We want to know from children what questions they are worried about. We answer one every week. This question comes from Greta, 9 years old.

Boy covering his ears outdoors

Close your ears and listen: your own voice sounds completely different from other people's. Photo: Oleksandr Latkun/imago

That's me? Do I really sound like that? Never! You've probably thought that before when you heard your voice on a recording. You wouldn't be the first person there. Surprising as it may seem, your own voice on a recording sounds the same as how other people hear it and as it does in reality.

It's like this: when we talk, a little journey begins. That is, by the sound waves we generate when we speak. These are wave vibrations in the air that we cannot see with the naked eye.

For example, if you shout “Hello” to your friend, sound waves will start flying at that moment. She hears your greeting because the vibrations of the air reach her eardrum and it begins to vibrate there. The vibrations travel further to the inner ear, where the sensory hairs recognize the “hello” of the vibration. By the way, this drum is of course not a musical instrument, but a part of the body and is located in the ear.

So when you say something, you hear the sound waves it produces in the air. But something else is happening inside us. As soon as you make a sound, your body and the skull bones where the inner ear is located vibrate. When you speak, you hear what is being said in the outer ear canal, as well as the inner and middle ear. And that leads to you listening to yourself twice, so to speak.

This text comes from Laborable day. Our left-wing weekly! Every week, wochentaz is about the world as it is and as it could be. A left-wing weekly with a voice, attitude and a special vision of the world. New every Saturday on newsstands and of course by subscription.

Interested in an experiment? Try out what it sounds like when you cover your ears and say something. Ready, Set, Go! Can you feel how your body feels and hear how deep your voice sounds? Vibration often makes your own voice seem deeper than it really is.

On the contrary, if we only hear ourselves in a sound recording, then we will only perceive our own voice through the external auditory canal. What you experienced during the experiment is no longer valid because you cannot hear the vibrations of your own body from the outside.

It happens that you perceive your voice differently from others.