I completed my first voice-over assignment this week, recording two French language podcasts for multinational computing company NEC. Working inVoiceoversoho’s professional recording studio was a great experience. At first it was tricky to read the French script, add the right intonation and pauses and not make any mistakes. But I soon got the hang of it and made sure I told the recording engineer when I felt I needed to re-record a section of the text.
There are actually quite a few shared skills between the voice-over artist and interpreter. After all interpreters need to be part-interpreter and part actor, so adapting my voice to match the style of the podcast wasn’t too difficult. And the voice-coaching sessions I had with Frances Parkes last year came in very handy. Regulating my breathing was really important to prevent any quick inhalations being picked up by the microphone.
And I think a final point in common is that interpreters and voice-over artists need to be aware that the microphone picks up the slightest noise. This is in fact more of a problem in the recording studio, and it prevented me from my usual interpreting trick of gesticulating wildly when interpreting an over-excited speaker!