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American Voiceover for Polish Media

American Voiceover in Poland

Learning Polish for my Clients in Poland

I work with voice over studios around the world, but one of my favorite jobs is recording as an American Voiceover in Poland, or as they say “Amerykański lektor w Polsce”. No, I didn’t look that up with an auto translator. I’ve been learning Polish since the start of this summer. I am at the beginner level still,  but I can write and understand simple sentences. For example,  I can write “I can hear you fine, but please speak a bit slower” (Słyszę cię dobrze, ale proszę, mów trochę wolniej) or “I will record this for you today and deliver the files.” (Nagram to dla ciebie dzisiaj i dostarczę pliki). These are sentences one can even use for voiceover! I know how to take basic voice over live direction in French, German, and Spanish and then edit to them. Now I can add Polish to my languages for my voiceover clients.

Sometimes, I am even emailing and chatting in Polish with my clients in Poland! They’ve are very encouraging and supportive: providing good tips and advice. I love my clients for American Voiceover in Poland and it’s a main reason why I wanted to learn the language. Furthermore, with 36 million native speakers, Polish is the 8th largest language in Europe after Spanish.

How I am Learning Polish: It’s not easy, but it’s fun!

However, at first I only wanted to know how to pronounce the Polish alphabet so I could read Polish names and places in my scripts. But I soon came to enjoy the language and wanted to learn more. It feels like an interesting variation of Esperanto: and sure enough, Esperanto was developed by a native Polish speaker.

In order to learn Polish, I use my account at Duolingo.com but also the fantastic free resources clozemaster.com and mowicpopolusku.com. Watching lots of YouTube videos helps with being an American Voiceover in Poland.  I follow and engage with interesting Polish profiles on Twitter, as well as the Learning Polish groups on Facebook.

It felt great when recently a client gave me a Polish voice over track for which I provided the English narration over it. I could read along and know exactly where the Polish narrator was in the script. I kept my timing perfectly, and hit all the edit points on the fly. And now, I’m able to easily edit my American Voiceover for Polish Media recordings knowing the sync will be just right.

My Work as an American Voiceover in Poland:

Here are a few examples of the projects I’ve recorded as an American Voiceover in Poland.  I still live in Atlanta, but can be directed by Source-Connect, SessionLink Pro, Phone Patch, and Video Chat. Dziękuję i dzień dobry!
-Lance

 

Neutral Accent English for Global Business Voice Over

Neutral Accent English for Global Business Voice Over

Reaching a Global Market with your Voice Over

English is a global language, with over 430 million people speaking it as their first language. But it is also the global business language, with estimates that 1 to 1.5 billion people speak English as their second language. To reach this audience, many of my corporate and commercial voice over clients produce media in English even if it isn’t specifically targeted to countries where English is the primary language. The way most people speak English around the world isn’t American. It isn’t British English either. So what is the alternative for a global business voice over? There is the Neutral Accent English Voiceover. But what is that? Let’s first examine what it is not, and then discuss what it is and when it is the right choice for your media.

The Neutral Accent: What it is Not

Many of my voice over colleagues in the US and UK dismiss the Neutral Accent as a non-existent myth: an affectation. They cite cheesy Americanized radio DJs in the UK, or the way movie stars and the elite spoke in the US in the first half of the 20th century. However, that is the Trans-Atlantic or Mid-Atlantic Accent. And my colleagues are right that it is an affectation. It relies on several characteristics that the Neutral Accent English voice do not have:

  • A high register/pitched voice
  • Dropped “R” sound (non-rhotic)
  • Over-pronounced hard “T” sound
  • Deliberate or conscious attempt to shift vowel placing from American to English RP (Received Pronunciation), even if not fully so.

Neutral Accent English in the Real World

Every day, Neutral Accent English is spoken by millions of people outside of the US, UK, Canada, and Australia. It is the accent of Global Business Voice Over. My German and French clients who are fluent in English speak it. Anyone from a country where English is not the native language, but learned it well, speaks it. They don’t try to sound American or British. It’s not possible, because Neutral Accent English has:

  • A lower register/pitched voice
  • Pronounced “R” sounds
  • Neutral “T” sounds
  • No deliberate attempt to adapt vowels or phrasing/song to American or British

So when is Neutral Accent English the right choice for your voice over? I’ll cite the reasons my clients give. First, when you want a global business voice over that isn’t distinctively English or American. My German, French, and Scandinavian clients often request this voice. Second, when it is for an English Language channel in, for example, Amsterdam or Dubai. I have recorded commercials and corporate videos in both of those markets with Neutral Accent English. Finally, another good reason to chose such a voice would be for an international trade fair, international e-learning, or a commercial to air in multiple countries. A great resource for international English voice overs are bi-lingual voice talent. You can find some of them on my list of international voice over talent.

To hear my 60 second demo of voice over clips using Neutral Accent English Voiceover press play below. Thank you for reading!