You don't know her, but chances are, you've heard her voice many times. Did you realize Angelababy in General and I, Joe Chen in Stay With Me, and Tiffany Tang in The Princess Weiyoung all have something in common? They've shared the same beautiful voice from the most famous voice actress in China. Find out more... especially about a huge surprise in Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms!

Many of you already know that dubbing is a common practice in Chinese dramas. One voice actress in particular is now so popular that Chinese viewers instantly recognize her voice. 

Ji Guanlin is the voice heroine that you never see on screen, and you may as well call her the "Voice of China." 

Here she is at work:

She has worked in around 300 Chinese dramas and movies to date. Her work also spans genres including dramas, movies, animes, games, and radio shows. Since international movies are also dubbed for the Chinese market, Ms. Ji has dubbed for Jennifer Lawrence in all of the Hunger Games movies, Zoe Saldana's Neytiri in Avatar, and Anne Hathaway's White Queen in Alice Through the Looking Glass, just to name a few examples.

Her excellent work is so highly respected that she is now a sought-after voice actress. Some actresses who know that they will be dubbed will even specifically ask for her. Actresses she has dubbed for include such famous stars as Fan Bingbing, Ruby Lin, Joe Chen (aka Chen Qiao-En), Liu Yifei, and many more.

Undoubtedly her most famous role which elevated her to super-star status among voice actors is Empresses in the Palace (aka The Legend of Zhen Huan), where viewers felt that her voice was inseparable from the titular character, Zhen Huan, portrayed by leading actress Sun Li. Until then, viewers didn't really pay attention to the great voice that had added vibrancy and emotional depth to their favorite characters on the screen.

There are pros and cons about the practice of voice dubbing. China is a huge country with many different dialects and accents. Mandarin was designated as the national dialect decades ago so that everyone can communicate using the same common dialect. Dubbing by experienced actors with good voices and trained enunciation allows the viewers to focus on the drama without the distraction of different accents, unless the story specifically requires a regional accent. 

An example is General and I. To hear the Hong Kong Superstar Wallace Chung's Cantonese accent in a historical drama filmed in Mandarin Chinese would be distracting to the native speakers. (I can even detect a tiny bit of his Cantonese accent in the lovely OST that he sings.)

Chinese viewers have discussed this topic with vociferous and differing opinions. Some don't mind the practice, while others point out that actors may neglect to improve their acting skills and just rely on the experienced voice actors to do the heavy work.

For better or worse, one benefit to this practice is that It has allowed foreign actors, such as Korean actors Yoona (God of War, Zhao Yun) and Ji Chang Wook (The Whirlwind Girl 2) to star as the leads without having to speak perfect Chinese. This is definitely a better practice than in Hollywood where foreign actors, especially Asian actors, tend to be typecast in action films that don't require much dialogue. (In some cases, I wish American actors were dubbed when their characters supposedly speak perfect Chinese but really don't.)

So, are you ready for one more surprise?

Ji Guanlin is also the voice for Yang Mi's Fox Princess Bai Qian in Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms

Luckily, Mark Chao is dubbed by the same voice actor for Luo Jin in The Princess Weiyoung, where Ji Guanlin also dubbed for Tiffany Tang. So when you hear Bai Qian and Prince Ye Hua talk, you can reminisce the lovely romance on and off the screen for The Princess Weiyoung stars.


Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms (aka Eternal Love) - 三生三世十里桃花

Starring Yang Mi and Mark Chao

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The fact that some actors are dubbed doesn't mean that they don't speak good Chinese. The production team makes the final decision for various reasons. You can hear Yang Mi's own voice in many of her other work, especially the movies. You can also hear her and Mark Chao's own voices in the many behind-the-scenes clips on DramaFever's FB page.

Some actors are endowed with a magnificent voice that cannot be substituted. Wang Kai is one great example! So far his fans are lucky to hear him speak with his own charming voice in great dramas such as Nirvana in Fire and When a Snail Falls in Love.

~ Find me at NancyZdramaland for more updates!

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