Hi or Bonjour en français !
My name is Thomas, I have been recording voice overs in French for many TV commercials, corporate videos, radio commercials, audiobooks, IVR and Elearning. I have also been doing lip sync dubbing for series, movies, videogames, cartoons, documentaries...
Young French Voice Actor
I have been doing lots of different projects and I can use my voice to play various characters. But my natural voice sounds pretty young and suits well characters and actors from 15 to 35 years old.
The Different French accents
You might be looking for a specific to record your voice over.
You also might be wondering what are the specificites of the Parisian accent, the Canadian one or even a European French accent.
THE PARISIAN ACCENT
Without speaking of dialects, we have many different accent in France. Depending on wether we come from Paris, the suburbs around it or from the south for example, we won’t speak the same way.
Let’s stay focus and consider it on a voice over standpoint only.
Basically, many clients will ask for a Parisian accent. This might be a shortcut to ask for a commonly accepted French accent. However, decades ago, the Parisian accent was completely different and pretty marked. This is not the case today and a large majority of Parisian don’t speak that way anymore. That said, we could describe the current accent in Paris today as neutral and good for any French voice over. The same way European French voice over is considered as well understood and without local dialect or accent.
Now, if we want to be picky, a certain part of the Parisians could be considered as the “Posh” way to speak. Still, this is much more related to social class, habits and character than purely an accent.
FRENCH EUROPEAN VOICE OVER
French European voice over is another shortcut to say that your accent is neutral and without specific dialect in any way.
Many voice talents from Belgium and Switzerland refers to it to avoid any misundertanding regarding their accent.
Belgium, Swiss or even Luxembourg people usually have a very light accent. It is barely notable for a French from France. Furthermore, voice overs from those countries usually don’t have accent at all. Therefore, it is legitimate to consider they have a neutral French.
This is not the case for many Canadian voice overs.
French Canadian is separated from European and Parisian French accent.
Indeed, Canadian speak French with a relatively strong accent from our point of view.
They also pronounce English with a much more better English than we do. Canadian voice overs recording are then not accessible for us. Still, some Canadian can imitate pretty well our accent. I wouldn’t personnally recommand to call a Canadian for it though, but some actor are just outstanding. That’d be case by case.
Any difference between French voice overs and other voice talents from other countries ?
In France, the voice over talent status is a bit complicated. The voice artists usually use the intermittent du spectacle status. One of the problem with that status is that most of the companies that are not considered in the audiovisual field don’t have the possibility to hire intermittents and to pay them. That is why I created a company especially for my voice over activity. Therefore, I am able to send invoices.