Accents?

Post your questions & get help from friendly LibriVoxers
Post Reply
Catsenti
Posts: 12
Joined: November 5th, 2019, 2:01 pm

Post by Catsenti » November 8th, 2019, 5:53 pm

Should I attempt them? I'm not all that confident in my ability to do them, but sometimes a character is stated to have one and I'm wondering if even trying to imitate the accent is worth it. Like, say I'm voicing Sherlock Holmes. Should I attempt to sound British or should I just not because it might jar the listener to hear my less-than-perfect imitation?

KevinS
Posts: 4524
Joined: April 7th, 2019, 8:32 am
Contact:

Post by KevinS » November 8th, 2019, 6:02 pm

Catsenti wrote:
November 8th, 2019, 5:53 pm
Should I attempt them? I'm not all that confident in my ability to do them, but sometimes a character is stated to have one and I'm wondering if even trying to imitate the accent is worth it. Like, say I'm voicing Sherlock Holmes. Should I attempt to sound British or should I just not because it might jar the listener to hear my less-than-perfect imitation?
I avoid doing an accent unless the text forces it upon me. For instance, the New York Irish brogue that one finds in nearly any police story from a century ago or the awful recreation of a Cockney accent. What can one do but read them as one finds them?

It's been a long time since I read Twain's dialect, but I remember him being pretty good at it. I would give that a try, but I have a lot of trouble with some of the vocabulary. But that's another case when the text forces something on the reader. And the text really ought to be respected.
"E agora, José?"

annise
LibriVox Admin Team
Posts: 31919
Joined: April 3rd, 2008, 3:55 am
Location: Melbourne,Australia

Post by annise » November 8th, 2019, 6:24 pm

If in doubt of your ability, don't, To do it well requires more than just making the sounds, it means knowing the difference in words also, An American Holmes can say Thames rhyming with Shames and a row (as an argument) the same as row(a boat) and it's OK but if you are attempting to sound English, it just jars,
Please note - I'm not saying either way is the "right" way, it just destroys the accent. Just if I was attempting to sound American and called the state Arkansas as it is written :D

Anne

TriciaG
LibriVox Admin Team
Posts: 43338
Joined: June 15th, 2008, 10:30 pm
Location: Toronto, ON (but Minnesotan to age 32)

Post by TriciaG » November 8th, 2019, 6:25 pm

My opinion is, if one cannot do a good accent, then don't do one at all. (The exception would be if it were written into the text; then, try to read it as it's written.) I'd rather hear a straight reading in someone's natural accent then hear them butcher a fake accent.

My humble opinion. ;)
Christmas Lore: LINK
Proofs the Earth Isn't a Globe: LINK
Mystery stories: The Master of Mysteries

mightyfelix
Posts: 4278
Joined: August 7th, 2016, 6:39 pm

Post by mightyfelix » November 8th, 2019, 8:27 pm

I concur with the above. There are some listeners who may not like your recording because you don't have the "right" accent, but that's their choice. There are many more who won't care and will enjoy hearing the story as much as you enjoy telling it.

Can't please everyone, so you got to please yourself. :wink:

annise
LibriVox Admin Team
Posts: 31919
Joined: April 3rd, 2008, 3:55 am
Location: Melbourne,Australia

Post by annise » November 8th, 2019, 10:25 pm

It's been said before but some time ago.

We had a complaint from a very irate listener asking how dare we have a British voice reading that famous American author Charles Dickens.

I rest my case.

Anne

moniaqua
Posts: 1365
Joined: April 11th, 2013, 4:48 am
Location: Somewhere in the south

Post by moniaqua » November 9th, 2019, 1:13 am

Well, it all depends...

I did read some things with accent and the world still seems to keep on turning I didn't even get bad reputation yet ;) But it was a lot of work, because I listened to other readings in that accents very closely and really practiced it before reading. One accent I did because I used to live in the area where it occurs and no one else took those poems in the beginning for some longish time and I thought it was a pity that they weren't read.
Catsenti wrote:
November 8th, 2019, 5:53 pm
I'm not all that confident in my ability to do them,
If you don't feel comfortable I'd say don't do it. You need to be confident. It's for a whole lot of people totally ok if an accent is not perfect, they won't know it anyway. But sometimes there come some people who feel they urgently need to defend what they think is their accent and they can be nasty. And sometime it really doesn't sound that good - I heard some fake Bavarian accent lately, it really gave me a shudder.

Availle
LibriVox Admin Team
Posts: 16809
Joined: August 1st, 2009, 11:30 pm
Contact:

Post by Availle » November 9th, 2019, 8:07 am

moniaqua wrote:
November 9th, 2019, 1:13 am
I heard some fake Bavarian accent lately, it really gave me a shudder.
Goodness, yes... :roll:
My boss from my time in Germany tried to speak Austrian to me once or twice. He's from Cologne. Didn't go down well with me at all. It's very obvious if you don't nail the accent; and while most people won't complain (I hope), locals will call you out in an instant!

When I had lived in the Netherlands for 4 years, I had to go on a train trip. I was in a hurry and went to one of the places on the platform ordering - in perfect Dutch of course - "Een spa rood alstublieft" (a bottle of water). To which I had the immediate German response "Ist aus" (Sold out). No matter how good you are, a native will always know you're "not from here". :lol:
Cheers,
Ava.

--
AvailleAudio.com

philchenevert
LibriVox Admin Team
Posts: 17060
Joined: October 17th, 2010, 9:23 pm
Location: In My Happy Place By De Bayou
Contact:

Post by philchenevert » November 9th, 2019, 5:31 pm

I feel that if we enjoy 'doing' an accent, then go right ahead and have fun whether it is particularly accurate or not. If on the other hand we don't enjoy it or feel it is work, then don't do 'em. I know we all work to produce as high quality audio recordings as we can in our particular circumstances but in the end we are doing this because we enjoy doing it. Accents should fit right in there and roll off the tongue without too much thought. We are story telling and that means telling the story with all the Poles, Germans, Americans, women, boys, Southerners, gypsies, raccoons, Australians, villains, cows and goats that may be involved. Do I do them well? Of course not. Do I enjoy telling the story? you bet. This is all my opinion and I'm stickin' to it.

On the other hand, while I am fearless in reading women's and girl's dialog and voicing any animal and love reading Twain, I lock up when trying to sound Irish or English. As much as I love Wodehouse those are off limits for me. 'nuff said. an interesting topic. (Ignatius, the Penguin of Happiness Image has approved this message and I know just what he would sound like)
Phil Chenevert, The LibriVox Video Guy
Hootin' is a gateway drug to hollerin'. Think about it. .

Need Help? Lots of Helpful Videos Here

annise
LibriVox Admin Team
Posts: 31919
Joined: April 3rd, 2008, 3:55 am
Location: Melbourne,Australia

Post by annise » November 9th, 2019, 6:15 pm

I'd be slightly uncomfortable using the "easy " ways of doing accents - I think it is easy to say Germans can't say W and Chinese can't say R, and any English speaker would think that was fine - but is it really a way of saying " poor foreigners are stupid"?
There's enough racial material in these PD books without me adding to it.
Villains and crooks are very often non natives :D
Off my soap box now

Anne

Catsenti
Posts: 12
Joined: November 5th, 2019, 2:01 pm

Post by Catsenti » November 9th, 2019, 6:30 pm

Right, thanks for the advice. I think I'm going to try using my normal accent whenever possible in my readings...

realisticspeakers
Posts: 1068
Joined: December 6th, 2010, 5:15 pm

Post by realisticspeakers » November 9th, 2019, 6:56 pm

philchenevert wrote:
November 9th, 2019, 5:31 pm
... an interesting topic. (Ignatius, the Penguin of Happiness Image has approved this message and I know just what he would sound like)
:hmm:
"Kind reader,
if this our performance doth in aught fall short of promise, blame not our good intent, but our unperfect wit."

tovarisch
Posts: 2765
Joined: February 24th, 2013, 7:14 am
Location: New Hampshire, USA

Post by tovarisch » November 15th, 2019, 6:30 pm

I'm a bit late to the discussion, sorry.

I am with Phil on this one. :thumbs: If you feel like acting a bit when reading a piece of direct speech, and the character seems to call for a slight change in the manner you speak, so change it. :wink: When you tell a story/anecdote to your friends, do you ever try to sound... different? If yes, then do it here, as well.

Doing an accent or accents is just an extension of doing age or gender... So what that you don't make it perfect? 8-)
tovarisch
  • reality prompts me to scale down my reading, sorry to say
    to PLers: do correct my pronunciation please

Post Reply