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oceancalligraphy

Person considered having the best English voice and pronunciation

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oceancalligraphy

Does anyone know who would be considered the person with the best English voice and pronunciation?

 

In Taiwan, the news broadcaster 李艷秋 is known for having the best 國語 (Taiwan Mandarin) voice and pronunciation. During the 1980s and 90s, she and other broadcasters hosted a show called 每日一字 that taught Chinese characters. You can see a clips of it here:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cuL6yEl5W04

 

This was basically the general voice and pronunciation in all kid's materials. Growing up, I was told to watch 每日一字 and listen to 李艷秋 to learn proper Mandarin pronunciation. 

 

Is there an equivalent person for the English voice? I suppose all accents are ok, since I'm focusing on pitch. Also, I'd prefer female voices. 

 

My reason for asking, if anyone's interested:

I have been told at times that my English speaking voice is lower than my Chinese speaking voice. Lately I've noticed that I lower my English speaking voice to the point that my voice breaks and my throat becomes dry. I think it's a sign that I'm not using my natural pitch. I suspect that my English speaking voice is lower because I listened to male voices when I began picking up English (ie Dan Rather, Peter Jennings, or Tom Brokaw on the evening news) and that's what I ended up emulating. I'd like to find a good female voice to emulate so I can speak closer to my natural pitch.

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MPhillips

US national news broadcasts are a good place to look for male voices to emulate, less so for female voices since they're selected more on the basis of looks than speaking ability. Radio might be a better place to look for such a person, sorry I can't be of more help.

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liuzhou

You are searching for something that doesn't exist.

 

Best in what way? 

Is an RP accent "better" than say a Glaswegian? Or a Southern US accent?

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MPhillips

Since it seemed to me from her mention of watching Tom Brokaw, Dan Rather & Peter Jennings that yst was here in the US, my previous comment was confined to the subject of US news announcers--believe me, no offense was intended to other anglophone countries. As far as the Benighted States goes national news announcers almost always come from our upper-midwest & the neighboring region of Canada, or at least sound as if they do (i.e. Dan Rather & my favorite the late Peter Jennings). If N. American English is your cup of tea & you'd like to make yourself understood amongst as many people as possible in the US & Canada, it's probably not a bad idea to mimic such people. I did meet a Chinese fellow once who had learned English at the U. of Mississippi, here in our American Deep South, I hate to say it but his accent (Mississippian on top of Chinese) would probably be described by most Americans as sounding rather odd.

@yst do you know if Diane Sawyer is still on? She's the first woman who came to mind, although I rarely watch US TV anymore so I wasn't sure whether she was still around. She gets my vote for best female newscaster voice-wise (actually it has a Southern tinge to it unlike her male counterparts who almost always sound Mid-Western to me).

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gato

Why don't you try listening to National Public Radio and see if you like any of their female hosts?

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Michaelyus

Do you have an idea pitch-wise of your natural tessitura and your tone and colour along your range? E.g. I'm a light baritone with a relatively extended higher range (in chest voice), with a fairly sharp "break" between between chest voice and head voice. 

 

As a listener of British English, I think Katie Derham's voice is a female voice that's quite low while still managing to be pleasant. But I strongly believe that a good understanding of your own voice is probably best.

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Shelley

I would try to listen to the BBC, not because of the accent but because of the pitch. They all seem to have or have been trained to have a pleasant pitch and tone to their voice.

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geraldc

Stephen Fry. He narrates the Harry Potter audio books for the UK. He's from Norfolk, but doesn't have a Norfolk accent. Scarily clever.

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Shelley

I would was going to suggest Steven Fry but the OP said they preferred female voices. But he is very good.

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oceancalligraphy

Do you have an idea pitch-wise of your natural tessitura and your tone and colour along your range?

I'm an alto with a stronger lower register. My break between chest and head voice is A4 (the A above middle C). I have a short range in my chest voice.

do you know if Diane Sawyer is still on?

I think she is, but not as an anchor. I rarely watch TV news anymore as well.

Why don't you try listening to National Public Radio and see if you like any of their female hosts?

I do listen to NPR and like Terry Gross. I wonder if she has narrated any audiobooks. I also like Nina Totenberg's voice. It's a matter of listening to them solo and at length to be able to undo what's in my head.

I would try to listen to the BBC, not because of the accent but because of the pitch. They all seem to have or have been trained to have a pleasant pitch and tone to their voice.

Thank you! I should find some BBC podcasts. I do like the pitch and tone of BBC broadcasters.

Stephen Fry.

I do like Stephen Fry's voice! But there lies my problem. If someone asked me to randomly list pleasant English speaking voices, I would name Stephen Fry, Benedict Cumberbatch, Alan Cumming, the U.S. broadcasters I mentioned before, Kevin Costner, Harrison Ford, Sean Connery. All male. And a reflection of the TV and movies that have made an impression on me. I need to actively listen to more female voices.

Female, Charlotte Green

I just saw some clips of her on youtube. A great voice. Also found out on wikipedia that she was once voted "most attractive voice on radio" in Radio Times. She has a podcast that sounds wonderful.

What does everyone think about Tina Fey's voice? She narrates the audiobook version of her autobiography. I think audiobooks are probably best to listen to someone's voice at length.

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roddy

Why not do the science: there's software (maybe something from here) that will show you what pitch you're speaking at. Compare and contrast your English and Chinese voices and see if there's a difference, and if so how much. 

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Johnny20270

Female voices? Then .... the Queen.

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889

You’re not looking for the best English voice in some abstract let’s-have-a-contest sense. You’re looking for the best voice for you to model, with an emphasis on for you. That means a voice which matches yours closely enough so that you feel comfortable mimicing it. And it means a voice that has a distinctive enough character so that it sticks in your mind. Perhaps you’d like to be Diane Sawyer. But if it’s Marge Simpson that fits, so be it.

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