The benefits and downfalls of an English accent

Today I spent an hour in a recording studio auditioning for work as a voice-over for a Vietnamese casting agency. I’m not entirely sure what it was for, adverts I think, or maybe school books or interactive learning things. Anyway, I’m not sure I was that good at it. I think I over-acted it, but to be honest there wasn’t much direction from the lady doing it. She put me in a booth, with head phones and one of those huge mics (I felt a bit like Adele, I mean, we have pretty much the same voice) and told me to read a very dull passage about a boy chasing a ball. She then asked me to read it again, in a ‘high’ way, and then a ‘low’ way and eventually, a ‘strong’ way. How the hell do you make your voice strong? I was already over enunciating the hell out of that script!

If I get any work from it it would be awesome, but I’m not holding out!

So, whilst my English accent may be of benefit in some ways, it’s proving nothing but a hindrance when it comes to learning Vietnamese. I am still awful at the tones and pronouncing the vowel sounds. But I am getting better at understanding and reading! Also, it appears that alcohol is a linguistic lubricant and I am ten times better at Vietnamese when drunk. This has led to me having entire conversation with motorbike taxi drivers, a feat I am extremely proud of. I also managed to make a joke with a police man. I want to get to the stage where I can understand the Vietnamese in American Vietnam War films!

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