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- Thank you too, and no problem at all. I'd like to help where I can. And in with the GoT wikis it's a lot easier than in other fandoms. I'm working primarily on the German Game of Thrones Wiki, by the way. - Aki-chan86 19:27, December 6, 2015 (UTC)
Hello, I wanted to leave you a message here, because of the Youtube videos you made. I hope you forgive me that I wanted to act a little bit discreet.
Best Wishes - Aki-chan86 11:28, April 19, 2017 (UTC)
Dubbing and Accents
I was reading the article on the Common Tongue, and I'm interested if the German dub attempts to represent regional accents in Westeros - and if they do, what they use.
In the books, Martin said there are various regional accents, but he is not a linguist, so he didn't describe them in detail (other than saying a Dornish accent is very different).
The TV series...basically uses three major ones:
- "Andal accent" - southern England, used for all of southern Westeros (including the Iron Islands) with Received Pronunciation for upper-class people like Tywin and Cersei.
- "First Men accent" - northern England, used for the North and the Wildlings.
- Dornish accent - Spanish accent
There are also class accents: lower-class people from the slums of Flea Bottom use accents from the slums of London, like Cockney/"Estuary", etc. (such as Davos Seaworth). Wealthier people use Received Pronunciation.
What about people from outside Westeros?
- The linguist working on the show actually made up what "Dothraki" and "Valyrian" accents sound like, based on what sounds don't exist in them. I don't know how another language dub like German would attempt to represent this. Well-educated or intelligent characters from Essos can speak "Common Tongue/English" with no accent (Tycho Nestoris has no accent - despite Braavos being "a mixture of Venice and Amsterdam" culturally; Missandei is a great linguist so she doesn't have a noticeable accent either).
- Syrio Forel's actor used a Greek accent, as he himself is Greek, and understood that the Free Cities (Braavos) are sort of like the Italian city-states of the mediterranean.
- The Shae and Jaqen actors both use their original German accents - both are from Lorath. I don't think this was a planned change about Lorath, they just liked the actors and told them they didn't need to use a different one.
- Melisandre's actress is Dutch, but speaks English with only a slight accent. She uses her normal speaking voice for the role. Melisandre sounds only slightly "foreign" but it's difficult to tell where specifically.
- The few people in Qarth who speak with Daenerys are wealthy merchant-princes who can speak the Common Tongue well, with no specific accent. Similarly, educated aristocrats in Slaver's Bay like Hizdahr can speak it with no accent (and a "Valyrian-accent" is something they invented which doesn't exist in real life).
- The Children of the Forest speak with a standard Common Tongue/Andal accent. They didn't try to make them sound strange by using a different accent (they've learned human languages for centuries).
- Actually, some real-life accents have never appeared: French, Russian, but also *Irish* accents never really appear, despite filming in Northern Ireland. One or two actors have a gruff Scottish accent which can...pass off, for Northern England (Sandor Clegane). The Joffrey Baratheon actor, Jack Gleeson, actually has a very heavy Irish accent in real life - it isn't noticeable at all in his performance. He sounds like an arrogant English king speaking Received Pronunciation in the royal court.
It will be interesting if prequel series in the future introduce more characters from all nine of the Free Cities, and try to work out different accents for each.
- that's a good question. As a member of the German Community Volunteer Team, I wrote a special blog for the German Community about dubbing.
- German Dubs mostly didn't use other German accents for the dub, there are some cases in which a dialect or an accent is used but not very much. We have more dialects than accents, and they have diffrent words slang and pronounciations.
- e.g. the word I, ich in Standard is pronounced icke in Berlin dialect. Ick lach ma n Ast. (Berlin dialect) - Ich amüsiere mich köstlich. (High German) which translates to I'm amusing myself really much. And they're are a over 30 dialects here in Germany.
- German voice actors have to learn and are trained to speak High German correctly an clearly without to mumble or mutter around, so everyone who speaks or understand German (as Austrians, Swiss, South Tyroleans aso.) can understand it well. But still they have to train their voice in a way that it's prominent in comparison to other voice actors or there are born with a prominent voice like Dietmar Wunder (dubs Daniel Craig and in GoT for Beric Dondarrion) or Thomas Fritsch.
- So the English accents didn't translate into the German ones well. As a fan of Star Trek franchise we didn't get the Southern US accent from Leonard 'Bones' McCoy, the Scottish accent from Montgomery Scott, the fake French(?)/British accent from Jean-Luc Picard.
- So for Game of Thrones, our voice actors mostly use Standard German, and it would be weird if one of the characters in a world which is clearly not our own talks like a Berliner, a Saxon or a Bavarian. There are some exceptions with accents from other countries or regions.
- So to distinguish the characters and their background you can use diffrent pronounciations, a diffrent pitch/higher or lower voice, intonation, and colloquialisms/slang from High German but not slang from one of the dialects like icke, dit, jut, joah aso. There are some exceptions with accents from other countries or regions.
- So we have no real difference between Andal and Southern accent. Well they try to adapt the RP accent for upper-class like with grandiloquence especially for the Lannisters as Joffrey, Tywin, Tyrion, Cersei aso, so they sound a bit snobbish.
- The First Men descendants like the Northerners didn't use much of that vocabulary or the intonation. As for the wildlings, they try to adapt this accent often with High German slang, mumbling on purpose as for Ygritte and Gilly or with a rougher intonation/ as for Mance and Tormund.
- The Dornish speak German with a Spanish accent, especially Ellaria and Doran since Season 5. With exception of Oberyn, funny but true as you mentoined in your videos and here that the Showrunners really liked his accent: a comparision: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XV4EeiuJjg4
- The lower-class: So Bronn, Gendry, Davos, speak High German, sometimes they use slang, especially Gendry, Hot Pie and Lommy in the end of Season 1, but they didn't have really accents.
- Sandor's voiceactor has a rough voice but no accent as well - which would be the Scottish/Northern English equivalent.
- People outside from Westeros speak sometimes with accents:
- Missandei has not an accent like in the English Version. Grey Wom has one, as he is from the Summer Isles or can't speak the Common Tongue first.
- For Dothraki and Valyrian, if a character hadn't a line in the Common tongue they wouldn't do a dubbing.
- There are exceptions as well, like with Kraznys mo Nakloz and Greizhen mo Ullor, which hadn't a line in the Common Tongue, if I'm correct, but are dubbed by a voice actor, maybe to create the Astapori Valyrian correctly or to mach Daenerys' voiceactor?
- Khal Drogo has a voice actor as well which is rarely used, but most of the dialogue of the Dothraki (Aggo, Mago, Moro, Moros wifes, Forzo, Qhono aso.), the Valyrian and Low Valyrian by minor roles aren't dubbed.
- In the first season they used Emilia Clarke's original voice in the scenes when she speaks Dothraki. It's weird, when they switch from Emilias voice to Gabrielle Pietermann's much higher voice from one moment to an other. (see scene in 1.07) Since season 2 Gabrielle has to dub the lines in Dothraki and Valyrian.
- Syrio Forel's voice is a High German with a Greek accent.
- Shae's voice is High German with a Turkish/Oriental accent. I guess you saw the special with George and Sibel, and she didn't usually use that accent. For Jaqen I can't identify his accent really that much, only that he speaks more omnious a bit smoothly and adapt his voice from the original.
- Melisandre didn't have an accent.
- The Qaartheen and the Braavosi, especially Tycho Nestoris as you mentoin, haven't accents as well.
- Salladhor Saan speaks with a African(?) accent.
- The Children of the Forest didn't have accents.
- Here are to comparisons from scenes:
- I hope I could help you and want to ask, if I could use some of the material here for the German article, which I want to create in the near future. I hope you forgive the grammar mistakes I made. - Aki-chan86 11:10, August 13, 2017 (UTC)
Oh, yes, I didn't know you'd be interested enough to make a post about this.
I learned French in school, not German, and the rule there is if someone from southern France starts speaking in that Occitan gibberish...burn the heretic!
...that's right....so many local dialects, means less accents - anyone who learns High German standard would learn it without much of an accent.
...so Kennedy should have said "Icke" instead of "ich bin ein Berliner?"
Oh...Picard. A famous British actor playing French starship captain. ...The general explanation is that he's so intelligent that he can speak flawless English. It's "the future"!
Yes, the nobles in Astapor don't have any lines in Common Tongue...Wow. That misses the whole impact that Daenerys apparently needs a translator in the same scene. Didn't it seem...redundant? That Missandei is translating? Or the reveal when she explains "I speak Valyrian"?
Turkish-accented German for Shae - yeah, I think Sibel Kekilli does her own dub voice in the German version.
A few more notes I cut out from my original post for length:
- As I said, they use a "northern England" accent for The North, and later used one for the Free Folk (wildlings) as well. They never stated the reason, but it seems to be a "First Men accent".
- The southern kingdoms, dominated by the Andals, have southern England/"standard" English accents (southern England considers itself "standard" English). Even the Iron Islands use this accent (due to Andals).
- Dorne has a Spanish accent, (called a "Dornish drawl" in the books but not described).
Every kingdom has a slight regional accent of Common Tongue in the books, which GRRM made no attempt to represent (Tyrion remarks at one point that he doesn't just have an "Andal" accent, but a "Westerlands" accent). The TV show made no attempt to distinguish the Reach from the Westerlands, or the Stormlands, etc., it all seems to be just "Andal" (they never call it that specifically, these are terms I'm using).
Class differences come up more frequently: lower-class people aren't well-educated so they speak in working class accents (Davos, Gendry, Bronn, Hot Pie, etc.) These usually aren't...ridiculously heavy accents for those characters, but some of the worse criminals/thieves speak in very exaggerated lower class accents.
This class difference comes up in the North as well - it tends to be more exaggerated for lower-class people, but the Starks speak with a "northern England" accent that while....identifiable, isn't as pronounced (compared to some not well educated farmer or something, who speaks with such a heavy northern accent that it might be difficult to even understand what he is saying).
But in the south, all the aristocrats use Received Pronunciation, like at the royal court in London: the Lannisters, Tyrells, etc.
A few character notes:
- King Robert Baratheon speaks with a gruff, lower-class accent. To show that he's a soldier who became king, and never liked life at court. Stannis and Renly, however, are respectable lords on the Small Council, so they have upper-class accents just like Tywin or Margaery Tyrell.
- Theon Greyjoy speaks with a northern England/First Men accent, because he's been living in Winterfell for years. The rest of his family do not. So when he returns to the Iron Islands in Season 2, and they accuse that he's not one of them anymore but spent too much time with the Starks, he even sounds more like a Stark, and their accents contrast when he's on-screen with his father and sister (they don't point it out in lines of dialogue).
- The Iron Islands generally use a southern England/Andal accent, but they're not as "refined" as Tywin and Cersei, or Margaery and Olenna, so they generally speak more lower-class than Received Pronunciation (because they're pirates, tough men living on the sea). Even Balon and Yara don't speak quite as perfectly in Received Pronunciation as Tywin or Cersei. But this is more of a character-level difference.
- Oberyn Martell's Spanish accent was quite well received - it turns out that Pedro Pascal spoke Spanish at home as a child, and he based it on his father's accent. So it sounds natural. Even Ellaria sounds reasonably good for Season 4, and Doran is good in Season 5 (Alexander Siddig is a talented actor). But in contrast, Season 5 Dorne was rushed through production - set design, fight choreography, everything is rushed and bad - and a widespread complaint in the English audience is that they didn't have time for the Sand Snakes actresses to practice their accents. They sound fake. Well, also because they give them ridiculous dialogue and told them to shout a lot; Obara is played by a talented actress and does reasonably well (but they make her talk aggressively), and....Nymeria is good enough, but barely talks. Really, Tyene Sand has most of their dialogue, and the worst accent...combined with ridiculous dialogue. It's also very jarring in behind-the-scenes interviews that...it isn't even the actress's natural speaking voice. She's from Italy but lived in America so in behind the scenes videos she can speak in a regular American accent; thus her..."stereotypical", exaggerated Spanish accent sounds very bad - outright offensive at times. But in principle, "a Dornish accent sounds like a Spanish accent".
- People who actually speak "Spanish" have of course pointed out that there are accents within Spanish; Pascal is from Chile, and does and pretty realistic accent. There would be some differences between the Spanish of Chile, Peru, Mexico, Cuba, or Spain itself. English-speakers cannot tell the difference, though (In the X-Men film Logan, for example, the girl who plays X-23 is from Spain, and speaks Spain-Spanish, but X-23 is from Mexico, so she learned a very good Mexican-Spanish accent, according to reviews I've seen).
A few differences are due to the actors, not intentional:
- Because the wildlings speak with a northern England/"First Men accent", Ygritte had to use that accent. Rose Leslie doesn't talk that way in real life - part of the reason she got the role is because she was already praised for her role on Downton Abbey, playing a maid with a northern England accent.
- All Northmen or wildling actors actually had to learn to do a northern England accent. Bella Ramsey, who plays Lyanna Mormont, does not have a northern England accent in real life, but she trained to affect a northern England accent so well for the role of Lyanna that everyone was astonished; you can't tell the actress isn't actually from northern England unless she told you.
- The Stark children also had to learn Northern accents. It's not as pronounced in the younger children (either due to Catelyn's influence as a Tully, or just because they're child actors). It's very subtle, but the way Sansa talks isn't exactly how Sophie talks in real life. Bigger difference is Richard Madden (Robb), who is actually Scottish in real life, but can affect a northern England accent.
- Jack Gleeson (Joffrey) is actually from Ireland, and has a heavy Irish accent - you cannot notice this at all in his performance, which is in a sneering, arrogant Received Pronunciation accent (apparently a game Jack and Sophie played between filming scenes was to jokingly imitate each other's accents; her doing a bad Irish accent, him faking a bad English one).
- Despite filming in Northern Ireland, no one uses an Irish accent. Or at least, if it slips in, it's supposed to be lower-class or northern England - no one intentionally tries to speak in an Irish accent.
- Lena Headey is actually from northern England, and talks that way in real life. She affects Received Pronunciation as part of her performance. So when she's talking to Ned Stark in Season 1, contrasting her royal court accent with his northern accent, that's actually her natural accent!
- Kate Dickie (Lysa Arryn) has a very strong Scottish accent in real life, but totally hides it in her performance.
- Conleth Hill (Varys) similarly has a very pronounced Irish accent in real life, which he totally hides in his performance.
- Sort of a complaint in fandom is that...Aidan Gillen (Littlefinger) doesn't hide his natural Irish accent very well. To the point that we wonder if the TV show is either doing this on purpose, or stopped paying attention. It...seems, that originally, in earlier seasons, the idea was that he speaks more "loosely" in private. After all, Littlefinger is a minor lord from the fringes of the Vale (and his great-grandfather was from the Free Cities), so perhaps they were trying to imply that his Received Pronunciation accent at the royal court is just an act, because he's really a grasping minor lord and social climber, and started out as a poor minor lord in the backwaters. That worked in earlier seasons. But by later seasons they really stopped paying attention, and the...flare-ups, of his Irish accent, just come and go at random. In German, I suppose, I would represent this by simply having him speak with hints of a "lower-class accent" in private with Sansa, but shift to an "upper-class, educated" accent when talking to Cersei.
- As I said, Rory McCann has a Scottish accent and uses it for Sandor, but generally this is waved aside as a "gruff lower-class accent" because he's a soldier. He does attempt to disguise it somewhat (Scottish sort of sounds like an exaggerated version of northern England - the farther north you go in Britain). So he restrains it enough that it sounds more lower class like Bronn than actual Scottish.
- Jerome Flynn (Bronn) actually has a very refined, southern England accent in real life, and he consciously adopts a rough, lower-class, vaguely Northern accent as part of his performance.
- Peter Dinklage (Tyrion) is American, and can affect Received Pronunciation (London English)...reasonably well, but to people actually from England it can sound slightly odd if you pay very close attention (like how you can tell the German dub Daniel Craig voice actor is overcompensating for his regional dialect). This doesn't come off as too strange, however, given that he's a dwarf, so you kind of get the impression that his various difference in the pitch of how he says certain words might just be due to that.
- Nikolaj Coster-Waldau is from Denmark, and he can actually affect a very convincing Received Pronunciation accent. When off-camera, however, in behind the scenes videos his natural speaking voice has a Danish accent. He hides it very well on-camera, and really, only if you're a native English-speaker and pay very close attention, you can very rarely hear hints of his Danish accent, but they're not meant to be noticed.
- Pilou Asbæk is also Danish...but makes no attempt to hide his Danish accent. Even though Euron Greyjoy is from the Iron Islands. But this makes a lot of sense: much like his nephew Theon, Euron has been away from the Iron Islands for many years - 15 years or so - and he's been all over the world as far away as the Jade Sea, speaking in many different foreign languages, so it makes sense that he picked up an accent. In the English version, this adds a little more detail to the story point that, like Theon, people accuse him of being away from the Iron Islands so long that he doesn't seem to BE an ironborn anymore, to the point that he sounds different with a foreign accent.
- The linguist who works on the show figured out what Dothraki-accented Common Tongue should sound like, based on what sounds do not exist in their language, so their accents don't sound like any real-life accents. Similarly, he worked out what "Ghiscari Low Valyrian" accents should sound like in Slaver's Bay, for characters like Grey Worm] (Grey Worm is ethnically a Summer Islander, but was raised in Slaver's Bay, so he has no "Summer Islander accent").
- Generally, intelligent, wealthy, well-educated people from outside of Westeros can be expected to speak Common Tongue without an accent. Missandei is a skilled linguist so she has no accent. Syrio Forel used a Greek accent in Season 1, because he's from Braavos, but Tycho Nestoris, a wealthy and well-educated banker, does not. Similarly, the only people Daenerys speaks to in Qarth are merchant-princes who can speak Common Tongue very well without any specific regional accent. Thus the Dothraki, Qarth, and Slaver's Bay have no specific real-life accents.
Thus the only places that can really have any sort of "real-life accents" are the Free Cities, and to a lesser extent, perhaps anyone from Sothoryos and surrounding islands, and more distant lands like Asshai.
- They didn't really come up with accents for the 3 Free Cities that actually appear on-screen (Braavos, Volantis, briefly Pentos). Illyrio Mopatis is well-educated so he speaks with no accent. Syrio used a Greek accent in Season 1 but it wasn't...planned out. We were disappointed that in Season 5, they made no attempt to show people speaking Braavosi Low Valyrian in Braavos. Apparently, a combination of that enough of them speak Common Tongue (and they would, they are a trading hub)...and that by say, Season 6, Arya apparently learned it well enough SHE understands it, and we're seeing things like that theater play from her perspective, etc.
- As I said, they just have Shae and Jaqen's actors use their natural German accents by Season 2, though I don't think they...officially, planned out, that "a Lorath accent sounds like a German accent". We've only seen two characters.
- Other characters from the Free Cities speak Common Tongue well enough that they don't have accents: Thoros of Myr, Daario Naharis of Tyrosh, Tobho Mott of Qohor, Areo Hotah of Norvos, etc. Varys is from Lys but is stated to have no accent, as he is intelligent/educated (Oberyn has that conversation where he says he can notice traces of it, Varys says he's worked hard to have no accent, but Oberyn says he can notice that too - but we, the audience, can't tell the difference, it's supposed to be very subtle. Nor does Doreah from Lys, Daenerys's handmaid.
- Melisandre and to a lesser extent Kinvara] have very formal, slight accents - basically they just told the Melisandre actress to use her natural voice, and a Dutch accent is very close to English; the result probably isn't intentional; she sounds vaguely foreign, but a foreigner who speaks Common Tongue/English very well. Somewhat adds to the air of mystery surrounding her.
- Yeah...Salladhor Saan in the TV show is supposed to be "a pirate operating out of Lys who is ethnically Summer Islander". The actor uses his natural speaking voice (an actor who immigrated from Africa to England years ago). It doesn't sound...very pronounced. I wouldn't say it's an "African" accent so much as it's a "rough lower class accent" due to being a pirate. More of a "pirate accent" really (after all, like Euron, pirates move around between many different lands).
I kind of thought it would have been fun if the German version, I don't know, used a Dutch accent for Braavos characters like Tycho Nestoris, given how heavily they're based on Amsterdam (or Italian, due to Venice).--The Dragon Demands (talk) 18:54, August 13, 2017 (UTC)
- Hey, I'm very sorry to anwser your post not right away and don't write an answer emmidately. That was rude and hope you forgive me.
- First I was really busy, now I have team. I was working on the German Code Geass Wiki - I wrote a special about the OVA Code Geass: Akito the Exiled - as well and still want to working on that. Second I planned a holiday in South Tyrol with my parents, but we had problems, so now we take a staycation. Which is good for, cause I can watch the finale episode this season on monday (3am). x'D
- About the phrase: "Ich bin ein Berliner..." No "Icke" is only the local pronouncation in the Berlin accent for "I", someone who is born there and grows up te, usually talks like that. But "Ich" is High German, so Kennedys phrase is correct. ^^
- Ah, about Astapor, I'm sorry to not discribe that scene more precisely. I guess it's really because Missandei translates simulatiously and they have to the English (Common Tongue) part translate in German, while Kraznys and the other Good Masters are talking in the background in Astapori Valyrian. In the German Version the Masters talk in as well in Astapori Valyrian, but they had to reread the lines, due to the Common Tongue part from Missandei. Daenerys answers of course in High Valyrian. I will upload a video or two of that scene and the other from S1E07, if you like- Still I prefer Emilia and the otherer in the original. The cast had help by Peterson, I guess? They speak the language more fluently than our voice actors.
- Yes, it's good that Sibel Kekilli and Tom Wlaschiha did their own dub. ^^ A sidenote is that Sibel speaks usually in German without that Turkish accent, she had a role in the crime series "Tatort" were she doesn't have an accent and Tom Wlaschiha had a minor role in one of the episode of that series as well. (Did I mentoin that earlier)
- What we also have is someone like Roy Dotrice, who reads the audiobooks of A Song of Ice and Fire. And in German Reinhart Kuhnert who dubs Robett Glover reads the German translation of the books.
- I can't give enough credit to your good observation and knowlegde about the actors and the world and the good explanations you give. That's all really good argued and I'm sorry I can't help you or the fandom as much as I want.
- Well yeah, I hear and see interviews with the actors as well or hear the audio commentaries as you do. I bought the DVDs and it's a shame that only the Blu-rays have the Histories & Lore section :/. So it's interesting when the actors train their accents or try to hide them like you stated with Kate Dickie, Jack Gleeson or Conleth Hill. Yeah I heard that argument about Aidan and his accent as well x'D, well he sounds weird sometimes.
- And I guess you are right about Salladhor Saan es well. "Pirate accent" is a better explanation than African accent.
- In German I think only caberetists and comedians train and use accents really well, as they do that on purpose.
- Hm, a Dutch accent would be really funny or a bit Italian accent, but I think it's also good that he doesn't have one as a serious banker. - Aki-chan86 15:21, August 26, 2017 (UTC)
Time spent on Code Geass, is time well spent.
I'm too humble to accept that "you do so much..." -- I yell a lot. Some people think I yell about things that are worth yelling about. I don't know.