Did you ever watch the original versions of “Die Hard” or “Forest Gump” and afterwards the same movies in a foreign language?
Yes, well, then you certainly know that Bruce Willis and Tom Hanks have very different voices in your language compared to the original movie. Assuming that you have seen a few original movies by these actors you will feel awkward about their transition. Our voices carry a heavy load of implicit information. Thus hearing a familiar voice our brain is conditioned to draw from all our previous experiences with the character traditionally belonging to this voice. A known character with an “unfamiliar” voice will be irritating to us.
This has implications for all brands which try to establish a corporate voice. The crucial question is: how can you transfer your brand voice character from one language to another?
Going back to the movies. Just check out how international voices are “transferred” to the german language. An interesting website called “synchron kartei” shows the “who is who” of German synchronization. The website is only in German, but it’s easy to navigate.
It’s pretty obvious that in most cases a complete different voice character is communicated. So how does your brand sound? A great challenge for all international brands!