As interpreters, it is exceedingly important to know and understand our voices. Singers are taught that the voice is their instrument. It is the same for anyone who spends long amounts of time speaking. All too often, a little tickle in the throat will go ignored, only to result in the loss of voice. How can we be of any service to the people for whom we are providing interpreting if we can’t speak?
There are many articles, blogs, and books about successful voice techniques. But we’d like to sum a few up for you. One thing that is agreed upon across the board is the avoidance of spicy, fatty, or creamy foods. Though these can often be the tastiest, they can erode and or coat your vocal cords in a way that makes speaking more difficult.
According to Live Science, it is very damaging to clear your throat often. While it may seem like a temporary relief, it actually rubs the vocal cords together, and can create long term damage over time. Instead of clearing your throat before speaking, think about taking a sip of water and a deep breath. Also, dryness has a serious effect on your vocal ability, so invest in a humidifier at home, and make sure to avoid smoking at all costs. Smoking is one of the most damaging things you can do to your voice.
These may seem like common remedies, many that you may already be familiar with. However, did you know that stress is a huge factor in your vocal wellness? It’s true! The more stress you have in your life, the less you are able to project and protect your voice. So remember last week’s article on stress relief? Try practicing some of the techniques we talked about then. Meditation, working out, and yoga are all very healthy ways to relieve stress and strengthen your voice.
Interpreter Education Online is going to be unraveling some courses centered around specialized techniques just like these, so keep your eyes peeled. And as always, there is no time like the present to keep up to date on your interpreting knowledge by taking one of our courses! Join the conversation on our LinkedIn and Facebook pages!