Before the translation and adaptation of video projects involving dialogue when people are on-camera, clients usually ask:
“Is it worth spending more to do a lip sync? Or will a voice-over get the job done?”
Well, the answer depends on the job. We don’t recommend lip sync on testimonial & educational videos; it is very standard and accepted in the industry to leave in the original voice at a lower volume, and overdub the foreign voice-over (as commonly seen in BBC foreign interviews). Even though the lips won’t be synchronized with the audio, it will effectively convey the message while at the same time confirming the impression that words are not being put in the speaker’s mouth.
However, in commercials, movies, TV series and more “creative” audiovisual productions, lip synching is expected. As you are familiar with, it is commonplace when viewing foreign movies, TV series or soap operas.
The key is not to overspend by synchronizing projects that don’t require the use of this more demanding – and therefore more expensive – technique.
In video projects where there is an off-camera, narrative voice, the original audio should always be eliminated and replaced by the foreign voice-over (and sounds should be overdubbbed or re-created) in order to obtain an identical foreign version of the original video.