:retootPlz:​ What were some of the most helpful tips (or maybe THE most helpful tip in singular) when feminising your voice through voice training?

In addition, if you speak multiple languages, how do you feel voice feminisation is different in your languages, if at all?

Gender differences in voice pitch 

@meave Male and female norms for pitch are indeed *wildly* different by language. From my phonetics lecture notes:

(Male vs female average)
English: 107 Hz vs 195 Hz
Mandarin: 129 Hz vs 213 Hz
Shanghainese: 170 Hz vs 187 Hz
French: 145 Hz vs 226 Hz
Japanese: 150 Hz vs 340 Hz

Does make me wonder if English-speaking men are trying extra-hard to sound Not Female. And if Japanese women are trying to sound very, very young.

re: Gender differences in voice pitch 

@yingtai @meave

these data seem suspicious to me. everything I've seen so far had shown a small difference in the bimodal distribution by language/culture, measurable but by no means larger than the bimodal gap itself.

the first thing to keep in mind is that individual pitch variation is very big, and that most people who didn't sit down to study this topic have only a vague idea of what "pitch" sounds like—e.g. a large speaker with a testosterone-type larynx speaking in a shout or addressing a classroom will have quite a high pitch, yet people describe their voice as "low" because of the resonance. (many times a trans woman has told me "I don't want a high-pitched voice, I wanted to sound deep and butch like this or that celebrity"; I go study the celebrity's voice with trusty praat, she's invariably as high-pitched as your average cis woman.)

so you need to compare data from similar contexts and try to not deviate too much in the other parameters (amplitude, ambient noise etc). below is some data Mark Liberman plotted long ago from CallHome phone calls, in English in Japanese (languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/ )

also while I'm quoting Liberman I want to link to these cool visualisations about how the bimodal distribution gets closer with age: languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/

re: Gender differences in voice pitch 

@elilla @meave Those are indeed quite different results. It does make me wonder why.

But they're not quite as different as they look, because your diagram is in semitones and my figures were Hz. Converting to piano notes:

(Male vs female averages)
English: A2 vs G3
Japanese: D3 vs F4

The 2 female norms are not quite one octave apart, as is the English gender difference. The Japanese gender difference is well over an octave apart.

re: Gender differences in voice pitch 

@elilla @meave And of course you are right about resonance. I'm pretty sure that differs between languages too, but there I can't cite any research. I think that's one reason why I don't sound like a native English speaker, though; my resonance is really high up compared to American women.


re: Gender differences in voice pitch 

@yingtai @meave yeah I think Hz measures give a misleading impression of how it feels for us, and for voice I always look for measures in mels or a similar scale.

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