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NLS Other Writings

Art and Science of Audio Book Production

Issued September 1995

Accuracy of Pronunciation and Narration

The deficiencies most frequently cited in the review of audio book originl master recordings are errors in pronunciation and narration. The spoken text must be a word-for-word rendition of the printed text, and the importance of accuracy in pronunciation and narration cannot be overstated.

Correct pronunciation in a recorded book is the equivalent of correct spelling in a print book. Pronunciation must be appropriate to the style and period of the text and to the nature of the characters. Proper names, foreign words, and phrases in a foreign language must be pronounced with accuracy and delivered with naturalness without breaking the rhythm of narration.

A wide range of authoritative reference sources should be available for use by the audio book production staff. Specialized reference works (music, law, medicine, etc.) may be used for specialized requirements. If published sources do not give the needed pronunciations, additional research must be
conducted to the extent necessary to determine correct pronunciation.

The deficiencies most commonly cited with respect to narration accuracy are errors that make the spoken text fail to conform to the printed text, narration errors that change the meaning of the printed text, and narration that imposes personal bias in presenting the printed text.

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Posted on 2014-12-02