English accents?

#1 Posted by Blur_Fan (142 posts) -

So, the first cutscene with Benjamin Franklin brought something to my attention: shouldn't the colonists have English (UK) accents?

The colonies were first founding in the early 17th century (sometime in 1607 or '09 i think), and this game takes place some 100+ years later. I know, over 100 years, it can be plausible for them to drop the accents. But when all you have is mostly English men/women and slaves for the duration...would they really have dropped the accents by the 1770s? Wouldn't that have come with the influx of other European immigrants?

Anyone have any real input?

#2 Edited by Vinny_Says (5709 posts) -

The colonists didn't have British English accents by the time the revolution came about.

I don't know if it's the same, but when the French came to New France they spoke regular-ass french; it was the people back in Europe that decided to differentiate themselves with the dumb thick accents that we see today in France.

Edit: Seems like it's the same for the English who traveled to the colonies.

#3 Posted by RollingZeppelin (1975 posts) -

@Blur_Fan: I believe the current theory is that the British accent of the time actually sounded more like the American accent of today (with the hard 'r' sound), though that would make the British in the game incorrectly accented. They probably kept the difference in accents to be able to better distinguish between the British and Americans. Historical entertainment rarely gets accents right anyway, doesn't surprise me that Ubisoft half-assed their way on research in this area.

#4 Posted by MariachiMacabre (7096 posts) -

Actually, their accents back then were much closer to the current American accent than the current English one. I would find an article I read a while back about the subject for you but I'm on the mobile site and it's a pain in the ass so hopefully someone else will. It's an interesting read.

#5 Posted by SoylentGreen (255 posts) -

I think I read somewhere that the British accents we all know (and love) today didn't exist back then, and grew into place after the colonies had been founded. The British accent back then sounded a lot more like the stereotypical American accent of today.

Yep, here's a source.

Online
#6 Posted by WalkerD (462 posts) -

What really irks me is that when that for the first 20 years of the game most everyone has a thick English accent, but the second you start playing as Connor every redcoat has a thick English accent, and every colonist has the traditional American accent. It's like at some point during those 20 years all of the colonist's accents completely changed.

#7 Posted by Barrock (3533 posts) -

The worst accent is the elderly Native American woman that gives you... that thing.

She sounds like a 20 year old woman coming from a 90 year old body. It's super weird.

#8 Edited by Aegon (5639 posts) -

@SoylentGreen said:

I think I read somewhere that the British accents we all know (and love) today didn't exist back then, and grew into place after the colonies had been founded. The British accent back then sounded a lot more like the stereotypical American accent of today.

Yep, here's a source.

So, "to be or not be be?", "romeo, where art thou?'" and the rest were spoken in American accents?

@Vinny_Says said:

The colonists didn't have British English accents by the time the revolution came about.

I don't know if it's the same, but when the French came to New France they spoke regular-ass french; it was the people back in Europe that decided to differentiate themselves with the dumb thick accents that we see today in France.

What does regular-ass french sound like?

#9 Posted by scalpel (314 posts) -

I've heard it said that the English accents of that day sounded a lot like the current American accent. The colonists and the English did have different accents, however.

#10 Edited by Viking_Funeral (1791 posts) -

@Aegon said:

@SoylentGreen said:

I think I read somewhere that the British accents we all know (and love) today didn't exist back then, and grew into place after the colonies had been founded. The British accent back then sounded a lot more like the stereotypical American accent of today.

Yep, here's a source.

So, "to be or not be be?", "romeo, where art thou?'" and the rest were spoken in American accents?

Shakespeare was circa 1600, or almost 2 centuries before the American revolution. It was also around the time of the Great Vowel Shift in English, and not long after the advent of modern English, which was thought to have taken hold around 1550. Of course, like most things historical, it wasn't a day/night thing, but a gradual change.

So, no, not quite American accents, though closer to American accents than modern British accents.

#11 Posted by Vinny_Says (5709 posts) -

@Aegon:

vs.

Listen to the anchor in the first video and the news report from France in the second video. "regular" is probably the wrong term, but there's a difference between the two, and French people in the 17th century spoke like the first video, not the second (those accents aren't dumb, but they're the ones people always impersonate when they think of french people). Any French-Canadian here knows about the difference I'm talking about.

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