1. Masli
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    Masli Member

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    cajun dialect

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Masli, Nov 22, 2010.

    My MC is Cajun. Was born and raised there, and speaks fluently Cajun French and also 'normal' French.

    Normally he speaks english with just a minor accent, which I have mentioned through other characters comments etc. (so I did not alter his dialogue or anything.)

    However when he gets really emotional (like angry or scared etc) he reverts to french/Cajun French , or heavily accented english. Now in these cases I feel like it's not enough to just mention it anymore, or add it like a tag.

    In these cases I think it would suit the situation best to have the accent visible in the dialogue... Since I'm not that experienced with writing (yet) especially not with dialects like this, what do you think?
     
  2. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    I don't think spelling out the accent phonetically is a good idea, but maybe you could use certain regional phrasings that remind us of the accent. For example, if someone says "What the bloody hell, he's gone bonkers!" you read it with a British accent in your head because "bloody," and "bonkers" are words that are used in Britain but not in the U.S.
     
  3. Masli
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    Masli Member

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    so that would be french in my situation? Maybe I could use some french words that practically everybody knows?
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    if you don't speak 'cajun' yourself, or don't want to spend a lot of time researching it to get it right, you shouldn't use it, period!

    doing so poorly will turn off readers who will notice your goofs... and reading any 'accent'-rife dialog that's written phonetically can get annoying real fast...

    unless you're a brilliant writer who knows the lingo well, it's always best to just use the syntax and stay away from foreign words/phrases and/or writing accents phonetically, as much as possible...

    simply tossing in some common french words won't do the job for you, because cajun has its own idioms and word usage that doesn't always conform to formal french usage or what non-french-speakers say...
     

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