1. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Teenagers talk

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Elgaisma, Aug 4, 2010.

    Can any teenagers help me with phrases they would use when talking to a boyfriend/girlfriend but keep it clean my main character is a bit shy around girls lol

    My main character is about to get married, he is seventeen and so is his bride to be. I want phrases they may use with each other?
     
  2. TerraIncognita
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    TerraIncognita Aggressively Nice Person Contributor

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    Did you ever keep a diary as a teenager? If so I'm sure there's useful material there. :p

    I didn't really date in my teens. I had a lot of health issues going on. Boys got put on the back burner for a long time. Otherwise I could be more help. I will say though the first guy I ever loved was a really exciting experience for me. Also incredibly confusing and terrifying. There's a lot of good reasons it never came to fruition.. long story. haha

    Try to think back to your first love or "love" when you were younger if you had one then. :)
     
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  3. Taylee91
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    Taylee91 Carpe Diem Contributor

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    Not to sound too redundant, I’ll give your main character the name Carter and his bride to be Rachel.

    “Hey, Rachel? Can we talk?”

    “Yeah, sure.”

    “Uh, I mean alone. Not right here.”

    “Carter, we’re standing in the middle of the school yard. No one will hear us. What’s wrong with right here?”

    “Nothing, I just….”

    “What’s wrong? You aren’t moving away again are you?”

    “No.”

    “Then what’s up? By now, you shouldn’t have any problems telling me things.”

    “Oh, forget it. Just - never mind.”

    (It's not perfect, but this is what I could come up with. I hope this helps).
     
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  4. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I was a hyper mature sensible teen. I fell in love with a gay man at 16, he naturally couldn't return it beyond an amazing friendship. I just didn't need to date, I had a man if I needed one without any pressure lol I was 20 before being blown away and at university, he was a druid with long red auburn hair and green eyes, oops lol just realised he answers the description of my female character.

    I can manage the boy but I am really struggling with the girl. She was in my first book but she wasn't a huge character I just don't know her yet.
     
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  5. TerraIncognita
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    TerraIncognita Aggressively Nice Person Contributor

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    Keep writing and you'll get to know her. :) Sounds like you have a good handle on how to write this once you get going. Best of luck. :) If you need any more help feel free to message me.
     
  6. Loaded-Dice
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    Loaded-Dice Member

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    A lot also depends on their personal backgrounds and the setting of the story.

    'Alright babes, Jay got himself a new bird, she's a minger innit. Wanna come down to ours tonight for McDonalds?'

    'Oh hello Jay. Did you hear? Jason has a new girl in his life. Oh, mummy just insisted that you come tonight for dinner, we're having duck!'


    Two completely extreme examples but I presume you get the idea.
     
  7. k.little90
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    k.little90 Active Member

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    As creepy as this sounds... eavesdropping is the best way to get to know the age group that you are trying to write about.

    I'm a "watcher:" I love to sit on the train, bus, park bench, and watch and listen to the people around me. I've gotten some amazing ideas for character conversations from it!

    If you have any kids, or even the next time you're somewhere public, pay attention to the way that age group talks to each other.

    Movies geared towards that age group may help you as well.
     
  8. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    movies are a good idea, maybe I should give them a go.

    I am managing the boy I have 3 brothers but the girl less so, she is nothing like me lol, whereas her boyfriend is me really.
     
  9. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Just don't hang around next to school playgrounds. Two words: cavity search! :eek:

    Pizza joints and fast food restaurants can work, also Starbucks stores. Go to the mall and keep your ears open. Gaming and software stores are a good bet.

    I like to take a book into a fast food shop or a Starbucks, and take my time with a snack. But the book is a prop - I don't get much actual reading done, because my attention is on the people around me.
     
  10. Joran Selemis
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    Joran Selemis Member

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    The two movies I'd recommend would be Clueless and Superbad. They both have quite a lot of teenage-style language in them and, more importantly, their protagonists are all teenagers. Also Skins, if you can get your hands on it; basically just a soap opera revolving entirely around adolescents.

    And yeah. Basically, go to a fast food place in the city at 2-4 am on a Friday or Saturday night. That's where you'll learn how teenagers talk. At least, while intoxicated.
     
  11. Joran Selemis
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    Joran Selemis Member

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    The two movies I'd recommend would be Clueless and Superbad. They both have quite a lot of teenage-style language in them and, more importantly, their protagonists are all teenagers. Also Skins, if you can get your hands on it; basically just a soap opera revolving entirely around adolescents.

    And yeah. Basically, go to a fast food place in the city at 2-4 am on a Friday or Saturday night. That's where you'll learn how teenagers talk. At least, while intoxicated.
     
  12. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    don't forget that how they speak will depend on where and when you set your story plus the social, economic, and ethnic background of each character...
     
  13. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    :) thats the advantage of setting it in a world and country I have made up they can speak the way I want them too.
     
  14. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I'm not sure that's an advantage. Unless you have dealt with dialogue of more than one culture in that same age group, you may not be able to do a convincing job with an imaginary culture.

    Slang is heavily influenced by culture. Not randomly, though. The priorities, struggles, and fears of those in that culture are deeply reflected in the slang. Not only in the concepts most heavily fiven slang terms, but also in the symbolism and linguistic roots in the constructed words.

    It's much easier to observe and replicate an existing dialect than to construct one artificially.
     
  15. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    :) Its a story ultimately it comes out of my head and the basic dialect is my own. Which has always been pretty unique to me, its a mix of so many different dialects as a result it absorbs words and phrases from all round the place very well. I can get away with calling someone a dime bar or a numpty
     
  16. MissPomegranate
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    MissPomegranate Member

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    It really depends on what type of person they are; snobby girl, hyperactive guy, the shy kid, drama geek, etc...

    Whatever you do, don't base it off movies or TV shows, because most of it is NOT how we talk at all!
     
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  17. SilverWolf0101
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    SilverWolf0101 Active Member

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    Just coming out of teenage years myself, I can say that no teenager talks the same. They all have a different way of speaking, mostly influenced by their social groups, upbringings, and (believe it or not) how attentive they are in class.

    For instance, when a prep (female) is talking to her, let's say... about something her little brother did, it'll go something like this:
    "O.M.G (Yes they actually say this -.-'') he was like, totally in my stuff ya know, like I couldn't believe him!!"
    Now, a normal teenager, who is pretty much average in all social classes would say it something like this:
    "My little brother is such a pain, he was in my stuff. I totally could not believe him!"
    The more literal kids (aka bookworms and such) would say it something like:
    "You know my little brother? Last night I caught him in my room, he was sorting through my stuff, I can't believe he would do that"

    That's the basic ideas, it actually varies a lot more. If you heard me saying it though, you'd probably wonder if I was a teen. I'd say it something like this:
    "Richard (I actually don't have a brother so I'm using a relative) was in my room last night sorting through my things again, the nerve of that twerp."

    But yeah, to get the best idea on how any teen would talk I say to go to the mall, food joints, and all those other hangouts that you'd find teens at. Where you go also determines on what kind of speech you would hear. As most groups have their "zones" that they are best known for, and other places that they would not be caught dead in. So try to get around as much as possible.

    And as said before, do NOT rely on Hollywood to find your solution. I'm afraid Hollywood is the most unrealistic source out there, as they like to sweeten things up and throw it as out of bounds as they can.

    If you need more assistance, or suggestions, I'm willing to help. Just drop me a message.
     
  18. Show
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    Show Contributing Member Contributor

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    Just keep it everyday dialogue. Teenagers don't all have a specific lingo unless they are texting. If your character is mature, they could likely talk as well as an everyday adult who isn't exceptionally sophisticated.
     
  19. Three
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    Three Member

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    It really depends on what kind of person they are, and how serious the conversation is. I'll say "fersha" instead of for sure once in a while, but only because I'm making fun of myself. Defiantly NOT if my boyfriend were proposing. (I'm 17 by the way. I must say, as much as I love him, if my boyfriend proposed right now I'd freak out. In a bad way. Are you sure they're ready to commit at such a young age? Marriage is really really scary for teenage girls.)

    A seemingly universal female teenaged trait is experiencing intense difficulty recounting conversations without the overabundance of the word like. See example:

    "And then I was like 'Bla', and she was like 'Blabla' and I was like 'Oh my blah!' "

    But again, the way it's said can be very different. If a superficial/mainstream group of girls were saying it, they might say it in the beverly hills voice you probably just heard it in. If my friends were to say it, we'd say it in a way that is far less... well... giddy.

    I'd advise against making up your own slang though. When in doubt leave it out. (lol I rhymed.)
     
  20. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    My main character is about to become King, no they are not ready to get married but he needs a Queen to sort out the corruption in the country, his girlfriend proposes to him because she recognises it could save his life.

    I have made up some slang but not a lot:) The words work.
     
  21. kaylynwrong
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    kaylynwrong Member

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    I always like reading a bit of made-up slang in non-Earth settings or future settings. A bit though... not too much. :)


    Go listen to teenagers talk. Coffee shops, fast food, Panera, the mall, etc. If you look like you are doing something else (reading a book, like Cognito suggested), they won't even realize you are listening. You can hear some really interesting conversations that way. Or, if you bring your computer, you can just type what they say as they say it-they won't realize you are doing that either. And you will have a copy of their words to look at later. :)

    Someone already mentioned teens saying 'like' a lot. I would suggest 'you know' as well. Also, fragments. People don't talk in complete sentences always. I regularly hear conversations on campus that are something like this: "Oh my God, I'm soooooo tired. I didn't like sleep at all you know?" "Yeah, me neither." "Yeah, I was studying for like 5 hours for that test this morning. (pause) I totally beasted it." "I had a lit paper due. It really sucks." "Lame. That sucks,you know?" "Yeah." "Anyways, I'm behind in _____ because I skipped class this morning you know so I could study."

    Okay, so my dialogue is pretty lame, but a lot of people on my college campus talk like that. A lot of people speak much better than that though. So it really just like depends on your characters, you know? :D

    ETA: Just realized you wanted specific for your main characters. Honestly, I'd still suggest going somewhere where you can overhear teenagers. You will easily find couples at the mall or at the movie theater on a Friday or Saturday night.
     
  22. XIII
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    XIII Member

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    I'm fourteen, and I don't say "like", or, "OMG", at all. Yes, there are few people (mostly the more popular teens) who use the words, "Like" in everything they say, but other than texting, we never, ever use "OMG, ttyl, g2g" and all that stuff in an actual conversation. Slang is used, but not very often. And I would presume that since your MC is about to become a king, he must live in an entire different country, and therefor may have different ways of using words.
     

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