Modernization Hub

Modernization and Improvement
Do you change your voice when you speak English? Here’s why (+ listen to my voice in Hebrew😲)

Do you change your voice when you speak English? Here’s why (+ listen to my voice in Hebrew😲)

Hey, there it’s Hadar. Thank you for joining
me. And today we are going to talk about why our
voice changes when we speak in English. So have you ever felt like when you start
speaking in English your voice all of a sudden changes? It’s not your real voice, the way you’re used
to yourself in your native tongue or perhaps you feel like you’re lacking the
vocal presence in English that you have in your native tongue. Or maybe you’re just exhausted after speaking
in English even though that never happens to you in your native tongue. Or perhaps you have an idea about how English
should sound or what is the voice of English and you just don’t know how to get there
or you’re trying to get there but along the way you just feel extremely fake and everything is too tense and stressed and pushed. So this is what I’m gonna talk about today
in this episode and I’m going to give you some strategies
to help you improve and find your own voice in English and start getting comfortable with your voice in English because that is, my friend, so incredibly important. You need to feel like yourself, first and foremost, and if you stick with us till the end I’m also going to talk to you about the vocal
placement of American English and show you how my voice is really different when I speak in English and when I speak in Hebrew which is my native tongue. Are you ready? I’m so excited about this one! Let’s get started! Now for those of you who already know me you’ve
probably noticed that we have a new guest in this video and that is my new microphone. The reason why I brought this microphone is
one, because for video about voice you want the voice or the sound to be the best.
So that’s the best Two, I’ve already recorded this video three
times before. This is the fourth time I’m making this video and for the first three times we had some
sound issues, different sound issues each time. So I decided that I’m not taking any chances
and I’m bringing on the big guns. And three, this is a great opportunity to
let you know that I got this microphone for my up-and-coming podcast! Yes, I’m launching a new podcast in January of 2020! So make sure you subscribe to my channel or to my newsletter so you’ll find out when that happens. Okay, let me tell you why I’m making this
video about voice. A few weeks ago I walked out of my school, I teach in Tel Aviv. As you know I’m not a native English speaker. I speak Hebrew but with my students I only speak in English. And as we were walking out I said something in Hebrew. I think I was making a joke or I respond to
something really quickly and it just came out in Hebrew. And my student just looked at me and said:
“I thought it was a different person.” And I said: “Yes, I know, my voice in English
and my voice in Hebrew are quite different.” And this triggered a whole conversation about
vocal placement but also how we change our voices when we
speak a second language and that got me thinking about my experience working with non-native speakers for over 10 years. And every time I start helping people get
more comfortable with their voice in English it always comes down to their voices. Our voice is our true expression it’s so intimate,
we are so connected to our voice and if we don’t feel comfortable with our
voice we simply don’t feel comfortable. We feel fake, we feel like it’s someone else
and that starts a whole snowball of self-consciousness. We start being so judgmental and we don’t
understand why we’re so nervous and uncomfortable. Now why we change our voices? Well there are a few reasons for that and
I’m gonna talk about that in a sec but you need to know that your voice is a
mere reflection of your internal state and usually when we speak English if we feel insecure. It’s going to come across in your voice unless
you become aware of it because when you feel self-conscious, when you feel confident, when you feel happy, when you feel sad, when you feel anxious, when you feel scared, it shows up in your voice. The frequencies, the vibrations. Your emotions.
Everything is expressed in your voice and that’s a true gift. You’ll notice that it’s a lot easier for you
to connect with someone who has an expressive voice. Someone that you can connect, understand what they feel, what they think as you listen to their voices. It creates trust and the sense of empathy. It’s called rapport. When you have this connection with someone in a conversation and it’s not based on verbal communication
but nonverbal communication and their voice is a huge part of it. And this is why when you change your voice
or manipulate your voice in English you don’t feel like you can establish this connection and really sometimes it doesn’t have anything to do with your vocabulary or grammar or mistakes that you make. You just don’t feel like yourself in English. So I believe that working from the inside out, really learning how to connect with your voice in English will significantly help you communicate in English with confidence and with clarity. So as we said, your voice is an expression
of your internal state and I’ve come to notice that my students who
are insecure about their English tend to go way below their optimum pitch level
when they speak in English. Optimum? What? Let me explain. Optimum pitch level is the ideal vocal placement
for your voice. So in your optimum pitch level, your voice is at a level where you combine all the resonators in your body. Resonators? Can you just speak English? Vocal resonators are the areas in your body
where your voice resonates. Your voice is frequencies, vibrations
and for you to be able to hear something the voice needs to resonate, to hit a certain
wall of something, a certain container and bounce around for
you to hear it. Think of it like a musical instrument. Let’s think of drums.
If you have a small drum it’s going to have a different sound than a large drum, right. Usually a larger instrument with a larger
resonance box will generate a sound that is deeper, stronger, right. Versus a small drum or if you think of a guitar like a ukulele where the sound is thin and usually higher and softer, right. And the same goes for our vocal resonators. So the chest is a vocal resonator and it’s relatively big. So that’s the best place for the voice to
resonate. Because you have a lot of space here. But your mouth is also a resonator, your nasal
cavities, your sinuses, right. All the spaces inside your mouth are resonators.
The smaller the space is the thinner the voices or the higher the lighter. And there is a difference between a voice that resonates in the chest where you can hear and feel those vibrations
and when the voice resonates only in the head or the nose, right. That changes the, that’s how we change the vocal placement. We just resonate it in different places in the body. Now I’m going to talk about the vocal placement of English and vocal placements in general in a different
video but I just want you to be familiar with those terms. So the optimum pitch level is basically an ideal placement where you combine all your vocal resonators. Now this is the ideal we want to get there.
It doesn’t need to be perfect, remember. And we always want to observe our voice in relation to that ideal voice. Now going back to what I said when people
feel insecure they tend to go a little lower in pitch than their optimum pitch level. So I’m going to show you how that might sound. For example, right now I’m going below my optimum pitch level. You can still hear me but I feel like I really
need to force my voice to be heard. My voice is a little softer and it rings differently. It doesn’t have that nice ring that I have
when I speak here. Now this is effortless for me. This I don’t
need to strain anything. I didn’t need to work hard. I feel like my voice is carried through the room and bounces off the walls and I don’t have a lot of furniture here yet so you can maybe hear the echo. But when I go here my voice doesn’t resonate
as well and I feel like I’m straining my throat to speak and to be heard. And this is something that happens to a lot of the students. So if that happens to you I want you to ask
yourself why that happens? Is it a habit? Do you do it in your native
tongue as well? And maybe it’s because there is something
about speaking in English that scares you? And in a way you just don’t want to be heard?
And you hide your voice, you stifle your voice, you push it down. You don’t want to be noticed. Sometimes that’s
the reason. You want to stay in the back and your voice
stays in the back too. The result you are not being heard. Your voice
is not carrying through. You are not expressing your emotions, you
are not speaking and you feel exhausted after speaking. So you feel mm “this is just not for me” or
you feel like you’re not yourself. And then you’re like “English is just not for me”. No, you are doing something that is preventing
you from being yourself, from feeling comfortable, okay. So let’s try a little something to see if
that is the case for you. I want you to start by just saying a sentence
something like: “Hey, it’s really nice to meet you!” Just say it. “Hey, it’s really nice to meet you!” You now don’t try to imitate me or my voice
or how I say it. Say it like you’d normally say it if you were
to approach someone. “Hey, it’s really nice to meet you!” Say it again. And again. Now I want you to hum. mm Don’t think about it.
Don’t try to imitate my hum. Just try to hum. Close your lips. mm Good. Now hum again and then say the sentence: mm “Hey, it’s really nice to meet you!” Do it again. mm “Hey, it’s really nice to meet you!” Now I want to ask you when you started your
hum and when you’re started your sentence Did you start on the same note?
Was your voice in the same place? Or did you do something like this? mm hey it’s really nice to meet you mm hey it’s really nice to meet you Because if you did you shifted from your optimum pitch level. Because your hum if you don’t manipulate it and if you don’t try to make it sound like someone else’s hum Your initial hum, your organic hum without
thinking about it is usually your optimum pitch level. So it’s an indication where your voice is
most comfortable at and if this is quite different from the sentence
that you said, the way where your voice was when you said
that sentence then you want to look at this gap and ask yourself why that happens and see if you can do something about it. Because if you’re doing something like: mm hey it’s really nice to meet you Your voice is not in the ideal place and that
causes all of the things that we discussed. So try to start with a hum again mm and just from there move on to a word like ‘hey’. mm
mm-hey Try to be on the same note and from there
go to the sentence: mmm hey it’s really nice to meet you
Hey it’s really nice to meet you. Now just check in with yourself and see that
you’re not pushing your voice, you’re not working too hard. You always want to feel like when you speak in English you kind of lean back with a glass of wine or with a cocktail or with club soda and you’re just like “all good, I’m chilling in the sun”, okay. That’s the quality of your voice or that’s
the quality that you want your voice to have. mm hey it’s really nice to meet you. Starting with a hum can help you get there, okay. Now sometimes people go above their optimum pitch level. So sometimes you may hear someone doing something like this: mm hey it’s really nice to meet you! Okay. Raise your hand if that’s you. mm hey Straining your voice pushing your voice, pushing it up, right, using only your head voice and that’s not
good for your voice either. Cuz that kind of tension creates tension in your voice and tension in your voice creates tension in your body and tension in your body creates tension in your heart. And you know speaking a second language is stressful enough you don’t need extra tension here. Okay. So shake it off, start again and if you tend
to go higher in pitch then I want you to go back to the hum and do the very same thing here: mm hey
hey No! Bring it down.
mm hey Hey, it’s really nice to meet you. I actually want you to visualize, like your
voice has a color and you want that color to carry throughout the room: mm hey, It’s really nice to meet you or mm hey, my name is Hadar. Don’t say Hadar, say your name. mm Hey, my name is so-and-so. Okay. And this is how I want you to start exploring your voice and see if you can play with a placement of your voice. Now what I’m gonna say might seem a little controversial. You know when I say bring it back to your voice it probably means that you need to bring it back to the voice
that you use in your native tongue. Now different languages have different vocal placements and a lot of times people teach you how to
find the vocal placement of English and I’m going to talk about that at the end
and in another video as well. Now I want you to remember this. Before trying to manipulate your voice to fit a certain criterion and to fit the expectation of what your voice in English should sound you need to know that you first need to sound like yourself. You first need to get comfortable with who you are in English. And to do that it has to go through your own voice even if it doesn’t serve English that well it serves you. There are enough American voices out there
in the world but there is only one you. So before trying to get somewhere else understand
where you are at right now and only after you get comfortable with speaking
English in your own voice and then starting to play with the different
resonators and placements. I mean it’s always great to improve your vocal
presence even for native speakers that’s when you can start shifting it to where you want to be but when you’re in control. It doesn’t happened to you. You make it happen. Right. I have changed my voice and I speak differently in English because I gradually found that placement while I was getting comfortable with my own voice. So this was not always my voice in English
but I got there and now this is my voice. My voice. I just happen to speak in English.
It’s different than my voice in Hebrew You wanna hear? Okay? So I’m gonna say the
whole thing in Hebrew now and you will see how different that is. So as you can see my voice in Hebrew is a
lot lower than my voice in English and if I were to switch my voices between
the languages it would feel extremely uncomfortable. And I would feel like I have to strain my voice to do that. Can’t explain it. But as I said I haven’t
had this vocal placement when I first started speaking in English, right. My voice was closer to Hebrew but I was able to gradually shift it with exercises, with awareness and just by speaking. And it feels like English just took over a
different place in my.. in my body and I loved it. I loved it and I don’t wanna change it. But I had to go through a bunch of different
steps before getting here. But do not go and do that (!) before getting familiar with your vocal needs in a way and what serves you best. Okay. That’s it. I want you to let me know in the
comments below what is the one thing that resonated the most with you in this video? Notice how I use the word resonated in a video about voice. After you’re done with your comment be sure to subscribe to my Youtube Channel and come on over to my website to check it out
because there’s a lot of great stuff waiting for you there for free! Like an Accent Crash Course or a List of the most mispronounced words in English by non-native speakers and more. Thank you so much for being here have a beautiful
day full of vocal vibrations and I’ll see you next week in the next video.

31 comments on “Do you change your voice when you speak English? Here’s why (+ listen to my voice in Hebrew😲)

  1. Yo! Does YOUR voice change when you speak English? Let’s start a conversation I’m the comments ! 👇👇

  2. I have a lot of interesting to learn ivrit, i have been studying it but, seriously, it is sounds so "tough", there isnt the musicality and subtlety of latin languagues…I think "hebrew" still can be "sexy" but never "romantic"… hahaha

  3. This video is greatly helpful and inspiring!! I would never realize my voice is always strained when speaking to foreigners until watching this video. In fact, like you said, I strained my throat, my voice is strained and strange, and then the strained voice makes me stressed… From now on I'm gonna practice speaking English from the start of Humming, lol, this skill is very useful, thank you Hadar!

  4. I think that you have to change your voice. There is stuff happening like lifting the soft palet etc wich is also part of making an English native accent

  5. When it's noisy I eventually feel like I'm mumbling a ton of meaningless words, as soon as it gets quiet I become a native English speaker, that's insane

  6. My voice has some problems I speak American accent after watching British or Australian shows my voice start sounding like them

  7. Hadar, thank you for your efforts struggling with the new stuff but eventually delivering this awesome video to people! You know what I thought when you started talking in Hebrew? – Oh boy, why is she rapping? 🤣 You spoke so fast!!
    I had the same experience as a student almost two years ago. I didn't hear my teacher speaking anything but English and then, after a few months, I heard her saying some words in Ukrainian! That was like – WHAT?! 😲 Who is this person?? So yeah, I know the feeling.

    As for my voice, I'm going to make a video in the FB group as a weekly discussion 😎

  8. Wooa, how can you perfect your second languages? Your English sound just like native speaker. Please, share!!!

  9. hit, nose, doesn't resonate as well… yes, it shows, but the first impression for several minutes is that you are American! hey, the voice also changes tremendously when a person who is a native speaker of a Slavic language switches to English. sounds like a completely different person.

  10. Excellent video about the voice of English, in the beginning when I started to speak English I felt a little awkward when I listened to my voice but I got used to it.

  11. NASA is creating a space program to put my wig back together. Amazing VIDEO, HADAR! I loved your new guest in this video!!

  12. Wowww!!! I loved to hear your voice in Hebrew. I realized that in your case it's not the voice itself which shifts, but the tone of it. I really liked the vídeo!!! You've got one more subscriber. A shout out from Brazil. Thanks a bunch Hadar!

  13. My voice in English is totality different, at time I feel so uncomfortable. I wish the English was my first language because that language opens doors.

  14. I want to tell Mam I am from India, and my national language is hindi, the second language in the planet and here in no atmosphere in English language, if I am telling anyone English language so somebody criticize me, where will I get atmosphere in English language, are you any solution, many can spelling mistakes, sorry

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *