ambient [ˈæmbiənt] adj. 周围的；外界的；环绕的；n.周围环境；
deputy [ˈdepjuti] adj. 副的；代理的；n.代理人；代表
Dubbing studio helps hit Chinese dramas gain fans in the Arab
In a small soundproof room of an unimpressive building located in the capital city of Egypt, Cairo, Doaa Riyad, an experienced Egyptian dubbing actress at Vibration Studios, stares intently at the screen in front of her as she dubs lines for a Chinese TV drama into Arabic.
This job might look relaxing and cushy, but dubbing Chinese TV dramas is much more difficult than one may think, not only from a technical point of view but also because the job shoulders the responsibility of facilitating the exchange of culture.
'Arabic Fan Shengmei'
Without doubt, it is difficult to find the right balance between staying true to the original script and making sure the new Arabic lines sound natural.
"It's really difficult to dub Chinese TV series because Chinese people pronounce words in a different way from Arabs," Riyad told the Xinhua News Agency.
Changing the length of the lines in the Arabic translation to make them match the movement of a character's lips, Riyad and her colleagues go to great lengths to ensure their dub is faultless.
In addition to dubbing characters in the TV series, the studio must also find a way to recreate the ambient noise that can be heard in the background as well.
"The actors' dialogue and the ambient noise were recorded on the same track, so we need to add new Arabic-version ambient sounds with the assistance of our foley artists," Mohamed Ghanem, a sound engineer at Vibration Studios, told Xinhua.
"The sound of turning pages, the sound of having a meal, the sound of putting a pair of glasses on the table, even sounds that only exist in China, we do whatever we can to recreate them. We want to do our best," said Ghanem.
Having dubbed a number of Chinese series, Vibration Studios is experienced in overcoming these challenges.
After the Arabic version of Ode to Joy, one of the most popular Chinese TV series in 2016, aired on Egyptian state TV on January 1, Riyad, with her excellent dubbing skills, became known as the "Arabic Fan Shengmei," one of the main characters in Ode to Joy.
Overall, this drama provides a very real inside look into the struggles and challenges faced by today’s women in China, as shown through the eyes of five very young different women of varying economic backgrounds, personalities, and ages, all trying in their own way, to balance the challenges of earning money to support themselves (and their families in some cases) with societal pressures of avoiding becoming a “left-over woman.”
This drama’s popularity shows us that in China, while traditions prevail regarding women’s roles at home, there is a clear trend towards more and more women aspiring towards their own career goals before settling down to get married and have children, further showing us that these women who strive for their own ambitions are both attractive and admirable.
"I hope my next dubbing role is not like Fan Shengmei, who cries a lot in that TV series," said Riyad in her slightly hoarse voice.
"I also hope Fan can be happier and her burdens lighter."
"When we finished dubbing our first Chinese series, it was incredibly satisfying. We thought we were watching an Egyptian show, and that all the plots and jokes would be understood and accepted by the Egyptian audience," Ashraf Hamed, chief of Vibration Studios, told Xinhua.
According to Chinese news site , Vibration Studios does not only dub Chinese TV dramas, but also Chinese cartoons, films and even documentaries, which are then broadcast through a number of TV channels in Middle Eastern countries.
In 2012, Vibration Studios and China Radio International's studio in Egypt signed a cooperation agreement to dub Chinese TV series Jin Tailang's Happy Life into Arabic. Since then, the Arabic version of many popular Chinese TV dramas like Romance of Our Parents and Beijing Youth have been seen by Egyptian audiences and even the entire Middle East thanks to the dedication of Vibration Studios, which has dubbed more than 500 Chinese drama episodes according to China news site.
Hamed said he believes that by dubbing Chinese TV shows Egyptian viewers will become more familiar with Chinese culture, history and traditions, therefore it should come as no surprise that officials in both countries attach great importance to their work.
According to a report from entertainment magazine CairoScene, Egyptian and Chinese media officials gathered in Cairo on November 18, 2018, to celebrate the broadcast of the Arabic-dubbed version of Ode to Joy. Those in attendance included Naila Farouk, head of the Egyptian state TV; Gao Jianmin, deputy minister of information at China's National Radio and Television Administration; and Song Aiguo, Chinese ambassador to Egypt.
"I am able to see the modern life of Chinese people through Ode to Joy. Despite the great pressure they are under, I like to see Chinese women fighting for their lives," a 25-year-old TV viewer surnamed Yasser told Xinhua. He noted that he recommended this TV drama to all his friends.
"I am really pleased that our work has brought Chinese culture to the Arab world, especially the stories and lives of ordinary people who live in modern China," said Hamed.
"Chinese TV series are so popular in our country because we have many things in common with the Chinese people in terms of culture, emotions and lifestyles. It is no accident that Jin Tailang's Happy Life became the most-watched show on Egyptian state TV Channel 2, and Ode to Joy was a hot topic of discussion," he added.