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Diction for Childrens Programs

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By Stephanie Ciccarelli

November 8, 2006

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cartoon voice oversWhen you're trying to get a message across, it all comes down to vowels and consonants. Performing a voice-over targeted to adults who have excellent language skills is easy. They know for the most part exactly what is being said, recognize context, and relate to tone of voice.

The littlest ears are often the most receptive! If you are voicing characters for cartoons, animated films, or audiobooks, be sure that you read this post.

When you are recording voice-overs to be heard by a largely juvenile audience, the level of language comprehension and awareness of tonal subtleties is greatly reduced.

The implementation of classic, vigilant diction is paramount for anyone who is serving preschool or school-aged children using their voice.

Often in children's programming, language, and thus diction, is reinforced through repetition.

For example, on the popular children's television program, Dora the Explorer, significant words are repeated and emphasized tirelessly, ensuring that the pronunciation is well received and that the context of a given word is obvious.

Just as children are impressionable with regard to behavior, they are equally as impressionable when it comes to creating speech. These include the formation of vowels, execution of consonants, vocal stress (or emphasis), diphthongs, glides, and phrasing.

When you think about it it, the great responsibility to properly educate children in the art of speech is on the shoulders of a significant number of voice actors, some of whom may not be as fully qualified to do so.

Any thoughts on how to prepare for a project that will instruct or entertain children while teaching them the nuances of speech?

Tips that you'd like to share?

Cheers,

Stephanie

Related Topics: cartoons, child, Dora, how to, TV


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