Voice Artists: How to Care for Your Voice (Part 1)

For voice-artists who work with their voices every day, maintaining it well is essential. As a voice-over artist you need to ensure that you provide your clients with a reliable service, as well as keeping yourself comfortable!

There are many techniques thrown out there, claiming to be the best way to look after your voice, and in this blog we will look at some of these, and talk about ways to improve your vocal control.

Warming Up Routine For Voice Artists

Your vocal cords (or vocal folds) are found in the larynx, and just like an athlete wouldn’t do a serious work out with first warming up, voice over artists should first ‘stretch’ the muscles found within your voice box.

Starting with humming is a nice way to begin to relax these muscles in your larynx, as well as creating a nice resonant sound. If you work through syllables such as the ‘velar nasal’ gn sound found in onion, stretching it out, sliding up and down in pitch. Working with arpeggios, scales or glides that both climb and descend in pitch is a good way of ensuring you warm up in all parts of the range quickly and without strain. Next up, lip and tongue trills help to loosen the throat, jaw, tongue and lips, spread the vocal folds so that they vibrate mainly at their edges, and encourage relaxation.

Articulation is key in voice overs, to ensure that the words of the script are formed properly so you get the clearest read possible. Tongue twisters are a great way to help your annunciation and articulation, and they can also assist with the development of tongue muscle memory for particular vowel sounds. Here are a few examples:

1. Assists with R and L vowels

Red letter, yellow letter, red letter, yellow letter, red letter, yellow letter

2. Assists with moving from the front of the lips to the soft palate and back again.

A proper cup of coffee from a proper copper coffee pot.

3. Makes you move your lips from an Ooh shape to a flatter A shape and really get your mouth moving

Wayde went to Wales to watch wrens riot

4.  This one is for forward tongue placement

I am not a pheasant plucker,
I’m a pheasant plucker’s son
but I’ll be plucking pheasants
When the pheasant plucker’s gone

5.  This exercise works the soft palate and back of the mouth

Six sick hicks nick six slick bricks with picks and sticks

Finally, yawning helps you naturally relax your jaw, extends your soft palate and regulates the oxygen flowing through your body. A ‘yawn-sigh’ helps you work on your range, sliding all the way down from the top of your vocal range to the lowest grumble you can reach. You’ll know when you reach your limit! Make sure you do this last, and only do this a few times per warm up… you don’t want to strain your muscles too much!

Latin American or European Spanish: What’s The Difference?

Spanish voice-overs and language services

European Spanish, sometimes known as Castellano, and Latin American Spanish can be understood by Spanish speakers all over the world, however there are many differences between the two, both in phonology and vocabulary. When choosing foreign language voice artists, it is important to select talents who speak the right variation for your audience.

A very clear distinction between European and Latin American Spanish is the pronunciation of the letter C, when followed by an I or an E, and the letter Z when followed by a vowel. In Spain, the letter C is pronounced as /θ/, or the ‘th’ sound in English. However in Latin American this is pronounced as a ’S’ sound. One of the most popular urban myths which claims to give reason for this differentiation, is that there was once a Spanish king who spoke with lisp, which was then imitated by the Spanish population.

The way in which the second person plural is conjugated can be a good indiction of whether someone is speaking European or Latin American Spanish. Speakers of Latin American Spanish will always use ustedes no matter who they are speaking to. However speakers of European Spanish will use ustedes only when addressing a group of people who are perhaps older or more important than them. For everyone else, they will use vosotros. In a similar vein, it is common in Latin American to hear the word ‘you’ as vos, whereas in Spain this would be .

As well as this, in many places in Latin America you will notice the ’s’ sound sometimes goes missing or is ‘swallowed’. For example the word está can become eh’tá. This feature of speech is actually also common in the southern parts of Spain.

Spanish Voice-Overs, Translations, Subtitles, and Localisation

Communication between speakers of the two is usually always fluid and much like communication between the speakers of UK and US English who may use different vocabulary and have different accents, but have no trouble understanding each other. However in terms of voice-overs, translations, subtitles and localisation, it is important to identify which market you want to speak to and then use resources from this area. If you want to hear the differences yourself, take a look at our European and Latin American voice-over catalogue!

Authorities in Korea to Fix Menus Lost in Translation

Computer-guided translation tools have come up with some baffling translations across the world, but now Korean authorities are tackling the problem head on the Korea Times reports.

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism in Korea are cracking down on these mistranslations of Korean restaurant menus into English that have begun to embarrass some Koreans.

Korean Menu TranslationA task force including the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs has been created to tackle the issue, with the help of the National Institute of Korean Language, the Korean Food Foundation, food experts and native English, Chinese and Japanese speakers to standardise the foreign names of Korean foods, and a new website will be launched with the new translations to minimise further errors.

This issue is not just with English translations. Rep. Yeom Dong-yeol of the Saenuri Party revealed late last year that among 274 restaurants in Seoul with Korean-food menus in Chinese, a third had “seriously wrong” translations.

Some of these errors include ‘Pollock Stew’ being translated to ‘Dynamic Stew’, ‘Beef Tartare’ becoming ‘Six Times’.

Our Translations and Voice-Over Translation Service

Here at Adelphi, as a leading translation, subtitling and voice-over agency, we ensure that our translations are fully accurate and that we only work with professionals translating into their mother tongue. We are a member of the Association of Translation Companies (ATC), who require member companies to adhere to a strict code of professional conduct, are subject to the rulings of a professional ethics committee and carry full professional indemnity insurance cover to safeguard the interests of the translation purchaser. All our translators are members of either the Institute of Linguists or the Institute of Translations & Interpreters with a minimum of three years experience to ensure your voice-over translation is done to the highest professional standard.

Find out more about our translation service now.

On-screen text, animations and motion graphics localisation

Adelphi Studio offer a dedicated, localisation service for motion graphics and 2D animation. Using industry standard software such as Adobe After Effects, our experienced team of studio animators and designers can localise your motion graphics or animations directly from the project files.

Click on video to play

Our tech savvy team have years of experience producing 2D/3D animations, motion graphics and visual effects; familiar with key frame animation, transitions, titles, keying, rotoscoping and masking, our team can accommodate almost any motion or 2D graphic localisation you may need for your videos.

Samples and tests can be sent for your approval, in order to ensure you or your client is satisfied with how the animations are looking with the new, localised material. Your projects will of course be kept with the highest of confidentiality.

on-screen text localisation

Explainer and Animated describer videos are popping up all over the web, showcasing services simply and quickly; get ahead of the competition and extend your global reach now by localising your animated videos!

Adelphi can get translate your animation directly from the original video into the target language you require. Our professional and trained translators and transcribers only work in their mother tongue, ensuring accuracy and efficiency.

Contact us now to target a whole new community and advertise your company precisely and accurately on a global scale!

You send us the project files and source material, we’ll send you the translated, localised video!

Accents in Voice Overs – British Accents part 2

In part 1 we had a look at the RP, Yorkshire and Scouse accents. In this blog we will continue on and look at more of the accents found within the British Isles.



The most famous of the Midlands accents is the Brummie accent from Birmingham. The term derives from Brummagem or Bromwichham, which are historical variants of the name Birmingham. Whilst Brummie is not the only accent or dialect to be found in the Midlands, it is more well known than it’s neighbours in the Black Country or Coventry.

Some examples of Brummie words and phrases:

Bostin(g)- meaning amazing, brilliant or excellent.

Shrapnel – this commonly refers to loose change

The outdoor – an exclusive West Midlands term for an off-licence


  • Words like “pie” and “tried” are pronounced like “poy” and “troyed”
  • As in Northern English accents, the vowel in “puppies” and “blood” is pronounced higher in the mouth than in Southern English accents, sounding a bit like “pooppies” or “pawppies”
  • The diphthong in “about” and “house” is raised, with a prononunciation ranging from IPA æʊ to ɛʉ (“heh-oose”).
  • Words like “most” and “homes” are pronounced with a very low-starting diphthong, typically IPAʌʊ although it can start even lower, making “goat” sound like “gout” to outside ears.

Notable speakers of the Brummie accent include: Ozzy Osbourne, Jasper Carrott and Adrian Chiles.

You can hear an example of a midlands accent here courtesy of James M.



The Geordie accent is found in the North East of England in the Tyneside area, predominantly in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. The origins of the term are still up for debate, but in many respects Geordie is a direct continuation and development of the language spoken by the Anglo-Saxon settlers of this region. The Geordie accent has been voted the ‘sexiest accent in Britain’.

Some examples of Geordie words and phrases:

Howay- broadly meaning “come on!!”

Canny – meaning pleasant

Netty – toilet


  • Foot Strut Merger – the syllable in footand could is pronounced with the same syllable as strut and
  • Non-rhoticity – non-pronunciation of the post-vocalic ’r’ , in words such as bark, firm, permit.
  • The /ai/ dipthong as in kite is raised so it sounds a bit more like the Standard British “kate.”
  • The /au/ dipthong as in “about” is pronounced like “oo” in strong dialects. So about can sound like “aboot.”

Notable speakers of the Geordie accent include: Cheryl Cole, Ant & Dec, Paul Gascoigne, Sting

You can hear an example of the Geordie accent here courtesy of Laura E:



The Cockney accent originates from the East End of London and can be considered the broadest form of London local accent. Cockney is characterized by its own special vocabulary and usage, and traditionally by its own development of “rhyming slang.” Rhyming slang, is still part of the true Cockney culture even if it is sometimes used for effect.

Common Cockney rhyming slang phrases

“Adam and Eve” – beleive

“Apples and pears” – stairs

“Plates of meat” – feet


  • Raised vowel in words like trap and cat so these sounds like “trep” and “cet.”
  • Non-rhoticity: see explanation in Brummie
  • Trap-bath split: meaning that certain awords, like bath, can’t, and dance are pronounced with the broad-a in
  • Glottal Stopping: the letter t is pronounced with the back of the throat (glottis) in between vowels; hence better becomes “be’uh”.
  • L-vocalization: The l at the end of words often becomes a vowel sound Hence pal can seem to sound like “pow.”
  • Th-Fronting: The th in words like think or this is pronounced with a more forward consonant depending on the word: thing becomes “fing,” this becomes “dis,” and mother becomes “muhvah.”

Notable Cockney speakers include: Michael Caine, Sir Alan Sugar, Amy Winehouse

You can hear an example of the Cockney accent here courtesy of Arthur Smith



We have a wide selection of accents and dialects available in the Voice Over section, so whatever you are looking for we can provide you with the most suitable option for your final product. Please view our sample page here: http://adelphistudio.com/voice-overs/.

Adelphi can provide all of the services detailed above for your voice-over requirement. Please visit our website at www.adelphitranslations.com and click “Request a Quote” or feel free to call us on (0)114 272 3772.

Brazilian Portuguese or European Portuguese – what is the difference?


To the untrained ear Brazilian Portuguese and European Portuguese can sound like two different languages due to many differences in pronunciation and phonology, as well as vocabulary, spelling and grammar. Here is a brief summary of some of the differences..

The Portuguese spoken in Portugal is often referred to as more ‘closed’ due to the tendency to pronounce vowel sounds with a more closed mouth, whilst Brazilian Portuguese speakers will produce more open vowel sounds, which many would say makes it easier to understand and perhaps more exaggerated. The pronunciation of the ‘de’ sound, for example in the word universidade can be quite a good indicator of either European or Brazilian Portuguese. In Portugal you will hear a more harsh sound, similar to a short and sharp ‘duh’, whilst in Brazil you would hear a softer ‘dgee’ sound. This indication can also be heard in words which end in a K, or a P. For example if a Brazilian was on their way to a workshop de hip hop, you would hear workee shoppee dgee hippee hoppee. As well as this, in Portugal the sound of an S at the end of a word will sound more like SH. For example the word for the number two will be pronounced more like doySH, rather than doySS as in Brazil.

The vocabulary of Brazil and Portugal can also differ. For example, the word rapariga is very often used in Portugal to say girl, whilst in Brazil they use the word menina. In fact in Brazil, rapariga means something else entirely – so be careful! In Brazil you would go to the banheiro, whilst in Portugal you would need to go to the casa de banho (bathroom). In Brazil, you will always hear você (you) in both formal and familiar situations, whilst in Portugal you will hear the word tu used between friends, family and in casual situations.

Although they may have their differences, Brazilian Portuguese and European Portuguese are the same language. To hear the difference between Brazilian and European Portuguese for yourself, take a listen to any one of our many Portuguese voice-over samples!

European Portuguese courtesy of Catia:

Brazilian Portuguese courtesy of Linda:

Go to http://adelphistudio.com/vo-services/portuguese-voice-over-services/ and http://adelphistudio.com/vo-services/brazilian-portuguese-voice-over-services/ to hear more!

Decrypting Voice Over Jargon- Glossary of Terms

Working in the Voice Over industry we are suckers for a good bit of technical jargon!

Mark Cashman from Cashman Commercials has compiled a list of commonly used terms, to help those who may be new to this field, or for those who want to brush up on their technical terms.

Here’s a good selection to get you started…

ADR: Automated Dialogue Replacement in a film. A process where actors replace dialogue in a film or video.

Ad lib: A spontaneous spoken addition or alteration to a written script.

Accent: Pronunciation common to a certain group of people. (see our previous post on British accents : http://adelphi-blog:8888/accents-in-voice-overs-british-accents-part-1/)

Announcement: A commercial or non-commercial message. Also referred to as a spot.

Announcer: The role assigned to a voice-actor that usually has non-character copy. Abbreviated as ANN or ANNC on scripts.

Articulation: The formation of clear and distinct sounds in speech

Audio: Transmission, reception or reproduction of sound.

Audition: A non-paying, trial performance for voice talent where voice-over copy is read. Usually takes place at an agent’s office, an ad agency, a casting director’s office, or a production company’s studio, and usually the best actor is selected for the final job…usually!

Availability: Literally, the time an actor is available for a session. Advertisers or producers will call an agent to find out about an actor’s availability.

Back Bed: The instrumental end of a jingle, usually reserved for location, phone numbers, legal disclaimers, or any other information the advertiser needs to add.

Bed: The music or SFX behind or under an announcer’s voice.

Bleed: Noise from the headphones being picked up by the microphone or from other ambient sources, like other tracks.

Booking: A decision and commitment on the advertiser’s part to hire you for a session. The client calls the actor or actor’s agent to book an actor for a job. Your agent would say, You have a booking at 1PM tomorrow.

Boom: An overhead mic stand.

Booth: An enclosed, soundproofed room where voice talent usually works.

Branching: Recording one part of a sentence with variables within that sentence as a means of customizing a response. Often recorded for multimedia games and voice mail systems. Also known as concatenation.

Buy-out: A one-time fee paid for voice-over services on a commercial. Common in many non-union situations and industrials, as well as CD ROMs, dubbing, looping and A.D.R. work.

Cadence: How breaks are placed between words.

Call Time: The time scheduled for an audition.

Cans: Another word for headphones.

CD-ROM: Compact Disc-Read Only Memory.

Character: The person an actor is cast as in a spot.

Cold Read: An audition where an actor is given no time to rehearse.

Colour: Subtle speech nuances that give texture and shading to words to make them interesting and meaningful.

Commercial: Also referred to as a spot, it is a pre-recorded message which advertises a product or service. Sometimes abbreviated as COMML.

Compression: Reduces the dynamic range of an actor’s voice. Engineers apply compression to cut through background music and sound effects.

Control Room: Where the engineer and producer (and many times, the client) are located. This is usually a separate room from the booth.

Cue: An electronic or physical signal given to an actor to begin performing.

Cut: A specific segment of the voice-over recording, usually referred to during editing.

Dead air: When a voice-over pause is too long.

Demo: A demonstration of an actor’s voice talent.

Dialogue: A script calling for two people talking to each other.

Director: The person responsible for giving an actor voice-over direction in an audition, session or class.

Distortion: Fuzziness in the sound quality of a recorded piece.

Drop off: Not ending strong at the end of a word or phrase.

Drop out: A minute moment of silence inside a recorded word or phrase.

Dubbing: This dubbing is the process of dialogue replacement in a foreign film, as in dubbing a French voice into English.

Earphones: Also known as cans, headphones or headsets. Worn during the session to hear your own voice as well as cues and directions from the engineer or producer. Also used to converse with the client during an ISDN or phone-patch session.

Echo: A repetition of sound.

Editing: The removal, addition or re-arrangement of recorded material. Voice elements can be spread apart, slowed down, speeded up, clipped, eliminated, etc. to achieve the final take.

EFX: Effects. Another term for SFX.

Engineer: The person who operates the audio equipment during the voice-over session.

Equalization: Also known as EQ, it is used to stress certain frequencies, which can alter the sound of a voice.

Fade: To increase or decrease the volume of sound.

Fade in/Fade out: When you turn your head away from the mic or towards it.

False start: Situation where a talent makes a mistake within the first line or two of copy. The take is usually stopped and sometimes re-slated.

Feedback: A distorted, high pitched sound, usually emanating from headphones or speakers. Many times caused by problems with the console or headphones getting too close to the microphone.

Foley: Also known in the business as a Foley Stage, this is a special sound stage used for source sound effects. Used to record up-close sound effects for film or video, where the Foley artists match sound with picture, such as walking, running, doors opening or closing, glass breaking, shots firing, etc.

Front bed: The opposite of the back bed, where the announce is at the beginning of a jingle.

Gain: The volume of a voice, or a fader on the console.

Gobos: Portable partitions positioned around the actor to absorb or reflect sound, or to isolate the actor from another on-mic actor.

Hard sell: Approach used for high volume retail clients. One producer refers to hard sell as: I’ll stop shouting when you start buying!

Highs: The high frequency sound of a voice.

Holding fee: The money an actor receives if the client wants to hold a spot for airing at a later date.

Hook: Starting out on a high note on the first word of a spot to grab attention and immediately dipping down. Also used to describe the chorus section of a song.

In-house: A production produced for the client in the client’s own facilities.

inflection: The raising or lowering of voice pitch i.e a way of reinforcing the meaning of a word by changing the way it is said.

ISDN: Integrated Services Digital Network. Special high-quality lines that allow voice recording to be digitally transmitted from one recording facility to another.

Jingle: A musical commercial.

Level: To set a voice at the optimal volume for recording. When the engineer says, “Let’s get a level”, the actor will start reading the copy at the level they’ll be speaking throughout the spot.

Library music: Pre-recorded music that producers use when the budget doesn’t allow original music. Each piece of music requires a fee to be paid, usually on an annual basis.

Lows: The low frequency of a voice.

Marking copy: Placing different marks above, below, around, in between and circling words on a script. Best done in pencil, because direction or emphasis may change.

Master: The original recording that all dubs are made from.

Mic: A common form of the word mike, as in microphone.

Mix: The blending of voice, sound effects, music, etc. Final mix usually refers to the finished product.

Monitors: The loudspeakers in the control room.

Mouth noise: The clicks and pops a microphone picks up from a dry mouth.

MP3: The name of the file extension and also the name of the type of file for MPEG, audio layer 3. Layer 3 is one of three coding schemes (layer 1, layer 2 and layer 3) for the compression of audio signals. Layer 3 uses perceptual audio coding and psycho acoustic compression to remove all superfluous information (more specifically, the redundant and irrelevant parts of a sound signal. The stuff the human ear doesn’t hear anyway. The result in real terms is layer 3 shrinks the original sound data from a CD (with a bit rate of 1411.2 kilobits per one second of stereo music) by a factor of 12 (down to 112-128kbps) without sacrificing sound quality.

Multitrack: A machine capable of recording and replaying several different tracks at the same time.

Music bed: The soundtrack that will be placed behind the copy, or mixed in with it.

Outtake: A previous take that hasn’t been approved and accepted.

Overlapping: When an actor starts his or her line a moment before another actor finishes theirs.

Pace: The speed in which an actor reads copy.

Paper noise: Sound that the mic picks up as you move your script. Set it on the mic stand and leave it alone. If you have two pieces of copy and no stand, hold one page in each hand. If you have more than two pages, you may stop, place the next page in front of you, and continue. The engineer will accommodate you, as they don’t want to have to edit out paper noise.

Patch: To make an electrical/digital connection for recording and/or broadcast. Also referred to as a phone patch or land patch.

Phasing: When sound reflects or bounces of certain surfaces and causes a weird, disjointed effect in the recording.

Pick-up: Re-recording a section of copy at a certain point. 90% of your read may be a in the can, but there may be a phrase, sentence or paragraph that the director feels could be done a bit better, clearer, faster, slower, etc. The director tells you exactly where they want you to pick-up” your line(s)—where to start from and where to end at. Read a sentence or phrase before the pick-up starting point, as well as the ending point. This is done to help the engineer better edit the pick-up, matching phrasing and levels.

Pick-up session: An additional session to complete the original. There may be copy changes or character changes in a spot before it finally airs. This is usually due to the client changing their mind before they commit the spot to air.

Playback: Listening to what has just been recorded.

Plosive: Any consonant or combination of consonants that causes popping e.g P’s and B’s.

Pop: When voice sounds are registering too hard into the mic. Usually caused by plosives.

Pop Shield: A foam cover enveloping the mic or a nylon windscreen in front of the mic. Mitigates popping.

Post-Production: Also known as post. The work done after the voice-talent has finished recording the session. This includes mixing in SFX and music.

Producer: The person in charge of the voice-over session. Many times the producer is also the director.

Promo: A promotional commercial spot used by TV and Radio stations specifically to increase audience awareness of upcoming programming.

PSA: Public Service Announcement. Commercials produced to raise awareness of current issues, such as smoking, drug abuse, pollution, pregnancy, etc.

Resonance: The full quality of a voice created by vibrations in resonating chambers, such as the mouth and sinus areas.

Reverb: A variation of echo. It’s an effect added to your voice in post.

Rough Mix: The step before the final mix. This is when the producer and engineer fine-tune levels of voice, music and sound effects.

Run-through: Rehearsing the copy before recording. Like a dress rehearsal.

SFX: Shorthand for sound effects. Also seen as EFX.

Session: The event where a talent performs a script for recording purposes.

Session fee: Payment for the first commercial within the session. If an actor does two spots, they get a session fee plus payment for the other spot. If the same actor does a tag, they get a separate tag fee. And if they record only two tags, they get paid session plus one tag.

Sibilance: A drawn out or excessive S” sound during speech. Some sibilance is joined with a whistle. This is a very annoying sound, which some engineers mitigate with a sound tool called a de-esser.

Spot: A commercial. Originated from the days when all commercials were performed live, in between songs played on the radio. The performers were on the spot.

Studio: The facility where all recording and mixing for a commercial takes place.

Sync: Matching a voice from a previous take. Also refers to aligning tracks to start or end together.

Tag: Information placed at the end of a commercial containing a date, time, phone number, website address, legal disclaimer, etc. A different announcer sometimes reads the tag.

Take: The recording of one specific piece of voice-over copy. All takes are numbered consecutively, usually slated by the engineer.

Talent: A broadcast performer, entertainer or voice-over artist.

Talkback: Refers to the button connected to the microphone in the engineer’s console. It allows the engineer or director to talk to the talent in the booth.

Tempo: The speed at which copy is delivered.

Time code: A digital read-out on the engineer’s console referring to audiotape, videotape positions. Used in film dubbing.

Tone: A specific sound or attitude.

Track: Either to record, or the actual audio piece. We’re ready to track, as opposed to Listen to this track.

Trailer: A commercial that promotes a film or video release.

V-O: Short for voice-over. Also seen as AVO (announcer voice-over). It’s the act of providing a voice to a media project, where the voice is usually mixed over the top of a video and or music/SFX. Voice-over was the term originally used to describe an announcer’s voice on a television spot, referring to the process as voice over picture. The more accurate term now is voice acting, which is the art of using the voice to bring life to written words.

VU meter: A meter on the engineer’s console that indicates the level of sound passing through the board.

WAVE File: Also known as .wav. A common uncompressed audio file format.

Wet: A voice or sound with reverb added to it.


So there it is! A list of commonly used terms in the Voice-Over industry! If you are interested in having a Voice Over recorded, please visit our website, where you can also view samples of all our Artists, and fill out the form for a Free Quote! http://adelphistudio.com/voice-overs/



Adapted and compiled from the following sources:

• James Alburger, The Art of Voice-Acting; Focal Press (1999)
• Susan Blu & Molly Ann Mullin, Word of Mouth; Revised Edition, Pomegranate Press (1996)
• Terri Apple, Making Money in Voice-Overs; Lone Eagle Publishing Company (1999)
• Alice Whitfield, Take It From The Top; Ring-U-Turkey Press (1992)
• Sandy Thomas, So You Want To Be A Voice-Over Star; In The Clubhouse Publishing (1999)
• Terry Berland & Deborah Ouellette, Breaking Into Commercials; Plume Publishing (1997)
• Chris Douthitt & Tom Wiecks, Putting Your Mouth Where The Money Is; Grey Heron Books (1996)
• Chuck Jones, Making Your Voice Heard; Back Stage Books (1996)
• Bernard Graham Shaw, Voice Overs: A Practical Guide; Routledge Publishing (2000)
• Elaine A. Clark, There’s Money Where Your Mouth Is; Back Stage Books (2000)
MARC CASHMAN creates and produces copy and music advertising for radio and television. Winner of over 150 advertising awards, he also instructs voice acting of all levels through his classes, The Cashman Cache of Voice-Acting Techniques in Los Angeles, CA.

Cashman Commercials © 2005

New Service for E-Learning – Articulate Storyline Localisation

Here at Adelphi we are always looking to expand the services we provide to ensure we keep up to date with new technology and software, which allows us to be able to offer the best options for our clients across the globe.

We have recently just added Articulate Storyline 2 to this growing list of services we provide.

What is E-Learning?

Put simply, e-learning is electronic learning, which typically means using a computer to deliver part, or all of a training course whether it’s in a school, part of your mandatory business training or a full distance learning course. E-Learning is a highly cost effective way of providing training and courses, particularly with larger organisations, and also allows you greater flexibility, as it can be done in short chunks of time, meaning you can fit the training in when it suits you best.

About Articulate Storyline…

Articulate Storyline 2 allows you to create fully interactive E-Learning courses for your organisation or company. This powerful piece of software provides an engaging learner experience with video and simulations, audio and a large variety of user interactions. This software allows you the freedom to create an E-Learning course that fully suits your requirements, so please feel free to discuss these with our Project Managers to ensure we deliver the perfect end product for you!



What we offer…

Our Articulate Storyline Localisation service captures not just the main course text, but also all of the button and slider content too. We can also add voice-overs and subtitles to resources in your course and provide printed support materials through our in-house typesetting service. We work with your translations or can supply our own for you.

So, if you are looking for a cost-effective and engaging way to train your employees in whatever language, please get in touch with us at Adelphi, and we will work with you to create an E-Learning course that suits your needs!

Adelphi can provide all of the services detailed above for your e-learning requirements. Please visit our website at www.adelphitranslations.com or feel free to call us on (0)114 272 3772 for further information.

Accents in Voice Overs – British Accents part 1

There are many factors to be taken into account when choosing the correct voice for your product. One of these factors is what accent you want to use to sell your product/service.

There are a wide variety of accents and dialects that can be found here in the British Isles, and in this blog post we will be looking at a very small selection you may come across.

Received Pronunciation (RP)

Received pronunciation (or RP for short) is probably the most widely studied and most frequently described variety of spoken English in the world, yet recent estimates suggest only 2% of the UK population speak it. RP is identified not so much with a particular region, but with a particular social group, although it has connections with the accent of Southern England. It is associated with educated speakers and formal speech, and is possibly the closest to a standard accent we have here.


  • Non-rhoticity, meaning the r at the ends of words isn’t prounounced (mother sounds like “muhthuh”).
  • Trap-bath split, meaning that certain a words, like bath, can’t, and dance are pronounced with the broad-a in father. (This differs from most American accents, in which these words are pronounced with the short-a in cat.

Notable speakers of RP include: The Royal Family, David Cameron (Prime Minister), Stephen Fry (TV Personality/ Author/ Comedian).

Here is an RP sample from our website courtesy of Phillip:



Being based in Sheffield means we at Adelphi are most familiar with this dialect. With Yorkshire being the largest county in Britain, it is no surprise there are a number of different variations of accents found across the county. The most commonly thought of Yorkshire dialect is that of the heavily industrialized West Riding (West Yorkshire and South Yorkshire after 1974.) This is familiar to most, thanks to Radio and TV dramas set in Yorkshire. Recent studies have also shown that the Yorkshire accent is seen as one of the nations favourite accents, and is seen as ‘warm’ and ‘genuine’.


  •  Vowel sounds in words, e.g. A is predominantly pronounced as a short “a” as opposed to the southern longer “aa” or “ah” (e.g. bath, grass, glass) and U and OO are pronounced “uh” (e.g. blood, cut, lunch).

Notable speakers of the Yorkshire dialect include: Dickie Bird (Sports commentator), Michael Palin (actor/comedian), Alex Turner (singer with the Arctic Monkeys).

Here is a Yorkshire sample from our website from Marie:


The highly distinctive Scouse accent is found primarily in the county of Merseyside, and is very closely associated with the city of Liverpool and the surrounding areas. Up until the mid 19th century Liverpudlians spoke pretty much the same as their Lancastrian neighbours. The Scouse sound was created by the influx of people arriving through the docks from far and wide. The major influence comes from Irish and Welsh moving into the city.

Notable speakers of the Scouse accent include: The Beatles, Steven Gerrard (footballer), Paul O’Grady (comedian, TV presenter).

Here’s a Scouse audio sample courtesy of Ronnie:


Although this list is incredible short, and in no way complete, we hope we have shed some light on some of the different accents found in the UK. We have a wide selection of accents and dialects available in the Voice Over section, so whatever you are looking for we can provide you with the most suitable option for your final product. Please view our sample page here: http://adelphistudio.com/voice-overs/.


Adelphi can provide all of the services detailed above for your voice-over requirement. Please visit our website at www.adelphitranslations.com and click “Request a Quote” or feel free to call us on (0)114 272 3772.

Transcription and Your Options

Transcription: a versatile service

Whether we are readying scripts for voice-overs or preparing time-coded captions for burnt-on subtitling, one service in particular helps us bring our workflows together: transcription. We are asked a lot of questions about transcripts and how we use them, so after our look at voice-overs last time, I thought I’d dedicate this blog post to the topic!

A transcript is simply a typed-out version of the audio (or on-screen text) of a video or sound file, and has numerous applications in multimedia productions. Transcripts are particularly useful in translation operations, as they can be readily worked on by linguists to produce foreign language voice-over scripts and subtitles.

A transcript can take different forms depending on the client’s requirements. If you aren’t sure what sort of transcript you need, a project manager will be able to tell from the files you have and the files you want produced what sort of workflow would be optimal. For instance, if you have a video with an English voice-over that you would like to give a voice-over in German, it might be best to transcribe the English voice-over text and get this translated into German to use as a script for the voice-over.

The main things to be considered are:

  • Do you require time-coding (i.e. an indicator of when each utterance is spoken)?
  • What file format do you need the transcript in?
  • Would you like the transcriptionist to clear up any hesitations or mistakes that occur in natural speech or do you need something transcribed verbatim?
  • Do you require translation as well and if so, do you have particular budget/timescale constraints?

Un-timed vs. time-coded

If you would just like to know what is being said on a video or piece of audio and don’t need to know when each line occurs, go for an un-timed transcript.

For applications like voice-over and subtitling, it is more appropriate to produce a time-coded transcript so that the text can be sent up for syncing to the source footage later on in the process. These will contain some kind of reference to the timing of each utterance.

Caption file (e.g. SRT)  vs. text file (e.g. Word)

Language-services providers like Adelphi can produce transcripts in caption files using formats like SRT. These files contain all of the transcribed text but include additional information, like when the software should show each line of transcription on-screen. These files can be used on video-sharing sites like YouTube and Vimeo, or they can be used to create subtitles with a few additional steps in the process.

If you want an easy-to-read transcript for a purpose other than subtitling, a transcript in a conventional text file is recommended. With time-coding, a transcript in Word can also be turned into a script a voice artist can read from.

Verbatim vs. readable

For clients who wish to see exactly what is spoken, even including speakers’ “um”s and “ah”s, verbatim transcription is the thing to ask for. These tend to have more specific, specialist uses, like for research or investigations.

More usually, we are asked to provide a readable transcription: we tidy up any of the speaker’s hesitations and false starts and produce a clean transcript that can be read clearly and comfortably.

One-step vs. two-step

This is an important consideration if you plan on having your transcript translated as well.

At Adelphi specifically, we can either translate a transcript in the traditional way, carrying out the transcription first and then asking a linguist to translate the result (we call this the two-step process), or we can translate directly from the source audio/video, creating a translated transcript in one go without first creating the source-language transcript (which is what we call a one-step process).

Each process has its own advantages. A two-step translated transcript can be checked and proofread more easily, and the work of the linguist more visibly assessed. One-step translated transcripts are a faster and sometimes cheaper option for clients with a lot of material and a relatively small budget.

As the text length of many languages typically expands after translation as compared with English, care must be taken at the transcription stage to divide the text up in such a way as to leave enough room for possible expansion while still staying synced to the video and easily-readable.

In summary

In most cases, suppliers can work just from the source audio/video, but any spotting lists or translations you or your client can provide will speed the transcription work up and potentially save everyone money. For video productions, you should also decide if you would like on-screen text to be transcribed too, in case you intend for this to be translated and placed back into the video or given a voice-over.

Adelphi Translations can carry out transcription in any language, whether from audio-only files or from video with audio, and we have a rich experience working with everything from audio recordings of speeches and focus groups to videos like TV shows, webinars and adverts. We offer transcription both as a stand-alone service, and in conjunction with our other services to give you an end-to-end multimedia package for your content. For more information, please get in touch: we’ll be delighted to help you!