Author Topic: Marisa's speech and local dialect/slang  (Read 11508 times)

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Marisa's speech and local dialect/slang
« on: March 17, 2020, 02:08:26 AM »
There seems to be 2 different ways that people translate Marisa's speech: a more proper English and a more casual english style. While I don't know the details of why these 2 styles have emerged (my attemps to learn Japanese are an ongoing failure) I have developed an odd way of reading them in my mind.

The proper English style used to be more prevalent from what I experienced and that resulted in me interpreting her as having a high pitched American accent. When I first saw a fan made anime using a somewhat low voice for Marisa, I was somewhat confused by it. The somewhat bratty voice I gave her seemed to fit her attitude. The thieving, teasing "bitch get out of the way" Marisa I saw back then really suited the voice style I interpreted her as having.

Over time I saw a transition to more people using a casual speech pattern for Marisa. While I can't quite put my finger on where this casual style comes from, my brain did something odd when I started reading it. I started re-translating her speech into Scots dialect. I'd look at the sentence and understand the meaning before my brain was able to vocalise the words - therefor allowing me to translate the entire sentence into Scots as I read it.

For example, in the latest chapter of Lotus eaters, Marisa says the line:
"You might've fooled us with all these weird European words and popular designs but ya can't even tell what went into it."

My brain initially reads it as proper English but when she says "ya" my brain kicks into Scots as we don't say "ya" here, we say "ye." Therefor my brain read it initially as :
"You might've fooled us with all these weird european words and designs but ye cannae e'en tell whit went intae it."

With that being activated, I read the rest of her words through the chapter in Scots. Therefore
"And it won't have any of this nasty stuff whose names ya can't even pronounce! I'll make something you can call a real banquet!"
"An it'll no huv any o' this nasty strawberriese whose names ye cannae even pronounce! Ah'll make ye's some'hin yous can caw a real banquet!"

My readings do include the occasional added sweat word simply because that's how people speak over here. Her accent and pitch change as well when I read her words in Scots. What used to be a high pitched American accent becomes a more standard pitch Glaswegian accent. That change in language came with a change in interpretation of her as she became less badass and more relatable over time.

Marisa isn't unique in who I read in speaking Scots but she is the only onr which has a clear transition that just occasionally switches depending on who translated it. Even that translation is rather tame with it's slang compared to others I've seen.

I occasionally read Reimu as speaking Scots usually when she's angry or making jabs at Marisa. This isn't too far from most Scottish people who will speak to certain people in Scots and certain people in English - usually based on formality. Suika always speaks Scots to me - no matter what. Her accent is just a slurred Scottish accent to me.

I know language is weird and all but is this something that happens with other people at all? I know Scots has that odd quality of being close enough to English that most of the complicated words are the same but also distinct enough that you can tell that it's not English you're reading it as. That being said, there are lots of dialects of English and the Touhou fanbase isn't limited to English speaking or Japanese speaking anymore so I don't know if oddities like this can spring up in other languages/dialects.

Admittedly, I don't even know if Marisa's speech has even changed over time or if I've just noticed it more over time. At the same time, my Scots may not be accurate as I actually speak proper English exclusively.

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Re: Marisa's speech and local dialect/slang
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2020, 03:33:45 PM »
Admittedly, I don't even know if Marisa's speech has even changed over time or if I've just noticed it more over time. At the same time, my Scots may not be accurate as I actually speak proper English exclusively.

I'm pretty sure that Marisa's speech pattern never changed. At least in the original Japanese. In English and other languages, though? Well, there are multiple different sources of fan translations, and they can't seem to universally agree on how a character's speech patterns should be translated as, or even change how they translate said speech patterns at a later time. For example, Marisa's "(da) ze" particulate is initially left as is, but has lately been translated as "I tell ya!" in both fanworks and official works.

Speaking of personal re-translating, my politically correct subconscious can't help but assign each of the 2hus what I believed would be the right accents or dialects based on their supposed nationalities. For example:

- I read all of Marisa's lines in a southern Bostonian accent.
- For Alice, it's a really thick British accent, with a little bit of "bloody" gratuitously inserted here and there.
- With Meiling and Junko, I hear them as sounding like people from mainland China.
- There is just no way I could picture Reimu saying stuff like "gotta" and "gonna". My brain always autocorrects them with "got to".
- Remilia is pictured by me to have an overly melodramatic French accent (due to her ego), while Flandre is pictured with a realistic (if a little bit hammy) French accent. *BTW, Lotus Eaters seems to be veering on implying that the Scarlets are indeed French.
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Re: Marisa's speech and local dialect/slang
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2020, 10:08:41 AM »
For me, Reimu is not very serious, so she’d probably be speaking rather casually, like Konata from Lucky Star. Marisa... Similarly, I’d say. But I agree that Alice should have a thick british accent - after all, she’s the puppeteer, and her dolls are often European.


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Re: Marisa's speech and local dialect/slang
« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2020, 03:31:17 AM »
"Alice Murgatroyd" is also a very, very English name. The issue is with giving her a British accent is which British accent? An RP is the first answer that comes to mind, but gratuitous use of "bloody" would, at least stereotypically, suggest a rougher dialect.
Marisa speaking Lowland Scots is an absolutely delightful mental image, and one that would go together excellently with an English Alice. My one (admittedly pedantic) objection to this is that the Scots leid isnae Inglis, and I'll dee on this hill!
« Last Edit: October 09, 2020, 04:36:49 AM by VIVIT »