Welsh or Gaelic TV Dramas, English Characters
Replies: 2 - Last Post: Jan 31, 2013 4:35 AM Last Post By: iviehoff
Jan 30, 2013 7:30 AM
Welsh or Gaelic TV Dramas, English CharactersThis arises from a discussion on BBC Radio 4 yesterday morning. They mentioned that a new Detective series will first be released in Welsh language on SC4, then will later be shown (in English) on BBC 4 TV.
Apparently the main detective is ex Metropolitan (London) police.
My question is this:
If there is an English character (where it would strain credability for him to speak Welsh) in a Welsh-language drama, how do they distinguish him?
Does he (alone) speak English?
Does he speak Welsh with an obvious English accent?
(Like the Germans in lots of old war films who talked amongst themselves in German-accented English, so the audience knew they were the bad guys, but also knew what they were planning).
Or do they just make the point somewhere during the dialogue, but have him speak normally in Welsh?
Actually, any Irish or Scots who can tell me how this is handled in Gaelic-language dramas please chip in too!
(I can't get TG4, and my viewing of BBC Alba is pretty-much restricted to some music programmes, and the occasional sub-titled nature programme)
I got no takers on SiT, so have cross-posted here.
Jan 30, 2013 9:16 AM
1Like the Germans in lots of old war films who talked amongst themselves in German-accented English, so the audience knew they were the bad guys,
I think you will find that most of the actors around the time that second world war films spoke with an upper class accent . I guess it would seem a bit stupid to have the Germans talking in an upper class English accent. Later to make it more authentic films had the Germans speaking German with sub titles.
I think you will find that since the audiance had lived through the second world war they knew who the bad guys were.
Jan 31, 2013 4:35 AM
I have also met a mixed race person with no original connection to Wales, born and brought up in England, who learned Welsh and now lives in Wales, and has a job for which fluent Welsh is essential. The Prince of Wales allegedly learned Welsh, though I doubt he gets much chance to practice it.
So there are scenarios under which it is plausible that the detective is in fact a Welsh speaker.
But yes, it would be interesting in general to understand what happens in Welsh language dramas when characters run into non-Welsh speakers, because in real life that must happen all the time. But perhaps that just doesn't happen in the dramas.
When I've been in Welsh speaking areas hearing Welsh being spoken, for example in a shop, it is often peppered with English words, especially numbers when prices and bills are being discussed. I wonder if that happens in the Welsh language dramas, or do they "purify" the language.
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