Author Topic: How to convey accent in dialogue?  (Read 3397 times)

Offline bri h

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Re: How to convey accent in dialogue?
« Reply #15 on: May 13, 2013, 06:08:34 AM »
I have it on dvd. I studied it for Eng at school. B

I suppose for accents and location, a simple "why aye man." Would denote a geordie.

"Wees keys are these," for a mackum(sunderland).

"m'duck" for someone from notts.



Fare thee well Skip. We're all 'Keening' now. xbx

Offline 2par

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Re: How to convey accent in dialogue?
« Reply #16 on: May 13, 2013, 01:43:06 PM »
British English is so weird.
But then, so is American English.
Ain't it grand?

Offline Gyppo

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Re: How to convey accent in dialogue?
« Reply #17 on: May 13, 2013, 04:10:53 PM »
It's a sad fact that something which is perfectly understandable and enjoyable when you're when you're listening to a performance by a storyteller in a pub can be a nightmare to read, or worse still cause you to lose the flow and stop reading.

Printed and spoken English are very often two almost totally different beasts.  As others have said, a hint to prime the reader so they mentally provide the accent themselves is usually enough.  This also has the advantage they will use an accent they find intelligible, even of it's not quite what you as the writer had in mind.

I find myself reading stuff about or by country folks in what I call 'standard rural' with the exception of county-specific words which keep the specific area in mind.

For entertainment, and possibly education, you will find below an example of an 'over the top' attempt to get the New Forest accent into print.

I thought it was the bees knees when I first wrote it around thirty years ago, having laboured mightily to catch every nuance of the speech of the old man who told me the tale.  I didn't believe the old rogue, but I enjoyed the tale enough to buy him a pint.

If you get past the first two paragraphs of his speech you have my permission to switch off in anger, confusion, or just disgust at the proliferation of apostrophes.  You may enjoy it despite being clubbed over the head by a writer who hadn't yet learned to trust his readers to play their part.

Gyppo

=====

'Candling' Rabbits.

Most people have at least a theoretical knowledge of using a ferret to 'bolt' rabbits from their burrows, driving them into purse nets pegged over the holes. This can be a very practical - and profitable - way of controlling a pest and getting several good meals.

But some people don't like handling ferrets, seeing them as nasty, smelly, viscous brutes. They needn't be, but that's a different issue. What I can tell you is that many a gullible 'townie' has listened to the following with every appearance of belief.

"Well, Boy, if thee want's a more gentler way of 'arvesting they conies (old rural name for rabbits) get yourself a tortoise and a short candle. One of they night light things is ideal. Baint no use using a torch though, it needs that little flame to do the trick proper like.

"Fit the candle onto the tortoise's back - I can sell thee a nice little custom made 'arness to hold it steady - light the candle, and put the tortoise gently into the rabbit warren.

"But thee must be patient then, patient as an 'eron waiting to catch a fish, and very still, and very quiet, so thee can hear the scuff of the rabbit's claws as 'e moves around. What's goin' on underground is this...

"The rabbit can smell the flame and smoke - which is why a torch is no good - and it makes 'im restless like, and when the tortoise gets near enough Mr Bunny starts moving away from the smell/flame. But 'e don't panic like 'e would with a big fire underground. Oh no, 'ee just backs off slow-like and if thee listens careful-like tis simple to figure which 'ole 'e be likely to pop out from.

"'Cept 'e don't exactly pop! The secret is 'e comes out arse end first and can't see thee until it's too late, so it's either let 'un go if the beggar's too small, or knock 'im and pop 'im in the sack for supper.

"Then all thee 'as to do is wait 'alf an 'our or so for the tortoise to follow 'im out, check the candle for life, and send 'im down another 'ole.

"Tis the most relaxin' form of 'untin' I've ever known. Let me know how thee gets on wi' it. And if thee want I can sell thee a young rabbitin' tortoise, specially bred for the job, a real steady worker."

=====
 
« Last Edit: May 14, 2013, 04:33:50 AM by Gyppo »
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Offline 510bhan

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Re: How to convey accent in dialogue?
« Reply #18 on: May 13, 2013, 05:24:40 PM »
I must be a very patient reader -- or perhaps it's just a result of trying to make sense of Ulster Scots, which is apparently a 'language' and not simply a dialect here.

I'm pretty well-travelled and a natural mimic so I enjoy hearing/seeing the spoken word and attaching the character to it in situ. ::)

Offline bri h

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Re: How to convey accent in dialogue?
« Reply #19 on: May 13, 2013, 07:40:11 PM »
I like dialects s'well an I loved this gyp. But couldn't you get the stereotypical
"r-r-r" in there somehow? Or would that have been clichéd maybe? All the people I've spoke to down there in the country-loike, have always made the "r" transitory, so it travels over to the next word kinda thing? Like,
"the rabbit comes out of that there-r-r'ole, an you nabs 'im." Or again, would that be too clichéd also. I enjoyed this. Thanks. B
Fare thee well Skip. We're all 'Keening' now. xbx

Offline 2par

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Re: How to convey accent in dialogue?
« Reply #20 on: May 13, 2013, 07:52:15 PM »
I don't try to understand most unusual words as long as I can ken their general meaning, and even if I can't, I disregard them. 
I loved this little meeting of different minds...haha.  The old fellow was out to make a buck and the younger one was non-committal.

Offline bri h

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Re: How to convey accent in dialogue?
« Reply #21 on: May 13, 2013, 08:01:11 PM »
I bet you looked at the top to see how current the thread was first Toop? You did din'cha? ha ha. Gnight chuck. xbx
Fare thee well Skip. We're all 'Keening' now. xbx

Offline 2par

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Re: How to convey accent in dialogue?
« Reply #22 on: May 13, 2013, 08:17:12 PM »
Brian, you do make me laugh.  Keeps my heart going.
Y'all should hear the dialects spoken here.  I just can't understand most of them.