It's all Friend's fault ... as I perched precariously on a high stool with a microphone almost poked up my left nostril, she said "Go, Beyonce !" ... and off we went.
It's now Culture Capital 2018 for Leeuwarden and, as the poster of us all carrying the Frisian lily pad in the station reminds us, we're all supposed to do our bit.
Well , Friend had translated the Historisch Center's guided tour app's voiceover script into flawless English and now I was going to be the 'voice'. Three students from the Friesland College's Sound Design faculty were to do the recording as part of their coursework.
There were two scripts, one for children and another for adults ; a total of 29 pages. Three hours had been allowed to record both the English and German voiceovers.
We started off in great style ... the children's one read easily, being zippier , with shorter sentences. It was helped by the fact that I've been reading to various children all my life, starting with an endless, increasing multitude of smaller cousins.
After that we had a break , while someone else recorded the German children's section . Then it was my turn again... the adult's bit. By this time I'd read the script far too many times and I successfully mangled whole chunks of it but the students were endlessly patient and we kept on going. Until the penultimate paragraph describing what you can see in the Grocer's Shop and its displays ."Old fashioned sweets , like Syrup Soldiers and ullevelen ..."
And that's where it all went wrong.... At least ten attempts were made and every time I said Sugar Shoulders . On take eleven I finally managed syrup shoulders ... and after recording the last paragraph , we gave up. I hope the German lady zipped faultlessly through her final section and the apps will be downloadable before it's someone else's turn to be Culture Capital of Europe ... it's Coventry, I think, in 2019.
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