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Throat Pain and Interpreting

MagicToasterMagicToaster JapanRegistered User regular
edited October 2011 in Help / Advice Forum
I started doing some live interpreting almost a year ago. That is, I'll sit in a corner with someone during an event and translate into his/her language what a speaker is saying. A session can last from 1-3 hours, depending on the subject. Some speakers have a paused way of talking, and I have no issues because my voice can take a break between pauses. Some speakers, however, are like machineguns! They talk and don't take a breath or pause! That's when it gets hard to talk, and my voice starts to hurt. It's been almost a year, but I still don't know what to do to lessen the strain on my voice. Water and cough pills are useless.

I've heard that theater actors usually speak from their diafragm so as to not strain their voices, but I've never been able to do that.

Does anyone have recomendations.

MagicToaster on


  • FantasmaFantasma Registered User regular
    A tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar mixed with water for gargling is used by singers to ease throat pain. Perhaps you could give it a try.

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  • lonelyahavalonelyahava Mortius is correct Move to New ZealandRegistered User regular
    sage tea with honey.

    having just straight sage is the best, but there are other blends out there that are just as fine.

  • MagicToasterMagicToaster JapanRegistered User regular
    I'll try that!

  • Pure DinPure Din Boston-areaRegistered User regular
    Do you have a stuffy nose or a deviated septum? Sometimes I get coughs or throat pain from playing the clarinet because the air isn't coming in quick enough. Wearing nasal strips helps, if you don't mind looking like a dork. :)

  • Inquisitor77Inquisitor77 2 x Penny Arcade Fight Club Champion A fixed point in space and timeRegistered User regular
    It's mostly about breathing/projection, not about your "voice" per se. Most people focus too much on their throat when they are speaking - to speak louder, they tighten their throats. Being louder isn't about pushing air through a smaller hole, it's about pushing more air through the same hole. For example, if I'm going to sing middle C, my throat holds onto a certain configuration. If I want to sing it softly, I push air through at a slower rate. To sing it more loudly, I push air through at a higher rate. Volume is a function of air flow, not throat strength.

    When speaking, concentrate on your breathing. Your chest should remain still when you're inhaling and exhaling - all movement should be in the diaphragm (again, below the ribcage). Put your hand on top of your diaphragm while doing this - your abs should feel like you're doing a mini-crunch while standing. Once you get used to that type of breathing, practice speaking and even singing while using that method as well. Put your other hand on your throat, and make sure that it's staying relaxed the entire time. Practice the whole range of volumes, loud to soft, while keeping your throat relaxed and only using your diaphragm.

    Eventually, with enough practice it will become second nature, but in the interim you'll be catching yourself quite a bit.

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