Simple suggestion for improving reader performance

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Post by Ellene » May 22nd, 2018, 12:59 pm

Its wonderful that so many people volunteer their time and energy as readers. In order to guarantee superior performance I have a simpe suggestion (2)
Reading each chapter before you record would help to familiarize yourself with the content and make for a fluid reading.
Also, all unfamiliar words and foreign phrases should automatically be checked for proper pronunciation.

Rule of thumb...when you come upon a word that you honestly never heard spoken before, know that you have a 50-50 chance of mispronouncing it.

Narrating stories is a reflection on you and a little prep makes all the difference. Know that there are many sites that offer public domain audiobooks. Be aware that all of these sites borrow from Librivox. That means that your narrations are carried to a vast number of people...even YouTube carries your narrations
These suggestions apply to all readers who want to make listening a joyous experience.

With many thanks for your hard work and generosity, lets assist in growing Librivox and spreading culture to society Thank you, Ellen E

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Post by annise » May 22nd, 2018, 2:50 pm

Sounds simple doesn't it , but it's not. English is spoken in a number of countries as a first language and as a second language in a number more, and even within the same countries there can be quite strong regional variations. When you add that even in my life here some words have changed , then what is the correct way for me to say any word ?
And when you look at older verse it appears from the rhymes that the sound of some words has changed.

Everyone is more comfortable listening to people who speak the way their family and friends speak - but that doesn't make it right or wrong. Nor does it make it the way the author would have said it.


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Post by mightyfelix » May 22nd, 2018, 5:18 pm

Some readers do read their sections to themselves before they record. Some don't. I do it for some of my recordings, but not all. Almost always, I'm able to edit out any stumbles that resulted from being unfamiliar with the text. I almost always look up pronunciations for unfamiliar words, but sometimes, as Anne pointed out, there is no "standard" pronunciation. Other times, the word is so uncommon that I can't find a pronunciation and I have to guess.

In other words, your suggestions are good ones, I think, and some of our readers are already following them! It wouldn't be practical to require it of every recording, every time, though.

I'm glad that you've enjoyed the material LibriVox has produced! Let me let you in on a little secret, though... Most of us, from what I've noticed, do this work for really selfish reasons... We have fun doing it! :D If someone enjoys it, well that's just icing on the cake, but we do it for ourselves! :wink:

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Post by Cori » May 23rd, 2018, 10:59 am

What Devorah said. :D

It sounds straightforward, but it would only help me with certain aspects of recording (like not giving people who turn out to be in Ireland, Norfolk accents. Thank you Frankenstein.)

I am really, really good at reading silently. 8-) It seldom occurs to me that I don't know how to pronounce something until I actually try out loud. Prooflisteners who've suffered through my life-time-long mispronunciations of seemingly straightforward words like 'infinitesimal' and 'circuitously' can vouch for the fact that even saying it out loud doesn't necessarily mean it's right. If I HAD to pre-read every chapter, and check every long word, I'd record a lot less (and it's not like I'm some speed-outputter in the first place.) Sometimes it's useful, for sure, but honestly, I know I'm going to spend so much time with the darn thing in editing, that another hour in advance is often too much to consider.

If I'm recording, get to a word, and find I don't know how to pronounce it, I'll record the phrase with 2 or 3 different pronunciations. Quite often, one of them is right (as per checks afterwards), and I can just tidy up the edit. I thus only need to rerecord where something has gone horribly wrong.
There's honestly no such thing as a stupid question -- but I'm afraid I can't rule out giving a stupid answer : : To Posterity and Beyond!

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Post by moniaqua » May 23rd, 2018, 11:44 am

Ellene wrote:
May 22nd, 2018, 12:59 pm
lets assist in growing Librivox and spreading culture to society
So, as you obviously can read so very well, why are you still not doing it? ;)

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Post by kayray » May 23rd, 2018, 5:39 pm

Pre-reading bores me stiff :D
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Post by iBeScotty » May 24th, 2018, 9:19 am

Hey, just my $0.02 from another relative noob: I also think it is not a bad suggestion for things like poems and technical stuff, but not practical for long form narration as it just adds too much time to the project and I don’t believe most pros do this either (time is money).

One can always pause the recording if unsure about something or retake the sentence, etc.

As others said, there is no such thing as “correct” pronunciation as it is merely a reflection of common ways people separated by location and time say things. It may not even be a reflection of the reader. I heard a famous audiobook narrator (maybe Scott Brooks?) once say that even the narrator of a story is a character and may say things a certain way. It is more interesting as the reader, and thus probably the listener, to find the subtext, the meanings of what is being expressed beyond the superficial words the author has at hand, then pronunciation or even reading style doesn’t matter all that much. Content is king!

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Post by barbara2 » May 24th, 2018, 6:10 pm

I did some research on this years ago when I joined Librivox and got the impression that most professional narrators do prepare their texts - Anna Massey, John Gielgud were perhaps too meticulous. Before things got digitised and narrators could work at home, I gathered that the recording studios did some preparation for the readers and I heard of one famous narrator who winged it (the studio could clean up afterwards). Simon Vance works at his home studio and he prepares.

But we are amateurs and the Librivox way is to do what is fun for us. Ellene, it's horrifying for some of us to find ourselves on Youtube, being abused for not sounding like well-prepared professionals. That's not what we signed up for!

As people are giving personal reactions, here's mine for what it's worth, only because it seems to be approaching the topic from a different angle:

The longer I've been reading for Librivox the more I prep. I have been reading non-fiction by well-known writers. Researching the history, contemporary society and geography, checking the pronunciations and pre-reading make the encounter with such writers of the past fun for me - it's what I should have been doing when I first met them at uni. (I also enjoy doing background research on interesting works that I'm proof listening - just more continuing education.)
Last edited by barbara2 on May 24th, 2018, 7:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by annise » May 24th, 2018, 6:52 pm

And that's fine, but not an LV requirement :D
And I would argue that for fiction that there's a certain joy in thinking you and the reader are discovering the book at the same time :D And as for youtube - many of those who try to claim ownership of our works can't even spend time making the covers right - they just take the square and pull out the sides to make a rectangle which really annoys me when I google for images and they show up
And I've never understood why anyone would want to listen that way when there's nothing to watch except maybe a distorted cover image, so the first posters comments about "even youtube" I find totally irrelevant


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Post by Monaxi » May 27th, 2018, 4:19 pm

I'm a pre-reader, but I've been warned by a director friend that too much prep can lead to too fast reading. And, as for Youtube, someone changes the speed of my voice anyway :?
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Post by lurcherlover » May 29th, 2018, 10:05 am

Yes, Youtube is 98% rubbish anyway - especially much of the music (or should I say Muzak?). So LV items which have been poached are often the best standards on Youtube.

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