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Language Help

Fluent in Non-English Languages and Interested to Join In?

Elfenworks Productions, LLC is involved in two projects that involve language translation and is currently looking for languages to support them.

  1. The first project is in support of The Elfenworks Foundation’s stress-busting Breathing Butterfly Project. This project is intended as a resource to help folks how to stress-down, because long-term stress is toxic to good health and harmful to learning and decision-making.  We’ve already covered many of the most common languages found in homeless shelters near to us, and now we’re adding as many languages as we can find – collecting them just like a butterfly collector. We support the Foundation’s free app. Check it out!
  2. The second project is our NHM Ministrants Division Lord’s Prayer Project.  We have 70 versions so far, and counting, plus a DVD and podcast, and we continue to gather languages. For this project, a written translation often already exists, but even so, we’ll need a translation worksheet to help us in our edits when creating a video presentation where folks can follow along in two languages at once.  

If you’re interested to help with either, or both, of these projects, why not visit those pages. If you don’t find your language there, then we probably haven’t recorded it yet. It’s possible that we’ve recorded it and haven’t gotten around to posting it yet, which is why contacting us is listed as the very first step, below.

Steps to Follow:

If you are interested in getting involved, please contact us first. This will help avoid any duplicative efforts and allow us to get you the script(s) (in English) and provide you with the necessary release forms. We can also advise on some recording methods that may result in a better recording.  Here are the steps to success:

  1. Contact us for the latest scripts in English and the release form.  If you’re local to us or not too far away from us, you might inquire about the possibility of stopping by, to record on-site.  Professional quality audio recordings are always preferred, but not always possible.  We’ve also given you some “field recording” tips, to help you make sound your best from anywhere.
  2. Return the release form and written translation(s) to us.
  3. Only when steps 1 and 2 are complete, and you’ve gotten the green light from us, start recording!  Please follow these “guidelines for recording” below.
  4. We’ll give you instructions on how to get the file to us, depending on the file size.

Preparation Tips for Great Recording:

The best recordings are in rooms that are quiet, and where the interference from electronics and lights is kept to a minimum. Here’s what we do at Elfenworks Productions, LLC:

  • Try to schedule the recording at a time when it’s OK to turn off any noisy equipment (e.g., air conditioner or heater), and when traffic noise is expected to be light (so, we avoid rush hour or right after school lets out). 
  • If the plan is to record indoors:
    • Turn off cell phones and overhead fluorescent lights in the immediate area.  
    • Turn off ringer on any land-line phones. 
    • Close doors to other rooms – especially doors that trigger a ‘beep’ when opened or closed.  We close the door to the kitchen.
    • Unplug noisy equipment. If we could somehow reach the plug for the refrigerator, we’d unplug it for the quick recording, then plug it back in.We do turn off the coffee making machine, which gurgles every few minutes otherwise. 
    • Keep others from disturbing the recording. We put a note on the kitchen door “recording session in progress” so people don’t use appliances.
    • Add sound-muffling help, such as blankets below doorways. We use an acoustical back-baffle. If you have one, use it – it really works!
  • We’re always prepared. We make sure we’ve printed what we’re going to record in nice, clear text so nobody has a hard time reading it. This helps avoid stumbles, errors, and wasted recording sessions.

Tips During Recording:

  • We need a “taste” of what the room itself sounds like, before you start talking.   This sound snippet of just the room itself  will improve the effectiveness and quality of our noise reduction filters,  when editing the audio into its final form.  To give us “room noise,” you can
    • Say “room noise,” then be quiet to “capture” that “room noise.”  This means you should not talk or shuffle papers. Stay still for 10 seconds – maybe even holding your breath.  Then say “end of room noise” and start your recording right away. The room noise needs to be part of the same recording as the thing you are recording. They shouldn’t be two separate tracks.
  • Give us a way to follow along,  by planning to speak each sentence in English then your new language.
  • Speak clearly and understandably. Not too fast or slow. Consider your audience.  
    • If you are recording a script for kids, speak in “motherese” (in a gentle and kindly way to children).
    • If a prayer, speak prayerfully.
  • If your language is difficult for us to follow by reading along, please give us a version where you say the whole thing through, and another version where you say one sentence, then explain that sentence in English. By interspersing English like this, you will help us figure out where we are.
  • When you’re done, don’t jump up to turn off the recorder. Count in your head “1 – 2 – 3” before getting up.
  • Always get a second recording. People are usually tense the first time. Once they’re sure they’ve got one good recording done, they relax and tend to do an even better job, the second time.
  • Play it back. Did it sound good? If it’s too low, or too high and sounds harsh and full of static, start again at #1.

Thank you in advance!

The Elves of Elfenworks Productions, LLC