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A blog of curiosities about voice-overs in Portugal, and beyond

image of an exclamation mark speaking to a microphone

I love the Portuguese language. ¿But did you know there’s a detail I adore in Spanish? ¡Guess what it is!

February 29, 2024

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The Spanish language has fantastic detail!

It’s this: “¡The Spanish language has a fantastic detail!”

Did you notice the difference?

In other words, “¿Did you see the difference?”

Spanish use inverted exclamation and question marks in the beginning of sentences in addition to ending with normal punctuation.

¡Small detail, huge impact!

It’s really useful, because when we, voice-overs, start reading an exclamatory or interrogative sentence in Spanish we already know that we have to end the sentence with a surprise or a question intonation.

The same does not happen in Portuguese. Not even in English.

What is the practical problem with this?

It saves time during the recording and doesn’t stop the reading flow.

Let me explain.

I usually like to read the scripts in advance, so I don’t do a cold reading during recording. That way I know where I should accentuate the speech, where to breath in a long sentence, and where I have to be careful with uncommon words. In short, I get to “feel the text”, and read it with confidence later when I’m recording.

But it isn’t always possible to read the scripts in advance. In gigantic elearning voice-overs, or huge audio guides, sometimes with short delivery deadlines, there is no time to waste. The first read is the actual recording.

In these situations it’s very common having to re-record sentences that are exclamations or questions because I only notice what they are when I reach the end, leaving no time to make me sound surprised or to make it sound like a query. At that “point”, literally, I have to stop and record again. If I had known before reading the sentence that it would be a question or an exclamation I would immediately change the intonation!

And that would be amazing in Portuguese!

¿Right?

¡Sure!

… Unfortunately we don’t have that possibility…

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Portuguese voice artist

Portugal Profi-Sprecher

Locutor Portugués

Voice over from Portugal

Locución en Portugués

Portugiesischer Sprecher mit tonstudio

Comédien voix off Portugais

Voice actor Portugal

Doppiatore Portoghese

播音员配音葡萄牙