Character accents

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ej400
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Post by ej400 » May 17th, 2020, 10:45 am

Some writers went as far as to give each of their characters a much more distinct personality by showing their language by giving them an accent. As I wouldn't want that hard work to go to waste, I would love to record those characters with their accents, as it is obviously shown. But I'm wondering how you guys would handle it. Should you just read it without possibly chopping up an accent? I know every accent is different, but do you try to do it or not?

KevinS
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Post by KevinS » May 17th, 2020, 11:04 am

I did a reading once that I thought was quite amusing. I had worked with a number of people who were from the hills of Kentucky and I secretly practiced their accent. (I loved it so.) So, I did the reading with what I remembered from some decades earlier. I had my sister listen and she said it was not a very convincing Southern accent. Somewhat surprised----annoyed, one might say---I explained that this was a 'country' accent. She was very quiet ... and changed the subject. A dear friend who had worked with folks in southern Indiana who had something of the same accent, also sought to change the subject when I asked her what she thought of my recording.

Is there a moral to this account? I will let you draw your own.
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knotyouraveragejo
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Post by knotyouraveragejo » May 17th, 2020, 12:29 pm

It's up to you, Elijah. I do them in some cases. Probably not terribly accurately, but I think it can help to distinguish the characters especially where there is a page of running dialog with no indication of who is speaking. Doing voice characterizations, if you can do them consistently, can serve the same purpose. Some listeners prefer a straight reading, others will appreciate the effort if not the actual accents... :wink:
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mightyfelix
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Post by mightyfelix » May 17th, 2020, 2:10 pm

If it is written with an accent, I always give it my best go. I don't really see an alternative, to be honest, without doing what I consider to be altering the text.

KevinS
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Post by KevinS » May 17th, 2020, 2:50 pm

mightyfelix wrote:
May 17th, 2020, 2:10 pm
If it is written with an accent, I always give it my best go. I don't really see an alternative, to be honest, without doing what I consider to be altering the text.
Yes, you're right. If it's written in dialect, one really has no other choice.
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Penumbra
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Post by Penumbra » May 17th, 2020, 3:12 pm

IMHO a well-done accent is a delight, a poorly done one sticks out like a sore thumb. That said, I almost always give it a shot, usually aiming for too little rather than too much. I have been known to spend hours researching what the distinctive features of a given accent are before recording. Whether it is time well spent is another matter.

Whatever the character's native language, you can probably find it here: http://accent.gmu.edu/browse_language.php

Gareth Jameson has a bunch of short youtube videos on different accents.
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ej400
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Post by ej400 » May 18th, 2020, 11:44 am

KevinS wrote:
May 17th, 2020, 11:04 am
I did a reading once that I thought was quite amusing. I had worked with a number of people who were from the hills of Kentucky and I secretly practiced their accent. (I loved it so.) So, I did the reading with what I remembered from some decades earlier. I had my sister listen and she said it was not a very convincing Southern accent. Somewhat surprised----annoyed, one might say---I explained that this was a 'country' accent. She was very quiet ... and changed the subject. A dear friend who had worked with folks in southern Indiana who had something of the same accent, also sought to change the subject when I asked her what she thought of my recording.

Is there a moral to this account? I will let you draw your own.
See, and that's sort of what I would be worried about. If someone we're to be like, "that's a fake accent," rather than just accepting I was trying to have fun doing it.

ej400
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Post by ej400 » May 18th, 2020, 11:44 am

knotyouraveragejo wrote:
May 17th, 2020, 12:29 pm
It's up to you, Elijah. I do them in some cases. Probably not terribly accurately, but I think it can help to distinguish the characters especially where there is a page of running dialog with no indication of who is speaking. Doing voice characterizations, if you can do them consistently, can serve the same purpose. Some listeners prefer a straight reading, others will appreciate the effort if not the actual accents... :wink:
mightyfelix wrote:
May 17th, 2020, 2:10 pm
If it is written with an accent, I always give it my best go. I don't really see an alternative, to be honest, without doing what I consider to be altering the text.
See, and that's exactly how I would approach it. I can't really do it otherwise, but I could always train myself to not too.

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Post by knotyouraveragejo » May 18th, 2020, 12:34 pm

This is one of the reasons LibriVox is about readers as opposed to listeners. Record what you like and read it however you enjoy reading it. It's how we attract so many readers and why many of us stick around for years and years. If it's fun, people will keep doing it! :)
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