Some of the world’s most famous and iconic voices over the past six decades have come from Wales. Anthony Hopkins, Richard Burton, Michael Sheen – the list goes on and on! For a country with such a small population, the reach of the Welsh voice (and Welsh Voice Actor) has punched well above its weight on screen, and in sound since the age of broadcast began. But what is it that warms people to the Welsh accent?
Well firstly (and obviously to anyone either Welsh or who works within the voice industry), the idea that there is a single ‘Welsh accent’ is as much a misconception about Wales as it is about any other country; accents in any country can change quite substantially within just a few miles, but there are commonalities between Welsh voices of all regions.
As a director, producer or corporate buyer of voice work, whether for dramatic or promotional activities, you may be interested to know that the Welsh accent is considered one of the most attractive accents in the UK and Ireland according to a government survey.
Our accent is known for its musicality and rhythm. To ears outside Wales, people with a Welsh accent sound like they’re ‘singing’. The accent has a sing-song tonality to it. This is because the vowels are often stretched out a little and, when speaking, Welsh people have a tendency to use a wide range of prosody and pitch. These slightly elongated vowel sounds connect with the listener at an emotional level, making a Welsh accent the perfect choice for creating a connection with the listener – an invaluable tool, whether you’ve created your script to touch hearts, send a message or sell a product or service.
The sound of the Welsh accent is heavily influenced by the Welsh language – one of the oldest languages in Europe, with a rich and ancient history.
In studies of the perception of the Welsh accent, it was generally associated with personality traits that were positive such as sincerity, friendliness, supportiveness and understanding.
Welsh voices are often distinctive and unique – making them perfect for creating texture when playing in a group of actors, but equally powerful in solo. How easy it is to call to mind Richard Burton’s utterance “No one would have believed…” from the iconic ‘War of The Worlds’, or Anthony Hopkins unforgettable “Hello Clarice…” – both decades old, but emotive enough to transcend time.
As a Welsh voice actor, I am proud of the many successes of contemporary and historic Welsh voices on the world stage, both through the spoken and musical word.
Am I able to provide that same touch of humanity to your script? There’s only one way to find out – drop me a line and I’ll be happy to discuss your project.