Accents!

Bricu at WTT:RP has a post on apostrophe addiction today. It's a good one about general accents and dialects; the Wildfire Riders have a lot of Northern folk in their group.

I have two separate groups of accented characters — the dwarves and the draenei. Starting in chronological order…

Ovistine is a Stormwind-born dwarf (and remind me to talk about that more at some point; I've recently had some Very Serious Thoughts about it). She spent her entire youth quashing her Dwarvish accent and only speaking Dwarvish in the home. As a result, when she first met the adventurers she keeps company with now, she sounded a lot like a human. You'd never have guessed she was a dwarf just by hearing her on the buzzbox.

Meeting the Boomstick Gang was the first time she'd spent that much time in company of dwarves and gnomes, and she loved it. It's really thanks to the Gang that Ovi's accent has started appearing — nowhere near the kind of accent her mum has, but she doesn't sit on it anymore, and if she wants to call someone "barmy" or squeak over the "sweet wee bairn" someone's recently had, she doesn't immediately blush and say, "I mean, he doesn't seem right in the head" or "Oh, I meant, what an adorable baby!" the way she would have when she was in her 30s. And she's always had a strong Dwarvish accent when drunk. She also lapses into Dwarvish when she's really, really angry or upset about something. (Blame her mum for that one; family fights were always in Dwarvish!)

Nancie, of course, isn't a Stormwind dwarf, and neither is Geoffar. They're both originally from Ironforge, and because of Nancie's job, moved to Stormwind before Ovistine was born. Neither one of them is the least little bit ashamed of being a dwarf, and neither one of them has tried to stamp down their accent. Nancie is very proud of being a dwarf, and is the most likely to cause me to abuse the apostrophes until they cry.

I had always wanted to play a character for whom Common was emphatically not their first language (arguably, Nancie fits that bill, but Nancie is perfectly fluent in Common). I'd thought about doing that with an elf, but when Teu came around and the Eastern European accent came calling, I got all kinds of excited.

Teu does not have an accent per se; instead, she has unusual word choices and sentence structure. It's not quite Yoda-level, but it's heavily inspired by characters like Radek Zelenka of Stargate: Atlantis (from the Czech Republic; played by David Nykl, whose parents are Czech). Unlike Zelenka, Teu is bad-bad-bad-horrible-awful at languages (you do not want to hear her trying to speak Gnomish) and is not likely to get better. (Confusion about the difference between the phrase "Greetings and salutations!" and "Greetings and sandwich rations!" is, in fact, the reason this blog got its name.) She does speak perfectly normal Draenei, and when at home with Valyrie, speaks exclusively in Draenei.

Apr 23rd, 2009
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