Day 5 – 30 Days Of Arnold: Have you ever heard Arnold speak German?

Have you ever heard Arnold speak German?

Strange, isn’t it?

Your perception of Arnie is of this behemoth who only speaks in heavily accented English… but of course he’s fluent in the language of his birth.

But really how many times have you heard Arnie speak in German?

It doesn’t feel like him.

It’s not the voice we recognise as attached to the Schwarzenegger persona.

Sure his English is fluent and eloquent.

It’s just when he switches back into his native tongue, he sounds like any other German speaker (for the untrained German speakers among us, of course).

Arnie knew two things:

1. He had to speak English to be a success. It was non-negotiable. He was on his way to huge success in America, he had to speak the language. If he wanted to be in movies, he had to speak the language. So he learnt the language.

2. He realised his accent was one of his greatest assets and played on this. He could have ironed out his accent altogether if he wanted. But it was clear there was value in keeping the Germanic idiosyncrasies that made his voice so distinct.

Arnie ‘owned’ a voice. His voice.

He used it for positioning.

And it worked damned well when you consider how ‘right’ it was for his breakthrough movie Conan The Barbarian – an Ubermensch made real.

It’s sometimes said that to be truly memorable you need to be recognised in profile.
Well, Arnie defied that by not only being recognisable in profile but having a distinct tone of voice to back it up.

It was later he became synonymous with his one-liners…

( …which sound all the better delivered in that voice.)

So, you’re thinking, what has this got to do with my 30 Days Of Arnold challenge?

I’m going to challenge myself to work on accentuating those parts of my personality that set me apart from my competition.

I’m going to find my “stunted German accent”.

Look, I’ve no idea what my specific point of differentiation is at this point, but it’s something I’m working on and will have nailed by the time the 30 Days challenge is over.

What makes me unique?

You (and I) will discover quite soon.

I’ll post the progress when it’s ready. Gulp.

P.S. It WON’T be a funny accent.



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