1. sashas
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    sashas Senior Member

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    How To Write An Accent?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by sashas, May 26, 2007.

    Ok, I've been asking a lotta questions lately.
    But you guys have given me great feedback, so here's one more...

    How do I write an accent?
    I'm trying to write a thick British accent (say the one in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, and Snatch) but I have no idea how to put that to paper.
    I can use the obvious British slangs, but I don't think that will convey the right accent.
     
  2. Crazy Ivan
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    Crazy Ivan Contributing Member

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    Well, if you're tryin' to ma'e a thic' London ahccent, i' hepls ta substitute a lo' a hahrd k or t sounds wi'h apostrophes, and ma'e all the long 'a' sounds longer with ahn 'h'.
     
  3. sashas
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    sashas Senior Member

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    Lol.
    That was perfect.
    Thanks!
     
  4. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    That is a great way to get an accent across, but the problem you then face is that wading through lots of dialogue in that form can be quite hard going for your reader. I myself have used something like that for the accent of a minor character, but more often than not, I would use something more like this:

    ‘No,’ she said. Her voice had a delightful Scottish lilt to it. ‘I do the cooking, treat the wounded, all of the jobs which need doing, but have no glory or honour. I used to fight, but the government in Madrid said that women aren’t allowed to any more.’
     
  5. Gannon
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    Gannon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Very clever Banzai! sashas I replied to the duplicate thread in SPAG. Ivan - problem with what you've said I believe is that reading what you just wrote it reads a lot more Scottish than Southern?

    It looks like you've been reading Irvine Welsh - though valiant attempt at transcribing an accent nevertheless!
     
  6. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Using appropriate slang and introducting the character with a thick ________ accent would do. A little hint by writing the words as pronounced on occasion, especially frequently used words generally works better than filling the pages with it, especially if it's a main character. Allow the reader to use their imagination some.

    Terry
     
  7. Alice in Wonderland
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    Alice in Wonderland Contributing Member

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    Hey now. Trainspotting was written all in accent and it "... deserves to sell more copies than the bible." I don't think readers mind 'wading'through as long as the story is good! ^^

    But, you have to get the accent write or the reader may get confused. Writing out the accent as it sounds may be pretty tricky.
     
  8. sashas
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    sashas Senior Member

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    well
    The thing is that it IS the main character
    But its like a humorous piece, so I want to project a thick British accent (The Brits have the best sense of humor, believe me) that makes the writing seem a bit funnier.

    It can be hard to read, yes, but I guess its necessary too.
     
  9. Crazy Ivan
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    Crazy Ivan Contributing Member

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    Well, in that case, it depends on the tone and length of the novel. If it's only mildly funny, I don't think I could stand a whole book of that. I could, however, stand a short story of that.
    But if the whole project was over-the-top funny, like a Hitchhiker's book, I could definitely put up with it, say around Catch-22 length.
     
  10. sashas
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    sashas Senior Member

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    Nah, its just a short story. So then I think it should work out fine.
    It's not over the top-funny either. Its just...amusing
     
  11. Sophronia
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    Sophronia Member

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    you can also use improper grammar to help the reader imagine the accent ^^ for example: "I ain't gonna eat then 'till I got hers bucket!" (yes, I know that made completely no sense, but you get the idea '^^)
     
  12. Crazy Ivan
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    Crazy Ivan Contributing Member

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    In that case, it sounds great. Go for it!
     

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