May 9, 2023
VoiceQ localization software was developed in New Zealand in the early 2000’s to solve a problem for New Zealand’s media industry: How to efficiently localize popular imported children's TV programs into Māori, the language of the indigenous people of New Zealand, in a country with no dubbing history, no dubbing actors, and no dubbing infrastructure?
Māori-owned media company Kiwa Digital, formed in 2003, took this up as a challenge. The team researched concepts around the world to invent a unique software solution that respected the Māori language and culture as a “taonga” (the Māori word for treasure) while delivering efficiently and professionally large volumes of localized content.
The team is proud to have caught the attention, in those early days, of industry champion Jacques Barreau, who was honoured this week with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Entertainment Globalisation Association. In an article in MultiLingual magazine in 2012, Jacques explains how the VoiceQ team intelligently adapted the best system in the world, the French rythmoband, to a new software “saving themselves 50 years of research”.
“Without a dubbing history, as the main language is English, the New Zealanders were presented with a double challenge. Which technique would be the most efficient and how to quickly train a brand new pool of dubbing actors?”
Twenty years later, VoiceQ now offers a suite of native and cloud tools for TV, Film, Anime, and Gaming localization, supporting 160 companies globally, including 139 studios of the largest SVOD vendors). In January 2020 the Economist featured VoiceQ in an article on Global Dubbing Innovation, where the correspondent described taking part in a VoiceQ dubbing session in LA and referred to VoiceQ software as helping drive the current English dubbing boom in the USA by “making sprawling international productions easier, faster and cheaper”; and the session being “like making their own film without the camera”.
Over the past 20 years, the New Zealand company has taken the advice of Barreau, to learn from the best practices of others and collaborate with others. The team currently works with “the best of the best” around the world to gain insights and test new ideas.
This includes the creative talent to co-design tools that enable accurate and efficient language localization, creative project direction, and authentic performance; technical talent to co-design tools that enable accurate and efficient recording and QC; AWS for cloud solutions to complement native solutions; AI partners to offer machine translation and synthetic voice options; End-to-End vendors to provide a one-stop-shop for all services across entire titles; and leading gaming companies to tailor a software solution to the very specific localization needs of the gaming industry.
These developments continue to honor language as a treasure. VoiceQ has a proud history and, as it goes forward, holds on to its past. Mauri Ora ki a tatou - The breath of life to us all.
Our free trial gives you and your team full access. Create a project in minutes. No credit card required.Start your free trial