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Oh, the Inconsistencies

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  • #31
    Originally posted by bakana
    C'mon now jan, Scott Adams couldn't possibly have ALL of them.

    Dogbert, OTOH...
    "He's trying to take over the Galaxy" (or something like that...

    I just want one of them to come out of the closet...It's so unfashionable these days...

    Jan
    "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

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    • #32
      Peter Jurasik still working on his accent. Andreas had his down though, but he didn't really have an accent.
      I think that part of the problem with the Centauri accents was the huge fangs. Have you ever tried speaking with fangs on? I don't mean the plastic, costume-shop ones - even ones that are professionally molded to your teeth are complicated to use, because you've spent your whole life speaking with your mouth shaped one way. To all of a sudden add fangs is like...well, like talking with yoru mouth full.

      As for Andreas, he most certainly _did_ use an accent as G'Kar. Have you ever heard him speak as himself? He has a decidedly midwestern accent, and G'Kar spoke in a neutral sort of "mid-Atlantic" speech, something you'd probably learn to use as a foreign diplomat learning English or Interlac, or as an actor or singer (I studied opera and one of the first things that happened is that they beat the Long Island accent out of me! <g>).

      Aisling

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      • #33
        About Peter Jurasik Londo's accent I remember reading a comment where he said he took it as an opportunity to make up one, since he was going to be the first Centauri... I wonder what would have happened if the other Centaurians in B5 had tried to copy his accent...
        Since that didn't happen in the Centauri trilogy novels the marked accent of Londo is explained away as "a thick northern accent" or something similar.

        Speaking of inconsistencies and accents: how come Londo had that accent when he was supposedly speaking in Centauri to Vir and other Centauris?
        The same could be said for other actors...
        Such... is the respect paid to science that the most absurd opinions may become current, provided they are expressed in language, the sound of which recalls some well-known scientific phrase
        James Clerk Maxwell (1831-79)

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        • #34
          Accen't? Vut Accen't ?? I din't hear any Accen't.
          Vir, do You hear an Accen't ??
          Vhy am I asking?
          Of course not.
          Moon Faced Assassins of Joy never hear Accen'ts.

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          • #35
            About Peter Jurasik Londo's accent I remember reading a comment where he said he took it as an opportunity to make up one, since he was going to be the first Centauri... I wonder what would have happened if the other Centaurians in B5 had tried to copy his accent...
            Peter Jurasik wasn't the only actor playing a Centauri to use that accent - or at least, _an_ accent (and what I'd heard was that he crafted something of a cross between some eastern European kind of accent - maybe Russian? - and his own grandparents' accents). Certainly Fabiana Udenio had an accent that would be hard for most people without professionally-schooled ears to differentiate from Peter J's. And William Forward also used an accent, which again, to the average viewer, sounded mainly the same as Peter's. I'm sure I could come up with other examples. And yes, I think it was explained away as a regional accent in one of the books.

            As for why we hear Londo use the same accent when speaking to Vir, presumably in Centauri: well, duh! It's a tv show! How disconcerting would it be to the viewers if Peter switched accents every time he spoke to someone Centauri?

            Aisling

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            • #36
              And, of course, Mira Furlan has a bit of an accent that is uniquely Her.

              Mira, please say "Moose and Squirrel"...

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              • #37
                Originally posted by Capt.Montoya
                Speaking of inconsistencies and accents: how come Londo had that accent when he was supposedly speaking in Centauri to Vir and other Centauris?
                The same could be said for other actors...
                JMS had a post relating to some of this stuff.

                http://jmsnews.com/msg.aspx?id=1-13783&query=german
                I don't believe in monolithic aliens who all talk exactly alike, with the same accents, any more than I believe in humans who all talk exactly alike. Hence, the difference between Vir and Londo.

                When they're together in their quarters, they're talking in Centauri, which we hear as English, as in WW II movies, the Germans are obviously talking to each other in German, but we hear it in English. (The only other alternative is to subtitle whole lengthy segments of the show, which is both unworkable, awkward, and unfair to blind viewers.)
                Peter Jurasik commented on his accent in a November 12th, 2002 Filmforce interview. Here's a portion of the transcript. Unfortunately I don't have the link at hand.
                IGNFF: In reading for the character, was the accent your idea, or was that written on the page?

                JURASIK: It actually wasn't written on the page. I called the casting director, who I knew û Mary Jo Slater û and said, "Would you ask the writer what this guy is to sound like û he's an alien." The message was given back to me, "You make him sound any way you want." So, I just imposed that on him. The story I always tell in conventions, which is true, is I had just finished a play in Los Angeles, a Tennessee Williams play, and I had gotten bad reviews for a Memphis accent that I did. And I had worked really hard on this Memphis accent, and I had it nailed perfectly and people from Memphis said to me, "Wow, you sound like you grew up next door to me." Then some dumb ass reviewer said, "That's not a very good Memphis accent."

                IGNFF: From L.A.

                JURASIK: Yeah, from L.A. He wouldn't know a Memphis accent anyway. But being the insecure actor that I am, I took that hard. You take stuff like that, when it's in the L.A. Times, it hurts you anyway ... When I got Babylon, I realized this is a great opportunity for me. I will be the first Centauri, and I can make him talk anyway he wants, and no reviewer will ever be able to say, "That's not what a Centauri sounds like. What a terrible Centauri accent he's doing." Because I'm the first Centauri, so I make him talk any way I want. So, I made the accent up, a kind of amalgam of a number of different accents. I used a little of my Slovak grandmother, and I mentioned Ireland û I love the rhythms of Irish. So I mixed it up and made it my own.
                "That was the law, as set down by Valen. Three castes: worker, religious, warrior."

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                • #38
                  Accen't? Vut Accen't ?? I din't hear any Accen't.
                  Vir, do You hear an Accen't ??
                  Vhy am I asking?
                  Of course not.
                  Moon Faced Assassins of Joy never hear Accen'ts.
                  LOL
                  You're absolutely right bakana. The problem non-native speakers of a language have is that they can't hear their accent.

                  I wasn't entirely serious... but anyway, my point was not that the accents had to be the same, but that usually your native language imparts a cadence that carries over when speaking another language. You could also notice a tendency to (mis)pronounce some words differently than a native speaker, and a tendency to confuse certain words and even to not confuse others. I didn't pay that much attention to accents when watching B5, but IMO I didn't hear a "signature" cadence or common "spoken mannerism" from any alien language in B5.
                  If someone can point to examples my respect for the realism of the show would be greatly increased...

                  I completely understand it would be cumbersome to reflect that in a TV show. There would have to be a linguist deciding how a language should be spoken and what minutiae of pronunciation it would cause and then an accent coach instructing each and every actor on that. Not worth the effort in the end, since very few would realize it.

                  And I know it would be confusing for most viewers to have aliens "loose the accent" (or change it) when switching to their native language. After all most of the original audience of B5 only speaks English... you have to be at least bilingual to realize those details.

                  If you have lived abroad is more notorious, if you interact with people from many countries it is even more obvious, e.g. Spanish speakers, French, Indians and Chinese (among others) do have very distinctive accents when speaking English. And between Spanish speakers there's the distinction between the accents of people from Mexico, Colombia, etc. And even between people from one country the accent can vary depending on which region they come from, and how long the person has lived in the US (or UK) and how much effort they put in "losing" the accent.

                  So in the end what we heard in B5 might well be plausible....
                  Such... is the respect paid to science that the most absurd opinions may become current, provided they are expressed in language, the sound of which recalls some well-known scientific phrase
                  James Clerk Maxwell (1831-79)

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                  • #39
                    Chinese (among others) do have very distinctive accents when speaking English.
                    True, in general.

                    Of course, I have an acquaintance who grew up in Mainland China. About 100 miles north of Beijing.

                    If you heard her speak, you would believe she grew up in California.

                    You also have to remember that, many of the conversations we hear among the Aliens on Babylon 5 were actually taking place in Centauri, Minbari, Drazi, Etc.

                    JMS addressed this subject at one point:
                    He could have "made up" a bunch of alien languages.
                    Then, he'd have also had to Subtitle every darned one of them in English, French, German, Israeli, Japanese, Chinese, etc.
                    (The show did air in all those countries and more)
                    All of which would have cost a Lot of money better spent on Actors & other necessities.

                    Instead, he presented them as if WE, the Audience, understood the "Native" language of the speakers.
                    So, we hear Delenn & Lennier in English even though they are, in "reality", speaking the Minbari Religious Caste dialect.

                    And when Londo & Delenn have a conversation, we have no way of knowing Which language they are using.
                    They may even switch back and forth at various times for practice.

                    Remember G'Kar and Londo at various times studying English Poetry and Songs in an attempt to better understand Humans.

                    You do the Hokey Pokey...

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                    • #40
                      True, but at some points, he did use Minbari. Sinclair and Delenn, Ivanova and Marcus.
                      "I am not a number! I am a free man!"

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