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.