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Another profession of a translator is synchronization. This is when the entire source language dialogue soundtrack is replaced by a target language soundtrack. Important note here: This is not about the dubbing actors but about the texts that are translated by translators and then recorded by dubbing actors in a sound studio.

What must be considered in this process?

The content remains in the context of the source culture during production, but it is linguistically transferred to the target culture. In the process, the original tone is completely lost. The aim is to create an illusion for the audience that the actors are actually speaking their language. To achieve this illusion, the naturalness of the dialogue is very important as well as the three types of synchronicities.

Naturalness of dialogue

Dialogues should contain orality markers in the target language. These include incomplete sentences, repetitions, delayed sounds, grammatical errors, etc. The language must also be adapted to the character. Thus, if the character is Spanish and the target language is Italian, an accent should be added if it is also present in the source language.

Three types of synchronicities

  • Isochrony, also known as temporal synchronicities:
    Basically, the target language should always be spoken when the original sound is also spoken. It is especially important in ON dialogue, i.e., when it is seen that speaking is taking place. Care should be taken to ensure that the target text is approximately the same length as the source text. However, if the speaking is not visible, the translator has a lot of freedom when synchronizing.
  • Kinetic synchronicity:
    This refers to the coherence between image and dialogue. Visual information such as body language, gestures, facial expressions, images, etc. must not contradict the dialogue. Thus, if the character is angry, the dubbing artist must adjust his pitch accordingly. Or if footballs are shown, then the target text should also speak of footballs and not basketballs.
  • Lip synchronicity, or LipSync:
    Isochrony plays a central role in LlipSync. If so-called close-ups or extreme close-ups are shown, i.e., sections in which only the lips are clearly visible, the target text must correspond to the lip movements. It is important to note that the lip positions at the beginning and end of a sequence are the same, as are the labial sounds.


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