When I’m on vacation in Canada, I often hear “eh” at the end of every sentence. “Beautiful day, eh?” Then there’s my favorite question,”You’re not from around here, eh?” I hear that when I accidentally use the word “y’all” in a sentence — like when I asked a nice Canadian family sitting outdoors at a restaurant in downtown Bobcaygeon, Ontario, “Are the black flies eating y’all up over there at your table?” You may be wondering where this is going. It’s all aboooot watching your pronunciation and colloquialisms when recording your voice.
Texans have a tendency to replace the letter “S” with a “D” in some words. “This is darn good barbecue, idn’t it?” And we put the emPHAsis on the wrong sylLABle in many words. For example, “That’s a good lookin’ vee-HIC-il you’ve got there.” After admitting to myself that I was guilty of mispronouncing words in my voice work, I found a solution about 14 years ago. I asked my wife, who is Canadian, to listen to every piece of voice work I recorded. And for the first few years she was in the U.S., I did the same for the voiceovers she produced.
My wife and I produce voiceovers for individuals and companies from all over the world. Nobody ever asks me to sound like a Texan, or my wife to sound like a Canadian. Unless you’re purposely trying to sound like a local, I suggest you have someone listen to every voice recording you do before putting it out there for the world to hear. You’ll sound more professional and your message will be easier to understand.