How would you like Dato’ Yasmin Yusuff to be your co-driver – everytime you drive your car? That’s now possible if you have Waze, the popular GPS route guidance app on smartphones. In fact, Yasmin has been ‘available’ for some time now if Waze users went to the app’s voice options section. There is an option ‘Bahasa Malaysia – Yasmin’ which sets the voice to be that of the multi-talented entertainment personality.
Malaysian flavour to guidance
Yasmin’s voice is one of the only two options available for voice navigation in Bahasa Malaysia, the other being ‘Shahdan’, a male voice. Once ‘Yasmin’ is chosen as the ‘voice’ of the app, you will get turn-by-turn navigation directions as well as safety tips (like a reminder to strap on your seatbelt or slow down at the sign of the red lights). And what’s even nicer is that some of the advisories are very Malaysian in flavour. Like ‘alamak, miss!’ when you’ve missed an exit you should have taken, or ‘lubang lagi’, a relatable grouse for when a pothole is ahead.
“As I happen to be a professional voice-over artist, and also the original voice of the LRT, I thought it would be fun to do Waze too! All it took was for me to offer my voice in the Waze Malaysia Facebook group, and before I knew it, I was contacted, did an audition tape, and voila – I’m the Bahasa voice of Waze!” Yasmin said.
Like many Malaysians, Yasmin is also irritated by the pronunciation of our street names by Waze and perhaps she will also do them for the app later on. “I only did turn-by-turn instructions this time, but maybe one day I can do the street names too,” she added.
The former Miss Universe Malaysia is no stranger to voice-overs throughout her illustrious career in entertainment, which also includes being a radio presenter for Radio 4, crooning several songs in the late 70s to early 80s, acting in TV dramas and movies, talent managing, and producing several musicals to name a few. Her richly sweet yet authoritative voice could be heard over dozens of radio and TV ads over the years, and now motorists get to hear her voice again on their journeys.
Record your own Waze voice!
Prefer the sound of your own voice? Waze can do that too! Just go to the Menu and Settings and select Voice & Sound. Tap Waze voice and then tap Record new voice. You can select the type of direction you’d like to record and when finished, you can give the voice a name.
Waze reminds motorists to use the app as it is intended when driving. It should be placed in a dock or on the dashboard and the hands-free functionality should be used. If you hold the smartphone in your hand while driving, you will be committing an offence.