Why hiring a Dialect Coach?
That's a very good question. And before starting, I want to thank all the productions that so far, have taken the time to think about it, recognized the importance of it, and went on to hire me.
That being said, let’s talk about what dialect coaching is and why it’s so important.
If you are an English native speaker, you will understand that when people are “supposed” to be all from the same family, they all SHOULD speak with the same accent right? RIGHT! If not, that would makes us wonder, as viewers, why doesn’t this character has the same accent as, lets say, his/her sister or parents. That could pull us out from the story right away and make it less believable.
Well, the same thing happens in different languages, and lately, there is a lot of diversity representation in Hollywood. So, let’s make it realistic!
Here is when Dialect coaching comes up, and myself of course, as a Spanish Dialect coach. You’d be surprised how many times I’ve been hired to help an English speaker to say a few lines in Spanish and then, once on set, I find out the rest of the “Spanish” casting has different dialects, accents, or even language!
And I get it, it’s really hard to catch this if your native language is not Spanish (or whatever language the production is dealing with), but if you consider the amount of viewers with foreign languages that are watching that show (especially now with all the streaming platforms), then I would think it’s worth your while to give this the importance it deserves.
Speaking of Spanish language, did you know that 43 million people just in the US speak Spanish as their first language? And 12 million more are bilingual Spanish speakers? Therefore, it is the second-largest Spanish speaking country in the world. Not to mention that there are about 586 million Spanish speakers around the world.
A Dialect Coach and voice actor can also – in addition to helping the actors with their pronunciation, intonation, and delivery – work closely with script supervisors to let them know which take is the best one so they can note it for the editors.
So, if you are pondering on hiring a dialect coach or you were just wondering what they do, I hope this quick post helps you to realize the importance of hiring one and how it makes a project more approachable and realistic.