1. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Fictional languages on the screen.

    Discussion in 'Entertainment' started by Wreybies, Aug 26, 2013.

    Watching a little marathon of Defiance today as I work and I keep getting pulled out of the story whenever Datak Tarr (Tony Curran) speaks Castithan. It sounds so stiff and clumsy in his mouth. The smoothness of a natural language is missing. His son Alak (Jesse Rath), though, speaks it with an efficient confidence that makes the language sound perfectly real, like any language of Earth with which I am simply not familiar. I notice the same when watching GoT. Some of the actors speak Valerian beautifully, others suddenly develop a speech impediment. I feel like, if the actor who is meant to be a native speaker can't pull the fictional language off so that it sounds smooth, natural and real, the actor shouldn't be given lines in the fictional language or placed in a role where it's needed.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2013
  2. obsidian_cicatrix
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    obsidian_cicatrix I ink, therefore I am. Contributor

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    I couldn't get into Defiance. I tried but failed miserably.

    I know what you mean though. There's nothing worse than recognising an actor stumbling over what is meant to be their native tongue. It really rips you out of the moment.

    In the case of constructed or foreign dialogue being a given, one would like to think that casting auditions would separate out the wheat from the chaff. Of course, actors are no different to the rest of us and are capable of having a bad day. Unfortunately, they choose to work in an industry where costs and time constraints don't always afford them the opportunity to aim for perfection. Re-shoots don't come cheap. Actors often have no choice but to cease and desist, regardless of whether they are happy with their performance or not.

    Chances are they are cringing even more than we are.

    A pity, that.
     
  3. Thomas Kitchen
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    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

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    LotR and GoT have done it well. Apparently the actors from Lord of the Rings listened to Tolkien himself speaking Elvish, so that's pretty cool.

    But yes, I agree unless it's done well it should be left in the books.
     
  4. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I had the same feeling when I watched the 1993 film version of Much Ado About Nothing. Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson deliver their lines with the natural pace, rhythm and wit of people who actually understand and feel the syntax of what they are saying. All the other actors in the film delivered in that lofty, arm-stretched-out-before-them, I-don't-really-know-what-the-fuck-I'm-saying, this-is-how-Shakespeare-sounds way. Terrible. o_O
     

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