Hello everyone! I’m a pro voice over from Liverpool (but living in London). I get work pretty regularly with my natural Liverpool accent. I’ve noticed on the site folks selling American and British accent. What is your definition of a British accent? Over here in Britain there are so many diverse regional accents so to me there is no ‘British accent’ if you mean British standard rp then I think that’s what should be sold. Just a point. Great to be here!
Interesting question! I’m not a VO artist but I can relate. I’m American and accents also vary widely here. I see gigs that just refer to an American accent. They seem to do okay if the accent is somewhat neutral. Some people learn how to speak with few special inflections.
Some artists have a strong accent from the American deep south, New York, Boston, etc. They seem to do well only if their description and samples are clear.
When I first came to Fiverr I could hear the difference between a London accent and a Scottish accent, but not between London and Yorkshire. I’ve become slightly more familiar since then, but I still hear limited differences. I can sometimes tell a British “city” accent from the accent of a British accent from a rural area. I can understand some accents fine, I guess “BBC” English, but a Geordie is difficult for me to follow.
I think sellers are better off to make generalizations in the gig title but be specific in description and samples. The title might just say “British English” but the description should state what regional accent is the default and any other regional accents can be used for order delivery.
That’s my take on it. I’d be interested to see what others say.
Welcome to the Fiverr Forum @gavinskelhor436!
I’m also a voice talent, operating out of the states. My understanding for the sort of “default” British accent most foreigners think of is the Mainstream RP Accent, or possibly a London accent. As @fonthaunt mentions, we have quite a few different accents in the states, although the sort of “standard” American accent that we tend to feature on our mainstream media outlets would be a Midwestern accent, such as from Michigan or Illinois.
Well, I hope it’s not the accent I hear on Peaky Blinders! I love the show, but I have to keep the closed captions running or I won’t understand a word. I’m an “American” vo, and I’m from Boston. I wouldn’t use my natural Boston accent in a vo though (I use that around the neighborhood). I’ve been trained, and practice the “American” accent that is used most commercially. Some people call it mid-western. I don’t know if it’s “from” anywhere in particular, but it’s what you hear mostly on television, unless a charachter is purposely from the south, or north dakota, or maine, or anywhere with an archtype character and a distintive accent. For “British” I typically think of how Theresa May speaks. I think that British accent sounds quite “smart.” I’ll believe just about anything I hear in a Brittish accent. A Brittish accent makes me assume the speaker has expertise. So I guess, both with British, or American, the listner prefers a neutral, educated version of the language. Think BBC or NPR.
Hey guys! Great responses. I do think it’s an interesting subject matter and tbh one I find a little frustrating in terms of work. I put the question out there knowing that ‘BBC English’ is what everyone thinks of as standard vo British. Same with mid west American.
My point of frustration is why should this be so? Those ‘standard’ accents receive a hell of a lot of the work and are almost always used as the ‘hook’ voice whereas regionals are used as the subject matter for instance the farmer, army officer, worker in a commercial.
I know over here in England the BBC have started using more regional accents however the commercial world needs to catch up. I feel is a bit stuck in the past
I believe this is just a communication issue. When you consider an accent from outside your own country, you want to be able to understand the words. People who learn English as a first language in America would understand midwest American English and “BBC” British English but they might not be able to understand accents that are more complex. People who learn ESL and are from non-English-speaking countries are usually taught in “BBC” English (as far as I know) and would definitely struggle with a deep southern American accent. I assume they would also not understand every British accent. I hear words in English from Youtubers and I have no idea what they are saying if it’s a regional dialect I don’t know well, even if it’s from my own country. The commercial world is generally going to strive for the easiest communication they can.
It’s not just a matter of accents. As a writer, I was taught to try to write for an audience who hasn’t graduated from High School and that throws me off sometimes. A marketer would only use something non-standard if it was for a specific purpose, to be funny or to target a different audience.
Hi, yes I totally understand your points but I am talking about professional voice overs within their relative country. On YouTube you will get the strongest regional accents and you are right, even I can’t understand some of the English/Scottish ones! When it comes to a job for a commercial etc I use a toned down version of my accent for exactly that reason. My argument is why aren’t these regional professional accents used very often for the tag lines in commercial adverts in particular? I think it’s because the industry is a bit set in its ways and always plays safe.