The way you speak; your accent, the cadence; that is rhythmic flow of your sentences, the tone of your voice; whether low and baritone or squeaky and high or rich and echoey (yes, this word exists, I didn’t make it up) are reflections of the physical environment you were brought up and lived in. Just like your face, that your brain beautifies so that you feel prettier than what you already look like, your voice is also manipulated and window-dressed so that you think that your voice is pleasant to your ears even if it might not be the case.
Some people like their own voices, the one which their brain makes them hear, that is the richer, more baritone noise that a person’s brain creates by sending a message to the vocal chords to move. Indeed, the voice that you hear from your vocal chords is more euphonious, richer, and lower than what it is really. This is because what you hear comes from a different channel than when others hear you.
People hear your voice with the vibrations in the air. You hear your own voice through the air and through the three little bones, called ossicles which are located in the middle ear and which are responsible for the difference between how you hear our own voice and how others hear us. You thus hear your voice through the bone and air conduction while people hear you only through the air conduction. The way you hear yourselves on a recorder is truly how you sound (I certainly sound like a squeaky teenager haha).
That’s why many people hate their own voice because they are used to listening to their voice in their head. You think that you sound a certain way. Just like you think you look a certain way.
The image that you see in a mirror is a distorted reflection of what you really look like. That’s why a camera is the best app that was created to show you your real self with your imperfections and the asymmetry of your face and body. And this is also why you have to take a hundred selfies and use a million filters to edit them and find the one that makes you look like what your brain tells you what you look like and that makes you look pretty in your own eyes.
Your voice like your body changes over time, due to a lot of reasons; puberty, ageing, singing or talking in a pitch over your vocal range, and stress.
Males’ and Females’ voices deepen and become denser after reaching puberty, because of physical changes that occur. The voice box grows in both girls and boys though it is more prominent in boys. Facial bones also grow, creating more cavities and all these changes allow the sound that vocal chords make to echo and thus the voice is deeper and denser than before.
Over time the vocal chords become weak and are not vibrating effectively and thus the voice sounds thinner. Vocal chords can also become hoarse because of age and smoking. According to Clark Rosen, professor of otolaryngology at the University of Pittsburgh and director of the University’s Voice Center, a woman’s pitch typically drops over time, whereas a man’s pitch actually rises slightly with age. The volume of the voice also lowers. People who have good respiratory systems are often those who exercise regularly and this provides them with breath support to maintain the volume of their voice well into old age. Whereas those who don’t have those good respiratory systems find the volume of their voice lower.
Also, your voice tends to change over a shorter period of time like a day too. For instance, if you talk a lot during the day, you will find your voice fade and become hoarse in the evening.
I am more interested in finding out whether the tonality of your voice, the accent that your voice takes, the cadence in which you speak change depending on the language you speak.
You see, I speak quite a few languages; Creole, my mother tongue, English and French, the official languages of my country and the languages I have learnt and studied in since kindergarten, Telugu because my ancestors came from Andhra Pradesh (South India), Hindi, because I used to watch Bollywood and other Indian movies and tv shows since I was little (These movies and shows are broadcasted on our tv), and now a little bit of Chinese too.
I always feel different when I speak the different languages. I feel more traditional and conservative when I speak Telugu. I feel cool when I speak French. I feel dramatic when I speak Hindi because I love the extravagance of some Bollywood movies and tv series, and I feel graceful when I speak Chinese.
However, it’s different when I speak English and Creole. You see I am Mauritian but I don’t speak the proper and correct Mauritian Creole, if I may say so. My Creole is a mix of Creole, English and French words. Also, the accent in which I speak creole is different depending on the person I am talking to. If I insert a Creole word in an English sentence, the word will have a twist of English in the way I say it.
It is the same for the English language. The accent in which I speak English depends on my mood, the person I am talking to and the movies, shows that I have recently been watching and in the state of mind I am. I think that I don’t have a typical Mauritian accent. I mean, I don’t know what the typical accent is. Many people have a French accent when they speak English but some have a weird accent, which I can’t explain really. I think I pronounce some words in the British way, other words in the American way and some words, in the Creole way or in the French way.
Sometimes, I totally absorb the accent of the person to whom I am talking; the tonality of my voice, the cadence, the pitch and the volume. It is fascinating. A few times now I have been asked Are you British? which really makes me feel like in heaven because I sooo want to sound British but then it is just a pretence. I may sound like that because of the many variables and that too in the short run but really, in the end, I’m not too sure that imitating the accent is a good thing. Is it offensive? Am I doing a bad job of imitating the accent? Is it dramatic or over the top?
I have always loved the British accent and I have always been insecure about the accent that I have just because it’s different. However, no matter how many times I tell myself that my accent is unique and that I should embrace the uniqueness of my voice, the way it sounds, and its volume, I still want that British accent (the London or the RP accent).
Anywho, what about you guys? DO you like to listen to your voice when your friends record you singing or speaking? Or do you prefer the voice that you hear through air and bone conduction? Let me know whether you also feel different when you speak different languages ( if you do)!
Here is the snippet of a post that I wrote for Success Inspirers World:
Well, I recently read an article about having a content calendar. Please go read it(Click on me to go read it). It’s wonderful. The funny thing is that I had recently started to create my content calendar and I found the discovery of this post a delight and a clarity that I needed, to organise my posts and stay organised and not lose my sanity (I have the need for discipline and structure in my life; Without this, I am lost)
Here are the links to the articles that I read and from which I got some of the information: