The Vowel Translator
Welcome to Bohemian Vocal Studio’s Vowel Translator, the world’s first interactive vowel and consonant translator for singing. If you’ve been wondering which vowel to use in a vocal line or you’re having trouble singing a particular word or phrase, then this tool is designed for you! This translator is intended for use as a companion tool to coaching with Kegan at BVS – this translator isn’t designed to show you how to sing, but it will make it an easier and smoother process to put everything you’ve learned into practice with actual songs and vocal lines.
Practice has never been so effective!
The Vowel Translator is available to premium subscribers.
The best way to use the Vowel Translator is to first attempt a song yourself while making note of any difficult words or phrases, then to use the translator to help you apply your vowels properly to these words or phrases.
– A dash separates each character, such as a vowel and then a consonant sound like b-EH-t for the word “Bet”
< Angled parenthesis indicate a potentially aspirated consonant such as H or F like <h-EH-oo/l-AH/OO for the word “Hello”
AH/OO and EH/OO has now been replaced by ER for any new words added from October 1st 2019 – these indicate a dipthong, and can be sung as the ER vowel (tongue up and forward) similar to the American pronunciation of “Look” or “Book” – like a lazy “Lerk” or “Berk”. Instead of using the OO vowel for a word like “Look”, it would instead be replaced by an ER vowel similar to “Lerk” to keep space in the vocal tract.
AH(AA) identifies a word that commonly has two options of pronunciation such as n-EE(AH-EE)-th-EH-oo/r for the word “Neither” which either starts with the sounds “Nigh” or “Nee” depending on the style you sing. You can choose to sing the initial vowel and ignore the brackets, or you can ignore the initial vowel and sing the bracketed vowel instead.
EH is an AY sounding vowel which is an extension of the EE tongue shape. Book a session with me if you’re having trouble shaping your vowels.
oo/r is the most generalised way for all accents and voice types to sing closed resonant consonant sounds such as R, L, Y and W. The “oo” is figurative and more a way to attain placement on your consonant so that it doesn’t occur in your throat like in speech.
n/th is a generalised way to sing a “TH” without choking off your throat – the “n” is figurative.
k indicates the presence of a glottal consonant such as G or K and is performed in singing by a click at the back of the tongue instead of a glottal stop.
dt indicates a d consonant and should be performed at the teeth without a glottal stop, similar to a “T”
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I really have to sing all of that?
The translator is Bohemian Vocal Studio’s approach to vowels in it’s purest form without consideration to accent or stylistic delivery – if you are singing in a particular style such as Rock, or you’re opting for a specific tonal delivery then you may find the Translator is overly detailed and ending consonants or dipthongs may not be necessary. This is a companion tool, not a comprehensive singing approach on its own – you’re welcome to ask any questions pertaining to the Vowel Translator in the “leave a reply” box below.
There’s a word missing?
The Vowel Translator is currently in Beta form, so you may find the occasional word that hasn’t yet been added to the translator – leave the missing word in the “leave a reply” box below and I’ll add it as soon as possible. Please note, the Translator doesn’t accept hyphenated words such as “self-chosen”, so you need to write this phrase as “self chosen” instead.
I’m finding it complicated
Don’t translate full songs or verses just yet – you’re basically learning a new language, so don’t run before you’ve learned how to walk. To learn proper use of the translator, I suggest translating a simple word or vocal phrase that you already know how to sing properly and compare how you are singing to the way it appears in the translator first until you start to understand the format of the translation – remember, you can ask me a question at any time using the “Leave a reply” box below the translator.
Kegan DeBoheme is Bohemian Vocal Studio’s resident vocal coach and voice expert. He teaches professional singing and voice technique to students all around the world and enjoys providing tutorials like this one on how to improve your voice.