Translation Project Managers: Tips for Voiceover Quotes

As a translations project manager, you know exactly what information you need in order to provide a quote to your client. However, the information needed to quote for a voiceover project is different; you need specific details from your client before requesting a quote from the vendors you work with. Below is a helpful list to keep handy:


Whether the request is a stand-alone VO recording or part of an eLearning project, here’s what you need to know:


  1. Length of Script:
    • Word count of the translated script (or an estimate based on the source script). If there is neither a source nor translated script, then having the video length can help you estimate the word count.
  2. Usage and purpose of the VO recording:
    • Voice talents charge based on where it will be played, for how long, and the genre (e.g. eLearning, explainer video, corporate marketing, etc.).
  3. Budget:
    • Knowing the VO budget facilitates the voice casting process by narrowing down the VO choices to those within the allotted budget. Some clients do not have or know a budget limit, or maybe they do not want to be bound by a budget; in such cases, your job is to find the most suitable voices for the recording requirements.
  4. Gender:
    • Identifying whether a male or female voice is needed or preferred helps the voice casting process tremendously as it saves you time and allows you to focus on choosing the voices the client wants.
  5. Type of voice (if necessary) such as deep, young, mature, corporate:
    • Sometimes the client may have very specific preferences for the type of voice, which is useful for voice casting purposes.
  6. Type of recording: timed vs untimed:
    • In general, most VO recording requests for eLearning do not need to be timed; however, it’s good to know because it affects the quote. Some voice talents charge extra for timed recordings.

Note: If the video is being localized by VideoLocalize, the recording generally does not need to be timed because VideoLocalize’s award-winning technology can automatically synch the untimed audio recording with the video.


  1. Reference video or audio:
    • Sending a reference video or audio to the voice talent will help them understand the usage and purpose of the recording, providing you with a more accurate quote.
  2. The number of speakers:
    • If there are multiple speakers in the video, the voice casting becomes somewhat more complicated. A word count of each script for each speaker is needed, then you’d need to voice cast for all the different speakers and assign the appropriate role to the right voice talent. Take this into account as it will affect the overall quote.

Requests for Rough Quote Estimates

Sometimes, the client just needs to know the rough cost of a voiceover recording, either to win a bid and/or to add it into a project budget. In such cases, project managers still need to know the target language, approximate script length (word count in source or target or video minutes), and the purpose of the recording. This information is basic for calculating the approximate VO cost.



Knowing what to ask your client when they request a quote will not only save time but prevent having to make adjustments to the budget should there be any unexpected surprises. With 20+ years of experience helping clients streamline their video localization projects, we understand the nuances and complexities involving voiceovers and aim to provide expert, hassle-free experiences for our clients. Get in touch about a quote or any question you might have regarding your voiceover or localization project.



Get a Quote for Your Voiceover Project