I already talked about interpreting and acting in the blog (I know, it was too long ago!) and today I would like to focus on one aspect I only briefly touched on: the voice.
In this article, an AIIC member says that interpreters are “the voice, and nothing but the voice” of their speakers. Considering this, how much care do we take of it? How much attention do we pay to make sure it doesn’t get strained or tired? How much effort to make it sound pleasant and appropriate at all times?
I personally had vocal issues when studying my MA because I had no idea how to speak. It might sound stupid because speaking it’s something that’s not taught, we just do it… and therein laid the issue for me. I had to start from scratches and learn a proper way to breathe, articulate, project… it was hard, I cannot deny it, and I still relapse from time to time, but I learned many useful things. It was all new (and Greek!) to me, but after starting on this journey, I could really tell the difference and I became more aware of my and other people’s voice when interpreting.
I realised, however, that In the interpreting world we discuss so many topics, but we almost never discuss about the most important thing we need in order to be able to discuss: our voice. There are some workshops here and there, but there’s a silence (curiously enough) around this matter. If you think of it, without a properly functioning voice we’ll be all Little Mermaids trying to seduce our Prince Charming: helpless.
(Copyright: Disney Pictures)
For this reason, I decided to dedicate a series of posts to this very important topic, and we’ll have a look at what voice is and how to look after it. My plan is to start with some theory about the physiology of voice (what it is, how it is produced), then have a look at what can we conveny through it and after this, move on to some practical exercises, hints and tips to keep our voices always in good shape. I am by no means a doctor, but I have some direct experience and I find this subject really fascinating, so I hope you will find this helpful!
“The King’ Speech” is one of my favourite movies, and I believe this scene speaks a truth valid for royalties and commoners alike: we all “have a voice!”, and it has to be properly heard!
I invite you all to stay tuned because a first blog is coming soon! In the meantime, please tell me your good and bad experiences with your voice, and share the love!