Today, I did something unusual: I met my Golden Goose coworker at a basement studio in Mapo-gu, in a run-down edifice called the Nam-goong (南宮, South Palace) Building. I had been told that my services as a Korean interpreter would be needed. I cringed because I knew my Korean skills are shaky at best, but it was obvious, at the same time, that I spoke Korean at a much higher level than my coworker, who said he needed my help in explaining certain things to the tech guy. Beyond that, I had little idea what was going to happen.
Turned out that we were waiting for two American voice actors to come to the studio to record some of the dialogue for one set of our company's textbooks. They were late in arriving because of a mixup about which studio they were supposed to be at, but ultimately, they finished the entire recording by 3PM, which was when they'd been scheduled to finish.
I was wowed. Both of these voice actors—a man named Matt and a lady named Barry (yes, Barry: "as in Barry Manilow," she said archly)—were true pros, and it was humbling to watch and listen to them doing their thing. Once they got in front of their mikes,* they sounded exactly like the voices I've heard, over and over again, on so many English-textbook audio files. Their pronunciation was excruciatingly exact, their voices loud and rich.
I'm thinking of telling my brother David about these two. David works at a PR firm in DC; his firm regularly puts out public-service videos (David stitches these vids together—a herculean effort), so there's always a need for voice talent, and at a pay rate of $900 an hour, it's the sort of opportunity that's hard to ignore.
Anyway, today was a bit out of the ordinary for me. The heat was horrible; the building was old, and its restroom didn't have any toilet paper (had to buy some at the convenience store around the corner), but the studio guy was nice and the voice actors were truly amazing in their professionalism, so all in all, I'll chalk this day up as a win.
*I refuse to spell it "mic." To me, that's pronounced "Mick," and it's offensive to Irishmen. Same goes for "veg," which I spell "vedge" despite the lack of a "d" in "vegetable." To my ear, "veg" rhymes with "peg," so no dice. Try to think of a normal, non-abbreviated English word (not a loan word from a foreign language) that ends in a soft "g," i.e., a "g" that sounds like an English "j." Can't think of one, can you. I thought not. That because pronouncing a final "g" as a soft "g" violates a fundamental rule of pronunciation in English, which is:
DON'T FUCKING DO THAT.