At first glance, a neutral accent may be the best solution as it’s the easiest for all US Latino communities to understand. But, using a regional
accent may deliver the same message with a level of genuineness that could make for a stronger connection.
The Mexican accent may immediately be your first choice when choosing a regional accent, simply because Mexicans make up the largest percentage of US Hispanics. Plus, it’s also the regional accent most requested with voice-over talent.
“The Mexican accent is the most recognizable throughout Latin America due to the influence of Mexican cinema and the fact that the majority of TV shows and movies are translated over there,” says former journalist and voice-over talent Armando Plata.
A Bogotá, Colombia native, Plata credits his training as an actor as key to mastering regional accents. He feels in order to fully embrace an accent, it’s necessary to partake in each culture. That’s how he’s been able to manage Cuban, Mexican, and Argentine accents.
“On several occasions, I have gotten requests for regional Colombian accents, as
well as to narrate with a Mexican accent,” says Raul Escalante (Raul Escalante Productions – raulescalantevoice.blogspot.com), who’s also from Bogotá and can do a variety of local Colombian accents, including the Paisa, Valluno, Tolimense, and Cachaco. He also can speak with Mexican and Argentine accents.
Plata and Escalante agree that mastering a neutral Spanish accent has been a plus in their voice-over careers.
Escalante has worked as Jorgen Von Strangle, in ‘Los Padrinos Mágicos’ (Fairly OddParents) and with major brands such as Johnnie Walker, Univision, McDonald’s, and Lexus.
Plata has performed narrations for Disney, Coca-Cola, Walmart, AT&T, and Western Union.
Both agree that national and international brands generally request a neutral accent to reach a wider range of potential consumers.