1. firefiber
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    firefiber New Member

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    Dialogue/Conversation based in another country

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by firefiber, Nov 3, 2011.

    Hi!

    I'm writing (or trying to write, at least) this story that's based in UK. I haven't decided on an exact location but I'm pretty sure I'll end up with Wales since I stayed there for a year. The only problem is that I'm not sure how to go about with character conversation. How do I make it believable? The way people speak there, the slang they use, etc, etc. Should all of that be accurate? I didn't stay there enough to learn all of that.
     
  2. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    It should be as accurate as you can make it.

    It might help to try and look up video and audio recording from the area in question?
     
  3. AmyHolt
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    AmyHolt Contributing Member

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    You could ask someone from the area to look over what you've written and help you rephrase things.
     
  4. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    A very good suggestion. And if that's an option, then pay careful attention to the dialect and phrasing that the person uses.
     
  5. Jetshroom
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    Jetshroom Active Member

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    Do not under any circumstances use phoenetic spelling to convey accent. This is stupidly hard to read.
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    you can also download/study films set in the area of your novel, to see how the dialog was done...
     
  7. firefiber
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    firefiber New Member

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    Thanks for all the suggestions folks! I have a few mates there, so I'll prolly send it to them, and see what they change. :)
    Also, does anyone know of any websites that have audio/video of people talking in certain parts of the world? I tried to Google it, but honestly I have no clue exactly what to put as the search term. oO
     
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i doubt there's any such sites... but an international tv news channel would be a good source, along with tv shows from other parts of the world... there are lots of online sites where you can download shows from just about anywhere...

    and, as i've said above, movies produced in other english-speaking parts of the world, with accurate dialects...
     
  9. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's not often you hear a Welsh accent, and there are different Welsh accents as well. I'd choose an easier one, personally.
     
  10. black-radish
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    black-radish Senior Member

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    The best way to pick up certain prases in a specific language is to find one or more penpal(s) on the internet from that country. (you can easily google penpal sites and sort members by country or language) Just see what kind of phrases they tend to use a lot. Do keep in mind that 'slang' is always subjected to time: and it might be 'totally lame' in a year or two when you'll publish your story. Also, it's usually bound by class and age aswell, so you should make sure your MC uses phrases that are suitable for that type of character.

    Good luck :) hope this helped!
     
  11. cobaltblue
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    cobaltblue Member

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    Checking with friends from that area is probably the best way to ensure you are being 'believable' but I'd say you don't need to get heavily in to any slang from a certain area, more just make sure they use the correct turn of phrase. You might have some luck looking for Welsh speakers on youtube.

    Blue
     
  12. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    But it's not a good idea to convey accent. Lots of Welsh people don't speak the Welsh language, and most of those who do speak English just as well -- the number who speak idiosyncratic English because of the influence of the Welsh language is tiny. You should be aware of some of the political issues surrounding the Welsh language and the tensions between the Welsh and the English, but as far as the language is concerned if the writer just looks at the Wikipedia list of the differences between British and US English he should be able to get close enough. If in doubt, watch a few old episodes of Torchwood, when it was set in Cardiff. The accents of the locals are not English, but the language is pretty much the same.
     
  13. RusticOnion
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    RusticOnion Contributing Member

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    It really depends on the character do you want him to use alot of Welsh slang? Who is he talking to in Wales? You could hypothetically get away with using no slang if you justified it enough...
     
  14. firefiber
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    firefiber New Member

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    You guys are awesome! Thanks so much for the help ya'll! So I'm already looking to the penpal idea. And I'm trying to get in contact with some folks I knew back there.
    As for Torchwood I looked it up, and watched the first episode. It was a brilliant idea, the only bad thing is, I spent the whole 50 minutes going, "OMG, I've been there! I've been there!". I'll watch it again, and note down words or phrases they use often. :) But it's really helpful!

    As for slang, what I meant was the way people say certain things, or talk about certain things. Or just generally, the words they use to describe things. The most common example is "buck" vs "quid" in USA and UK. That sorta thing.

    Man, this is getting increasingly hard. I thought the only things I needed to create believable characters were good dialogue, and a good backstory. But man. I grew up in Dubai, and only spent a year in Wales. This is going to a take a long time. :(

    Thanks again!
     

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