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Thane resident Uday Sabnis to be Google navigator's Marathi voice

DNMUM308963 | 6/21/2014 | Author : Ankita G Menon | WC :580



Thane: Actor, dubbing artist and Thane resident Uday Sabnis has received the opportunity to be the voice of Google navigation's Marathi instructions. Across the globe, whenever you chose the Marathi language option for directions, the voice that comes across will be that of Uday Sabnis. This is part of Google's initiative to make the navigation available in various languages across the globe.
Well known as a police character from Duniyadari, Sabnis set foot in the dubbing industry as the voice of Bagheera from Jungle book. He has rendered his voice to more than 5,000 episodes of various cartoons by Disney and promotional shows of various other channels like Zee Marathi, he dubs in Hindi and Marathi as well. He has also recorded book readings for the National Association of Blind.
"My experience in reading in a monotonous tone for two to three hours in one sitting helped me a great deal while recording directions for Google. This initiative to make available the directions in various languages will be started, keeping in mind the difficulty people face while travelling to different countries. Also, as many do not follow the heavily accented tone, it is better if they get to hear these directions in their local dialect from anywhere in the world," said Sabnis.
It is voice over artist Harish Bhimani (well known as the narrator in Doordarshan's Mahabharata), who suggested Sabnis' voice for the Marathi version, to Google. "When I got this opportunity the first thought that came to my mind was about the number of Maharashtrians that are spread across the globe that they felt the need to do this. Secondly, I have never got such an opportunity; in fact no other Maharashtrian in the world must have got this opportunity and I feel honoured. I had auditioned over the phone and although those at Google did not understand the language they liked the tone," added Sabnis, who least expected that they would chose his voice.
"It was an altogether different experience while recording, although I enjoyed it very much it was very tiring as well, as I had to give all types of instructions in the same tone, they only asked me to maintain my voice and ensure that it remains friendly and fresh throughout. I did not practice as I have been dubbing and also been a voice over artist for the last 25 years," said Sabnis. Till now he has recorded just the first batch, which took eight hours. There might be three more sessions and these were recorded in the gap of a week or fortnight, in three sittings.
Although his experience in this field helped him to maintain the voice and tone, it was tiring to read out the various instructions as he has to repeat the same instruction for various distances. "When I give the instruction to take left after a kilometre, I have to say the same instruction for 1.5km, 2km, 3km and so on. This makes it endless and tiring, but being the first of its kind, it was exciting," said Sabnis.
Having performed on various stages across the state, acted in multiple movies in Marathi as well as Hindi and been the voice of numerous characters, this experience was unique and enthralling for the 55-year-old artist who conducts dubbing workshops in Thane. As an apt description to his experience, Sabnis said, "No matter what happens tomorrow, my voice will always be there to give directions to Maharashtrians across the globe."


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