STOP THE (accent) ABUSE!
a sort-of-rant by Fala T.
I've had a poke around Fanfiction.net's Chicken Run section and all I can say is (Even though that's more Irish . . . Oh well ^_^;) Seriously, I'm a big fan of Mac (and a proud MacGregor to boot) and I must say that the way people mangle her speech makes me want to rip my eyes out with sporks.
At least study up on an unfamiliar dialect before you try to write it and unknowingly end up joining the legions of accent abusers out there. To start with, here's a few pointers for all you unlearnt Yanks out there:
1. Mac sounds Middle to Southern Scottish (the closer to the North you get, the more coarse and lilting (think pirate) the brogue). Her accent sounds Glaswegian, but thicker. Maybe it's Edinburgh. It's not from the highlands, that's for sure. They're more rough and sand-papery while hers is heavy and rippled . . . Meh, I'm rambling. Shut up, Fala ::slaps herself::
2. It is a common misconception that the Scottish pronounce words like as or . Not so. The is left intact. Always. In some regions, the in is left off, but that's pretty much the only exception. s are cut out if they're at the end of a word (Gi' us a hand).
3. Irish and Scottish accents are NOT interchangeable. Period. They're similiar in some places, but distinctive enough in others to classify the two as apples and oranges. For example, in correlation with what I said above, the Irish tend to pronounce their s as s or s, even 's. Another good example is with . The Irish pronounce words like as . The Scots do that too, but not always (song would become , for example, but would be ). Either way, if you want to write a Scottish accent and you know an Irish one (or vice versa), that just will not do.
4. Good Lord, this has to be my biggest pet peeve; is NOT shortened to ! Randomly shortening words is the easiest way to show that you really don't know what you're tampering with. Lengthening them isn't really a good idea either. Anyway, in Scotland is pronounced the same as in America. Also, there's the matter of s. The Scots pronounce them. Not all of them, but more of them than most people think. s at the beginnings of words are left intact (endings vary from region to region). If the is in the middle of the word, it is cut out and replaced with a pronounced pause (Pe -' er Pan). If it's next to another consonant, it's pronounced with that other consonant (helicoPTer). It's true that the missing is one of the most distinctive traits of the Scottish accent, but it looks really absurd written out, so I don't bother with it. You're probably okay leaving off the of words that begin with at the beginning of a sentence ('Ang on!) or leaving the off of the end of a verb in the present tense (goin') and making use of the distinctly Scottish in place of , but I wouldn't try anything more than that.
5. Lastly, I would NOT recommend turning the at the end of a word to . For one thing, it's not correct. Whenever I see in a fanfic I want to grab a pitchfork, because in my head, that sounds like hillybilly talk. Scots prounce the soft as and the sound either as or . Either way, the at the end is pronounced almost as plainly as it is in the States. Hence, Ginger's name sounds more like , but if you want my honest opinion, I wouldn't try to spell an accent into a proper name (most foriengers try to work their accents around proper names anyway). If you do, you're probably going to end up writing something unrecognizable (I wouldn't recongnize Jeenjeahr as Ginger if I read it) and/or laughable because it just looks silly.
Well, I hope that was a bit informative because I adore Mac and I'd love see more (accent-ly correct) Chicken Run fanfiction with her. If I haven't scared you out of writing her accent and you want to give it a try, feel free to email me if you have questions (SalPaws@aol.com). Now, I'm not an authority seeing as I don't currently live in Scotland, but, yes, what help I can offer I shall give.
Aaaand ere's a few uniquely Scottish tidbits for ye
1. - Down/About
2. - Do/Do not/Does not
3. - (verb) to know
4. - Going to
5. - Have
6. - Brave, fine, handsome
7. - a neat, well-dressed person
8. - resentful
9. - lullabye; sleep
10. - Onion
11. - Perhaps
12. - Gentle
13. - Frightened
14. - Every
15. - Nonsense
Thanks for reading ^_^ "Mar sin leibh an dràsda. (Toodles for now)