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Why do audiobook narrators speak so slowly?


Ser Not Appearing
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The big takeaway I have from this thread is that narrators speak so slowly because some people really like that and then you can speed it up if you want. I assume slowing it down from original asked might be harder than shedding up but I have no great basis to give me certainty there. Regardless, some people do like the slower speed and that's that. As an aside, and interesting to me, asking this question on Facebook gave me a much higher percent of people who only listen to audiobooks on fast speeds.

The second takeaway I have from this thread relates to myself and can be summarized as I, compared to others, tend to do ok with faster audio and tolerate double tasking more easily, based on how infrequently I have to stop or backtrack in order follow along.

Big brain go brrrr, I guess. :P

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As I only listen to audio books while working out, I myself am moving fast, while mentally monitoring which sets, number of reps, what sort of stretches for how long, form and all the rest, etc..  So how do you explain that they are too slow to keep up, since I have never had a problem of that nature with anything I listen to.

Maybe it's your device? 

:dunno:

Edited by Zorral
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On 8/31/2022 at 11:52 AM, Ser Not Appearing said:

At the outset let me say that I'm less looking to make a point as if to say it's dumb or not a good idea ... I'd simply like to understand the reasoning.

And I assume there is reasoning behind this. Whether it's a historic standard or a limitation of cost or ... something, there has to be a reason that people talk unnaturally slow when they read an audiobook. I further presume it's not a habit narrators developed on their own to ensure that they enunciate clearly. I suspect it's driven by directors or publishers or someone other than the narrator.

Does anyone have background on why this is the industry standard?

I've been listening to audiobooks for a long time. Free, like Librivox (which I saw mentioned in the thread) or rented books, purchased or subscription based (Audible). Until I read this thread I never thought of speeding up! So I did it for Pride and Prejudice for one chapter on both Rosamund Pike's (on Audible) and Karen Savage's (on Librivox) readings. To me it sounds like they are running to catch a train in British :P

When I speed up these two to 1.5 X, the narration seems to me to loose inflection, pauses that I thought are supposed to be meaningful for dialog between characters are basically skipped over and intonation is sharp and almost aggressive/ strident.

Long story short: it may be due to them acting it out with different voices and a bit of theatrical interpretation. I also think I'm probably one of the weirdest audio readers, since I've never even thought the narrations were slow to begin with.

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45 minutes ago, TormundsWoman said:

I've been listening to audiobooks for a long time. Free, like Librivox (which I saw mentioned in the thread) or rented books, purchased or subscription based (Audible). Until I read this thread I never thought of speeding up! So I did it for Pride and Prejudice for one chapter on both Rosamund Pike's (on Audible) and Karen Savage's (on Librivox) readings. To me it sounds like they are running to catch a train in British :P

When I speed up these two to 1.5 X, the narration seems to me to loose inflection, pauses that I thought are supposed to be meaningful for dialog between characters are basically skipped over and intonation is sharp and almost aggressive/ strident.

Long story short: it may be due to them acting it out with different voices and a bit of theatrical interpretation. I also think I'm probably one of the weirdest audio readers, since I've never even thought the narrations were slow to begin with.

Imagine you'd get more used to it over time. There's an element of changing speed that is just relative to what you're used to. If you're used to slower, it'll sound real fast. If you stick with fast for a while, it'll sound more normal.

But if it never bothered you and you don't have time constraints of wanting to get through a book faster, no reason to change.

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I am stuck with audiobooks.  Eyes.  I rarely change the speed.  I am not impatient, more interested in the story, and occasionally speed up for narrators that truly have no business doing so. This series of books is hard, given the length, immediacy, content, audience.  Roy Dotrice became embedded, and that is fine with me, except for pronunciation of names.  He narrates as if he is doing just that, narrating, not acting.  His voices, well, he only has a few.  But in the midst of the conversations, we know who he means.  That is the one important thing to those stuck with audio.  And after awhile, he became the GoT voice for me.  He cared.

 

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Maybe the pace of the reading is slower that some would like, but damn it, I paid for my audio copy of Team of Rivals and I'm going to get every second out of the 47 hour run time...

 

(Actually, I think it was my Audible freebie for that month...but the point stands in general...)

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