Woman (brunette) holding a globe in her hands, presenting it to the viewerDo you speak three or more languages fluently?

When it comes to being a voice talent, having multiple languages at your disposal opens more doors of opportunity with the ability to service a wider range of clients.
If you’re a polyglot, be sure to join the conversation in today’s VOX Daily!

Learning Languages For Fun and Fulfillment

Are you one of those people who loves languages and has learned to speak many different tongues?
If not us ourselves, nearly everyone knows someone who has mastered a number of foreign languages and studies them for pure enjoyment. I have a brother-in-law who is one such person. He speaks a number of languages and reads dictionaries, books and newspapers in French, Italian, and Spanish to name a few.
Learning languages other than your own can also be helpful particularly when traveling or doing business. While English is a popular language and a lot of business is conducted in English, languages spoken in Asia such as Mandarin Chinese, for example, are becoming more and more important for building relationships and closing deals with companies overseas.

Learning Languages as a Way of Life

Paul Strikwerda avatarEarlier yesterday morning, voice talent Paul Strikwerda put his polyglot skills to work from his home in the United States, writing, “I’m quite proud of myself. Got up at 4:00 a.m. to record a script for a client in Italy in four languages. Time to get some coffee!”

The languages Paul was recording in were German, French, Italian and English.
Growing up in Holland afforded Paul the rare opportunity to be schooled in many languages in order to communicate with others outside of the Netherlands. When you come from a country that speaks a language not spoken by those outside of it, (minus ex-pats, diplomats and so forth), learning additional languages becomes a necessary part of life.
Paul thanks his parents for his abilities to speak multiple languages as well as the small country he grew up in, acknowledging that “Not too many people speak Dutch, and that’s why the Dutch learn to speak other languages.”

Do You Speak Three Languages or More?

What are those languages and what do you use them for?
Be sure to comment on today’s VOX Daily and let me know!
Best wishes,
©iStockphoto.com/Amanda Rohde


  1. Like Paul , I too am polyglot..
    My name is of Italian decent …Claudio Napoleoni, doesn’t excatly sound like a good ol Irish name 😉
    I have always found myself having a knack for languages, perhaps it was because I grew up in a completely Bilingual English & French household AND Community in Montreal.
    Being enrolled into an English school board in a predominantly French sector, deeply planted my roots. With school friends and their families being Italian, Greek and Polish, I picked up words here and there (not always polite ones!).
    Eventually, my friends had a pact with me where I would speak only French to them (to help them out) and they would speak Only Italian, or Greek to me which had me broaden my vocabulary BUT more importantly, it helped me listen to and understand the right pronunciation.
    It’s one thing to speak a language…BUT to do it without sounding like a foreigner… Is tough, so I found that repeating everything that was said to me, with the same sing-song, or harsh attitude was the way to sound ….more legit!
    I had the privilege of also having my dad speak Roman Italian to me and attending Italian Sunday school (which was ….well…Darn it, it was on Sundays!, how do YOU think it was for a young lad!!!)
    College and University helped me polish Spanish as well..
    with a Latin base like French and Italian already in place…it seemed effortless. Then, marrying a fantastic woman (Argentina Born) was the icing on the cake!
    I made the same pact with her parents as my friends had done with me years earlier.., But this time, It was more intensive…The deal was…every time we are together, I need to forget that they spoke any other language but Spanish. and so thoughts, and language needed to be conveyed by them and by ME only in Spanish.
    It has opened many doors to help others, to help myself in business as much as personal. doors do not magically open, but the fact that you can converse and apply them to different business aspects such as helping a colleague conclude a deal, or yourself opening new markets that were often closed…Is fantastic
    It is more apparent when you travel. I rarely stumble to find the information I need…no matter where I go ! I often tell my kids that they, like I can be dropped from a chopper anywhere in the world…and we would get out of it simply because the language factor would open the right doors!
    YES, because of our conscience effort to vcontinuously expose them to these languages, they also speak English, French and Spanish fluently (9 and 12Yrs old!)
    I encourage anyone to learn languages, and as dumb as it may sound…Keeping a dual language dictionary in the bathroom (when you have nothing better to do than read the boring, same newspaper) would be more beneficial. Think about it, even if 5% of every read is retained…it’s a start.
    Follow with courses that will help with pronunciation FIRST, rather than learning vocabulary because speaking a language with a harsh accent, turns people off and is often and invitation for them to bring you back to a common language between the two of you. That never helps !
    My mom, speaks Italian incredibly well But with the harshest French accent…It sounds Ludacris and very annoying..(it’s too bad).
    Like anything else, (insert soft yoda-like voice) knowledge is a great thing…BUT, you must use it w i s e ly

  2. I am a multilingual voiceover actor, speaking French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and German in addition to English. Because I am actually a linguist (Ph.D. program, Georgetown University) I am able to use these language skills to voice various dialects. In other words, I can voice English-language dialects such as Southern American, New York/New Jersey, British, Irish, and Caribbean, and Australian, and foreign dialects in English, such as French, Spanish, Italian, German, and Japanese. I would welcome any opportunity to use my linguistic skills or any character voices!! I also teach others to do accents or at times, to reduce their accent in various languages.
    Allison Sutherland


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