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I am not sure if this is the place to post this. If it is not, forgive me. But I need your help.

I need to create some instructional videos and do not have the budget to hire a voice talent to dub it in english. Someone suggested I do it myself, but I am not sure about how good my pronunciation is.

I selected this random text from the web and gave it a shot.

Here is my voice saying the text. Forgive the speech flow, because I am seeing this text for the first time now. Focus on the pronunciation. How good is it on a scale from 0 to 10, being 10 the best?

Thanks.

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@AndrewLazarus: It is just a .wav file, no special software needed. –  Cerberus Dec 17 '12 at 16:58
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@DigitalRobot: Sorry, I have no idea how to grade pronunciation. –  Cerberus Dec 17 '12 at 17:04
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Almost certainly, if you are worried about it, it's not worth recording, except perhaps as a hobby. Certainly not to sell professionally. Instructors need to be both competent and confident to do instructional videos. –  John Lawler Dec 17 '12 at 17:59
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Not sure why this is getting "Off topic" close-votes. Pronunciation is explicitly on-topic, even if this is an unusual presentation of the question. –  Andrew Leach Dec 17 '12 at 18:12
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I'm voting to close not because it's off-topic but because it's subjective and vague. However, StoneyB gives a great answer nevertheless. –  Hellion Dec 17 '12 at 20:36
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closed as off topic by FumbleFingers, Barrie England, Mitch, Hellion, Marthaª Dec 17 '12 at 22:02

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1 Answer

up vote 6 down vote accepted

“How good is my pronunciation?” isn’t really the question you should be asking. What you want to know is “Is my pronunciation good enough for this production?”.

And that’s what in my shop (where we produce a lot of instructional videos) we call a “How big should a house be” question—meaning it can’t be meaningfully answered without a lot more background. Many more questions have to be answered first:

  • Have you got editing software which will allow you to cut your audio in post into your video to synch up what’s heard with what’s seen, or will you have overlay on to the video track as it runs? Overlaying is very difficult for anyone who isn’t familiar with the process being described, which means you may be better served by doing it yourself, unless you develop a fairly detailed system of off-mic cues for the voicer. But be prepared to work through a dozen or so takes before you get it right. Is it worth your time?
  • Who’s your audience? —your own pronunciation is probably adequate for a native speaker, who can extrapolate to Standard English on the fly, but could be very difficult for a non-native speaker, particularly one whose native language is not yours. Similarly, an audience familiar with the concepts you’re discussing will find it easier to follow you than will an audience of complete n00bs.
  • Where’s your script coming from? —the same considerations apply: a native speaker and an expert viewer can tolerate a lot more casual error than a non-native speaker or a novice.
  • What level of production do you have in mind? — do you want something that looks and sounds fully “professional”, would you be satisfied with something quick-and-dirty that just sets forth the necessary information and illustrations, or do you want something in between?

And once all that is clear in your mind:

  • What is your budget? —not enough for a professional “talent” could mean you haven’t got four or five hundred dollars to bring a pro voice into a pro studio, or it could mean you haven’t got fifty bucks to put a competent and hungry college student onto the same mic you used. Do you expect to make any money off of this project? — then you need to calculate how much the additional investment will enhance your product’s “sellability”.

I apologize if this is less helpful than you hoped. You might get useful guidance on some of the technical issues on the Audio-Visual Production branch of SE.

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thanks. that helped. –  Digital Robot Dec 18 '12 at 2:39
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