Ve all know zat ze evil villain must have ze accent.
I mean, how else vould ve know zat he vas evil?
Does anyone else find it amusing that evil villains in American stories usually have accents?
Maybe it's our American snobbishness, or maybe it's just ingrained in us from the WWII and Cold War periods where the villains in all the stories were Nazis/Communists/Russians.
I don't know why it is, but I do find it amusing.
The types of accents range from German to Russian to French to British to some made-up in-between language, like Gru's:
Accents usually come with stereotypes as well; for example, the cold British snob, the cruel German general, the handsome but vicious Spanish spy, the calculating Russian lady.
If you do write a character (especially a villain) vith ze accent, keep in mind these three things:
1. Listen to ze real accents
Don't just assume you know what Russian sounds like and switch out all your the's for ze's. Zat vould neither be professional nor honest.
Don't know anyone who speaks with a Russian accent? Zat is vat Youtube is for, mein comrades.
2. Don't spell out everyzhing
If you've ever read Huckleberry Finn, you've come across a passage like this:
“Sometimes you gwyne to git hurt, en sometimes you gwyne to git sick; but every time you's gwyne to git well agin.”
That might be all well and good for Mark Twain, but please please please don't use it in youse awn writin'. Not only is it hard to read, but it can also interrupt the flow of the story as your poor reader tries to decipher vat you are actually saying.
How many times in zis post have you had to stop and go back and read zat odd spelling? Zat is not vat you vant, mein comrades!
3. Avoid ze stereotypes
Is the accent part of the character or the character part of the accent? In other words, why are you writing about a character vith an accent? Is it so that your character will be scarier? More stylish? Weaker or dumber sounding?
Don't give your character an accent just because. It's a part of backstory, of where they grew up, who they grew up with. It's not an accessory. Character before accent, mein comrades!
Follow these three tips and ze accents vill be much better. Until next time, mein comrades!
Do you have a character with an accent? What are some accent stereotypes that annoy you?
Let me know by commenting!