Voice Feminization – Feminisation of the voice – how to sound female – How to sound feminine
[Abstract] Full Text [PDF]
“It’s funny that almost all speech therapists that help male-to-female transsexuals tend to be female – next time you see your speech therapist ask them to sound like a convincing man. If they are Male – Jackpot! – see if they can sound convincingly female and watch them cringe! Then you could seriously say they are all talk!” (Transgender Zone Discussion)
Voice quality plays an essential role in speech communication. It can help or hinder intelligibility and is a rich source of information with linguistic, cultural and family determinants.
You accent can be an advantage or disadvantage for example a voice of Caribbean origins may be deeper in pitch than that of a European counterpart this can be an advantage for black transgender people. A welsh voice can sound more ‘sing-songy’ and be slightly higher by force of habit and dialect. So pitch and strength of voice can be very different yet sound feminine. And regional variations also apply.
Smoking and medication can also affect the voice
Loudness of the voice will also have an effect on perceived voice quality.
Physiological, cultural and linguistic factors may operate independently, and voice quality can be modified to meet social needs.
Taking female Hormones will not return your voice to a prepubescent state – unlike the notable mascualinizing effects that male hormones with female-to-Male transgender people have!
SRS (Surgery) will not affect the voice either. The best way to improve the femininity of your male voice is by vocal exercise and practice.
Singing scales – La la la la la la LA! LA LA LA LA la! Shifting your pitch up and down!
The Larynx (voice box) can be felt shifting up and down as you sing your scales. Place your hand gently against your Adam’s Apple (Trachea). Now sing again!
Feel it moving up and down? Ok now place your hand there again and as you sing your scales attempt to keep your Adam’s Apple up.
You can pick up a free reocrding programe called Audacity.
Or try this simple record rewind program. Created by a friedn of Transgender Zone especially for this purpose.
Breathing over words -slightly!
This can be a useful technique, if you do drag then you can go for it! But realistically you must just apply this ever so gently to your speech. It is essential you avoid whispering but at the same time that tinge of whisper can soften a voice considerably!
Voice quality is a mulch-dimensional component of fluent speech determined both culturally and physiologically. A study of the voices of forty four 20-year-old female speakers of British English demonstrated Both physical and anecdotal evidence suggests that young female speakers have breathier voices than men, with a tendency for increased breathiness at higher pitches. And breathier at the higher end of their fundamental frequency ranges in connected speech.
However, voice quality varies with social situation and speaking task, and the correlation of breathiness with fundamental frequency may be task-dependent. In particular, findings for sustained vowels may not hold when connected speech is examined. Shorter contact ratios correlate with breathy voice quality.
The tongue is higher and flatter for female than for male. This gives ‘dental’ sounds (ones that involve the teeth, like T and D) a softer, breathier, almost sibilant quality in the female. Say ‘tttt’ in male mode, then ‘ssss’; find the halfway position, that is the female position for the letters T and D; likewise for a TH sound, etc. Use plenty of air to get a breathy sound.
Marilyn Monroe’s breathless speech can if toned down really help feminize speech listen to her here Listen to a Marilyn Monroe sound file here! Listen to Marylin Monroe’s ‘breathy’ voice quality.
Raising the end of a sentence
Although this is context specific (and accent dependent) highering your pitch at the end of a sentence is a good habit for M-T-F transgender speakers. It also ‘lightens’ your delivery tending to make you smile more.
- Avoid the camp voice – Julian Clary is a nono
- Concentrate more on thoughts and feelings, whereas men concentrate on objects and actions. Men generally use more ‘short cuts’, slang and swear.
- Avoid sounding like Mickey Mouse
- Avoid looking bashful and staring at your feet!
- Avoid whispering – although a semi-whisper maybe all you can get to sound feminine – remember if people can’t hear you they will concentrate more on you rather than you speaking a bit deeper and moving on quickly.
- Keep you mouth less open – ahhhhhhhhh! Becomes ohhhhhhhhh!
- Don’t Shout! You can speak loudly, but anger is a dead give away!
- Slow down the speed you speak a little – this not only gives you time to think it also sounds more considered.
- Mix Body Language with the way you speak click here for information on how this can help 🙂
- Start and end sentences slowly and gently
- Push your speech up into the top of the throat away from the chest.
- Record yourself speaking or ask friends to comment – don’t be offended if they say negative things – this will take time to get right!
Citation: ReferencesMarkham,D. and Hazan,V., “The Perception of Speaker Variability by Adults and Children.”in press ICSLP 2002Linville,S.E. (2000) “The Aging Voice”, in Voice Quality Measurement, R.D.Kent and M.J.Ball, Eds., San Diego: Singular-Thomson LearningSodersten,M. and Lindestad,A. (1990) Glottal Closure and Perceived Breathiness DuringPhonation in Normally Speaking Subjects. JSHR, 33(3): 601-611.Fourcin,A. 2002, “Patterns, Structure and Measurement in Voice