Especially the English announcement person...which might be me!
Sometimes I work for JR Hokkaido and record the announcements for trains going to and from Furano and east Hokkaido, the services that are popular with foreign tourists. Announcements are usually in English, Korean and Chinese.
Yesterday was a HAAAAARRRRDDDDDDD day. I went to the JR Hokkaido head office at Soen Station and worked in the recording studio where all the announcement tapes are created. This was also where the Tv broadcasts on local TV were made in the past.
The translation company gave me the narration script a week ago. Eight pages of short announcements for the Ozora and Tokachi limited express trains to Kushiro and Obihiro. No real problems, short announcements and no hard-to-pronounce place names.
I thought about 1 hour to record, then checking ....finished in about 90 minutes?
I had a few problems making all the "Thankyou" sound the same...mine got to friendly and had to be redone to be more formal. And I said "THE New Chitose Airport" twice....small errors that can be corrected quickly.
But oh no...after an hour....when I thought the end was in sight...
Much harder - JR wanted to have all the lists of station names pronounced the same style - gaijin style actually - and that is hard for me to do because I live in Hokkaido and I know the Japanese pronunciation. But they say passengers actually complain sometimes if the pronunciations vary too much! People actually send emails of complaint....
After I'd done about 70% of the recording this point was noticed...and we had to go back and do a lot of the announcements again...aghhh...very tiring.
So try it yourself! Can you read this passage and make your voice go UP on the end of every station name?
Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome aboard the Super Tokachi limited express bound for Obihiro.
We will be stopping at Shin-SappoRO, Minami-ChitoSE, OiwaKE, Shin-YubaRI, ShimkaPU, TomaMU, ShintoKU, Tokachi-ShimiZU, MemuRO and the ObihiRO terminal.
This is a non-smoking train. Please refrain from smoking.
If you notice any suspicious items or activities, please inform us.
Can you do it?
Ok...there are five more like this!
After the job finished I stood at Soen Station and listened to the announcements - of course in Japanese - because no foreign visitors go to Soen.
And I sighed with relief.