David Beroff (d4b) wrote,
David Beroff

On the benefits of breathing

As I mentioned, for my one "big" voice-acting client, I tend to make one error per thousand words or so. It's usually far easier/quicker/cheaper to try to use Audacity to find a way to correct the mistake, rather than have to re-record it. I'm starting to grow adept at being able to copy/paste individual sounds/syllables from elsewhere in an audio to where they're needed. The corrections may not be perfect, but most people are just not going to notice nor care about a few tenths of a second here and there within several hours' worth of audio.

The more I learn to copy/paste, the more aware I've become about breathing patterns. The same word will sound different depending on where it falls within a phrase or sentence, so it's often not enough to just find the exact same syllable/word to copy/paste. No, I don't have an answer to that, although I'm starting to wonder if there's an easy Audacity effect that might be available to transform the subtle changes in pitch and volume as needed.

It reminds me of when I had a brief, ill-fated gig trying to sell office products door-to-door to Philadelphia businesses in August '08. I was hoping then that learning a few words of Mandarin niceties would help me to (literally) get my foot in the door in Chinatown. I had absolutely no delusions of learning the entire language; I was just trying to show that I was making a fair effort. (I've always been very poor at learning natural languages.)

One point that I did grasp, (with much patient help from others), is that the four-tone system is absolutely critical. Each word has a completely different meaning, depending on which tones are used, and failure to understand this means that one would utter gibberish, even if every consonant and vowel were reproduced precisely right.

This young lady demonstrates the idea very well, and quickly, using the minimal existing connections between tonality and meaning in American English:

If I got the video embed codes wrong, start at 1:09. You don't have to watch the entire video to get the general idea.

Image source: Mandarin Chinese Phonetics
Tags: english teaching, video, voice
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