shorten the script, otherwise the pace for the voice talent will become too high and the listener will have difficulties in following it. Please also keep in mind the following: A professional translator is an expert in maintaining the stylistic level and ideally should translate into his/her mother tongue. A German voice talent is not a professional translator, and certainly not a Google-tool. With this in mind, the recommendation is to not try to save money by asking the German voice actor for a translation as well. Instead, invest that money in the skills of a real expert, except when the script is very easy and the stylistic level is not important. You should not let the translator record the script either. We can all talk, of course, but professional voice actors have improved their skills, hopefully via a well-grounded education.
Becoming a voice talent
There are different ways to become a German voice talent. The possibilities for training in Germany are:
- Diplom-Sprecher at the State University of Performing Arts Stuttgart, and now a bachelor´s or master´s degree at the “Institut für Kommunikationspädagogik” at the State University of Performing Arts Stuttgart
- Diplom-Sprechwissenschaft (master´s degree in announcing/speaking)
course at the Martin Luther University in Halle
- Diplom-Sprecher (masters degree in announcing) course at a DGSS-approved examination centre
- Acting course
- Training as radio/TV journalist and private training as an announcer or narrator with a speech trainer
- Career change with training by a speech trainer
Interview with German voice actor Christian Büsen at voices.com