Difference between revisions of "Talk:Language in the Twelve Colonies/Archive3"

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(French in the Colonies)
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:Very nice find, Sauron. --[[User:Peter Farago|Peter Farago]] 20:39, 6 June 2006 (CDT)
:Very nice find, Sauron. --[[User:Peter Farago|Peter Farago]] 20:39, 6 June 2006 (CDT)
== Clean-Up ==
Anything in particular, or just in general? I always look at an article's talk page when I see a delete or clean-up tag and I'm often annoyed because the tagger hasn't posted about why they tagged. I'm not looking for an exhaustive list, just maybe the direction you think the article should be headed or something. --[[User:Day|Day]] <sup>([[User talk:Day|Talk]] - [[Battlestar Wiki:Administrators' noticeboard|Admin]] - [http://hiver.swordofthestars.com/ SotS])</sup> 02:28, 19 July 2006 (CDT)

Revision as of 23:28, 18 July 2006

Radio Alphabet

Discussions moved to Talk:Colonial Wireless Alphabet by Joe Beaudoin at 20:07, 10 October 2005 (EDT).

Aerelon Accent

(It is probably some subtle nuance that a Colonial character like Baltar could notice, but that is indistinguishable from an American accent to the audience).

No, listen. None of these characters are actually speaking English. The whole thing is a conceit to make it intelligable to the viewer. I'm sure that in the fictional universe of BSG, Boomer does speak with a "trace of an Aerelon accent", but since the show chooses to represent this as Standard American English, there's little point speculating about phonological variations that we can't hear. It's not a matter of Baltar being able to hear something we can't, the showmakers have just chosen not to give us the information. --Peter Farago 01:38, 10 September 2005 (EDT)

Yeah. I tend to agree. My agreement is influenced by a couple of things in addition to the above.
One: I have a BA in Linguistics. I know a bit about accents and the sounds of human speech, etc. I'm also somewhat used to hearing differences in sounds that most Anglophones aren't used to (like distinctions that are meaningful in other languages, but not in English). These two things make it hard for me to believe that, after reading about this theory and listening to Boomer speak with the purpose of hearing an accent, I'd somehow be unable to hear it simply because I'm missing it.
Two: I'm a rather large Tolkien dork and am familiar with the idea of "translating" something into English for the benefit of English-speaking viewers (to say nothing of over-dubbed versions of this show for non-English-speaking viewers. Additionally, being familiar with Tolkien's special flavor of language-centric crazy, I don't get that, well, vibe from RDM. He seems much more interested in the story and the cinematics than correctly representing the names of people from Dale as corrupted Old English names in order to show their long-ago linguistic connection to the Rohirrim, whose language is tacitly represented by Old English--as he should be.
If, for whatever reason, the BSG production/directoral staff were interested in drawing parallels to Colonial accents with the use of English accents, it would be much more apparent. What is more likely is, as Peter posits, they aren't giving us the information. That's been screened out if for no other reason than the fact that they didn't really think about it. It's not a big deal. I think this is evidenced by Baltar's remark about Boomer's accent, actually. If they were keeping tabs of language enough to care about accents, they would realise the extreme unlikelihood that even a stereotypically recognized majority of an entire planet's population would have an accent that was the same. I mean--What's the most common (and thus, best seen as stereotypically Earthly) accent on our world? Chinese. Which is, you know, not precisely an accent. ;o)
I think, actually, that the BSG crew are paying attention to accents, however. It's just not in a way that identifies characters geographically or--whatever. They pick accents that will predispose American and British (and, thus, probably Australian) viewers to certain preconceptions about their characters. Baltar speaks, more or less, the Queen's English, which will predispose Westerners to assume he's intelligent, wealthy, well bred and well educated. Baltar is these things. Kara Thrace speaks pretty standard American English and does it with a fairly high volume. She assumes the stereotypes of the loud American, so to speak. Notice, too, that the reporter had an English accent. At the end of her documentary, I half expected her to say, "This is D'anna Whatever, BBC news." I don't even get the BBC in Texas.
This is getting absurdly lengthy. I apologize. I tend to do this when words are at issue. Anyway, one final point: I don't think the same thing can be neccesarily said for "race". Since where your genes are from, geographically, is a rather more visual thing, I tend to think that this would more easily occur to a TV producer as something worth keeping track of. That doesn't mean that it did and they are, but that most of my arguements here don't apply to that case much. I'll, ah, I'm done now. ;o) --Day 03:31, 10 September 2005 (EDT)
Well said. --Peter Farago 04:01, 10 September 2005 (EDT)

It is true that Grace Park is a fluent speaker of Korean, but her English--either as Sharon Valerii or as herself in interviews--bears no trace of a Korean accent whatsoever. I am married to a native Korean speaker, have friends and colleagues who speak Korean either as their first or second language, and have been studying the language for a few years myself, so I am absolutely certain that Korean has no bearing on what might or might not be considered an Aerelon accent. --BlueResistance

I tend to agree, but felt like someone would bring up her bilingualism inevitably and that it would be better to address it directly. If Grace Park (and thus Boomer) has a trace of any accent, it ought to be Korean, so I felt it worth a mention. --Peter Farago 02:31, 19 October 2005 (EDT)
You said that Grace Park's bilingualism would come up eventually. I would recommend limiting discussions of her bilingualism to the actress' bio page. The label "Korean" doesn't meaningfully describe anything that's going on when Sharon/Boomer is speaking. My own Korean is getting good enough that I'm approaching true "bilingual" status, but nobody would use "Korean" to describe my English. --BlueResistance
Discussing Park's bilingualism on the actress' bio page would not shed any insight for a reader of this page, nor would it allay any questions that such knowledge might raise. I understand that her spoken english is flawless, but the fact that it is not actually her first language is at least marginally relevant here, and is given the footnote it deserves.
As for her "northwestern" accent, I don't truly believe that that's any different from General American / Standard Midwestern - the only phonological difference I can think of is the caught/cot merger, which is too subtle to deserve the name "accent". --Peter Farago 03:00, 19 October 2005 (EDT)
Perhaps it should be specifically noted here that her Korean fluency doesn't seem to have any impact whatsoever on her English accent. I agree with Peter that it's important to note it here, so that someone who doesn't know any better doesn't come along and think we missed that point and that they've solved our problem by mentioning a (non-existant) Korean accent. Sometimes, when you are making an argument or assertion, you have to mention some things that are, really, irrelevant in order to make clear that they are, indeed, irrelevant so that others will not wrongly think that they are. Make sense? --Day 03:08, 19 October 2005 (EDT)
I was just about to say something like that. Thanks, Day! --BlueResistance 03:10, 19 October 2005 (EDT)
Tried to make it a little more forceful. You can tell that this wiki is great because we spend whole evenings discussing single sentences. --Peter Farago 03:18, 19 October 2005 (EDT)
Nice edit. And I hope you were being serious. I spent a lot of time in college working on a print publication and for the last couple years, I was the Editor in Chief (kind of a joke because there were only six of us on staff). In any case, it was a humor publication and sometimes we'd spend hours debating about the wording of a single sentence in order to deliver the most punch. It almost always paid off. In this case, we're not looking to be funny, but I still think it pays to make sure a sentence communicates exactly the information we intend: no more and no less. --Day 17:48, 19 October 2005 (EDT)
Quite serious. Concision is nothing without precision. --Peter Farago 23:48, 19 October 2005 (EDT)
So, you're not really the Concision Fairy. You're the Concision/Percision Fairy. Which is less concise, but more precise. Maybe you're the (Con|Pre)cision Fairy. Phleh. --Day 16:16, 20 October 2005 (EDT)


Is it just me or does Racetrack have a vaguely Canadian accent in her scene on the Raptor early in Final Cut? --Peter Farago 02:10, 10 September 2005 (EDT)

Stating the obvious

Mister (Mr), Miss, and Doctor have all been used, but Missus {Mrs} has not.

The concision fairy frowns in disapproval. Why is this interesting? --Peter Farago 02:26, 17 September 2005 (EDT)

Nothing much since we haven't seen anyone married. Given the gender equality in BSG, however, it may well be that "Mrs" is not used. --Redwall 17:20, 17 September 2005 (EDT)

Valley Girl Accent

Day and I believe that Pythia likely spoke with High rising terminals, also known as a "valley girl accent". We have concluded this based on the fact that no less than 67% of the direct quotes from her book of prophecy begin with the coordinating conjunction "and", as in the following passage:

"And, like, the lords anointed a leader to like, guide the Caravan of the Heavens to their new homeland?, and, like, unto the leader they gave a vision of serpents numbering two and ten?, as like, a sign of things to come?, which is like, totally spooky. And then, like, the Arrow of Apollo will open the Tomb of Athena, which is totally boss, but Zeus like, got all uppity and warned the leaders of the twelve tribes that any return to Kobol would exact a price in blood, which is totally gross, 'cause blood is gross, y'know? And like, a real bummer, since Kobol is hot shit."

So say we all. --Peter Farago 20:19, 17 September 2005 (EDT)

NO, that was meant to sound religious, in the tone of "And the number shall be "three". "Four" be too many, and "two" be too few (unless though then proceedeth to "three"). "Five" is right out. ---Ricimer, 17 Sept, 2005
The effect is, as noted, somewhat different when you read them all out in a list. --Peter Farago 20:39, 17 September 2005 (EDT)
Damn both of you. My deykoard is ruimed from spittake effect with kola! Spencerian 18:03, 23 September 2005 (EDT)

General American

On a somewhat smaller matter, there is no linguistically accepted version of English called "General English," with a capital G. I am willing to accept a lower case g, "general English," to indicate "common sense" notions about the accent/group of accents. --BlueResistance

You are correct. The article previously referred to Standard American English (SAE), which I have encountered in contrast to African American Vernacular English (AAVE) in sociolinguistics. As I'm sure you can tell, I intend to refer to the midwestern "newscaster accent" used throughout the entertainment industry.
As for Wikipedia, they referred to this accent as Standard Midwestern until last February. It was then moved to General American based on User:Angr's statement that "the accent is not standard in any official sense, nor is it limited to the Midwest."
Since they are serving as our primary reference, I am inclined to follow their conventions on the matter. Perhaps you could take up your point with them? I realize that we are not powerless to employ our own terminology, but consistancy strikes me as a self-evident virtue. --Peter Farago 02:31, 19 October 2005 (EDT)
Sigh. General American bothers me. I'd much prefer Standard American English. I mean--that's a term that linguists use when discussing American accents. I wish Wikipedia had a page entitled that, but I don't want to get into a land war there (or, really anything there as time is finite). A few things have to be understood about SAE (or, as it stands, General English):
1) It doesn't really exist as a spoken dialect. No one grows up learning SAE the way one can grow up speaking Texan English or any of the various sub-dialects of AAVE or whatever. However, Americans seem to be able to sense what it is. This is still under research.
2) When used in a non-scholastic setting (like this wiki), saying someone speaks SAE generally means that the region they learned English in is not identifyable by the way they speak. Apollo speaks SAE, for instance. However, Jamie Baber or however it's spellt, is British and really speaks some form of British English dialect (I've not heard him speak myself).
With these two trhings in mind, using a term like SAE to refer to dislects of characters is perfectly fine. I mean--the dialect is a kind of mental construct and so doesn't really exist and the characters, likewise, don't really exist. ;) Okay. That was a joke. My problem with the term "General American" is that I've never seen it before in a linguistic context. "Standard American English" is a term used in all caps like that in many texts by various authors. I'm tired and I think I'm losing coherancy. Does my point about, for lack of a better word, officialness come across clearly? I sure hope so. --Day 03:04, 19 October 2005 (EDT)
I would be happy to have the relevant links marked as Standard American English and go to Wiki's General American article through pipes. The term General American was introduced on October 8th by Troyian - I'd like to know if he is personally in favor of the term, or was just matching wikipedia's terminology. --Peter Farago 03:09, 19 October 2005 (EDT)

Sanskrit to do

  • Link to credible text repository & audio recording.
  • Transliterate Sanskrit properly, using IAST. --Peter Farago 00:53, 14 November 2005 (EST)

Hopefully the Don Davis sources may be of help to others in further translation from his Matrix Revolutions tracks (noted in our article now). Enlightening stuff--I use the "Navras" track and its chant in my daily workouts--gets my heart rate up. I was wondering why Elosha's chant seemed so damned familiar, and now I know why. Wild how my favorite SF topics and music merge like this. Speaking of which, I think a music article on BSG will be due sometime... --Spencerian 10:09, 14 November 2005 (EST)

Am I the only one who finds this matrix stuff to be badly off-topic? Davis's transliteration isn't very good, either. --Peter Farago 14:04, 14 November 2005 (EST)
I'm going to strike this. If anyone wants to make a note of the coincidence on the references page, that would be fine. --Peter Farago 21:12, 14 November 2005 (EST)

Other Accents

What about all of the Canadian accents? I'm no linguist, but the way Tigh speaks sounds very different to the way Adama speaks. Besides, many characters on the show are played by Canadian actors like Aaron Douglas, Tricia Helfer, and Tahmoh Penikett, each with varying degrees of accent. --Drumstick 19:51, 17 January 2006 (EST)
Many Canadian accents are very similar to the Midwestern SAE used in Hollywood. If you can name a character with a particularly strong accent, I'd be happy to identify them here, but Hogan, Douglas, Helfer and Penikett don't seem to fit the bill.
Note that place of origin and accent do not necessarily coincide - nobody would claim that Lee Adama speaks with a British Accent, although Jamie Bamber certainly does. --Peter Farago 20:32, 17 January 2006 (EST)
I've always felt that Hogan's accent is somewhat obvious, but again, I'm not much experienced with Canadian-accented English. (I only know two or three Canadians myself.) Besides, you make a good point: even if Hogan's accent is strong enough to be considered noticable, it is no where near as different from SAE as, say, Baltar's. Drumstick 21:35, 17 January 2006 (EST)
For me, Tigh's just got a few words that stick out. Unfortunately, the only word that comes to mind off the top of my head is one that doesn't really exist: Kobol. Everyone else says it as if it were some American saying Co-Ball (['kou.'bol]) or something (equal stress on both syllables), whereas he seems to say ['kou.bl] (with the syllabic l at the end). That's hack-IPA, there, because I've yet to take the time to figure out the way the thingie for it works, here. --Day 23:51, 17 January 2006 (EST)
Michael Hogan may be Canadian, but his accent sounds to my ears more like American Irish. The Canadian accent at any rate owes a lot to Celtic influences (that "aboot" that Canadians say is straight from Scotland/Northern Ireland), so it's possible that it's Canadian but it doesn't sounds like Canadian accents that I'm familiar with. The name "Tigh" is Gaelic for "house". He's also a drinker. So my sense is that his character has been outfitted with a Scots/Irish-American persona. For what it's worth, I'm a Scot living in the States myself, and profoundly lacking in confidence in the average American's ability to recognize accents. I'd say 95% of Americans guess that I'm Irish, when no one from the UK or Ireland would make that mistake.--Haecceity

Texas Accent

Y'know, Baltar's Six definitely refers to his "nucular device" in "Epiphanies". --Peter Farago 14:49, 21 January 2006 (EST)

Actually, that's not a Texas thing. We talked about that specifically in one of my classes, since that's such a common misconception due to G. W. Bush's hailing from our state and and pronouncing it thus. Apparently that's common in many Southern dialects (as in "The South" which includes states as far north as Virginia, but not, say, New Mexico). Not that Texas is really excluded from that list, I just thought I'd point out that it's more common than many city-dwellers think (including myself before I attended the afore mentioned lecture). Personally, I say it "NEW-clee-er" only slightly more often than "NEW-cue-ler". I feel like I"m rambling on, so I won't go into what factors contribute to a dialect switching the L and the following vowel in this word. --Day 23:57, 21 January 2006 (EST)
Sounding off for a minute: the pronunciation is officially "New-clee-er", and Bush is yet again and embarrassment for pronouncing it wrong, then refusing to correct himself because he believes that he is infallible. --Ricimer
See, now you're gonna start arguing right and wrong with a descriptive linguist. We're not your prescriptive Highschool English teacher. *wink* --Day 15:29, 22 January 2006 (EST)


I don't think its worthwhile to discuss the "meaning" of names that were borrowed from TOS here. --Peter Farago 23:17, 15 March 2006 (CST)

Not sure that's entirely true (obviously :-) ), since in several cases Larson clearly borrowed those names from Hebrew/Greek himself, deliberately, and RDM is following in his footsteps.--Uncle Mikey 23:20, 15 March 2006 (CST)
I think we need to edit down "Names" a lot for relevance/concision. --The Merovingian 23:58, 15 March 2006 (CST)
I can accept that—some days I'm good at concision, other days, not so much. I'd actually originally intended to merely provide a couple of key examples, and I kinda got carried away :-)--Uncle Mikey 10:14, 16 March 2006 (CST)
By the way, Merv—thank you for your additions/clarifications to the names. And you may be right about the Roslin entry not really being highly relevant. I'll admit I just thought it was an amusing coincidence. And it may be more relevant than you think. The Cylons are clones, of a sort (albeit not clones of real human beings, but of 12 synthesized templates), and a Cylon-hybrid child saved Roslin's life... OK. It's a stretch :-) I can be convinced to remove the Roslin entry without much arm-twisting.--Uncle Mikey 13:21, 16 March 2006 (CST)
Well RDM saying he deliberatley chose Dualla and Gaeta's names knowing their meaning is from the podcast of "Final Cut"; I think the Zarek thing is from the companion book. --The Merovingian 17:08, 16 March 2006 (CST)

French in the Colonies

I wanted to point out that we recently realized that french is a spoken language in at least some of the Colonies. This is the first real language, other than english, that we see as present beyond accentuation. I guess you'll want proof? Here it is:


On the Very top of the chalk board are the words :

  • Aller ("to go")
  • Avoir ("to have")
  • Etres ("to be")

Three verbs of the French Language. Just Thought I'd mention it, since as far as I remember there is no other Earth Based Language which is seen beyond certain accents. --Sauron18 04:37 June 06 2006

Nice catch, Sauron. Actually, the prayer chant sung by Elosha at the end of the miniseries is a Sanskrit prayer, so that's two possible languages in the Colonies outside the accented suggestions. Your discovery should be an interesting one to add. Also, we see "NaOH", which I think is the chemical name for ammonia...curious that the Colonials use our chemical naming process, too... --Spencerian 13:22, 6 June 2006 (CDT)
sodium hydroxide ^_^ --Mercifull 13:33, 6 June 2006 (CDT)
It looks like it's part of an equation. X + NaOH yields -> Y. This does appear to be the first written instance of foreign language. --Steelviper 13:36, 6 June 2006 (CDT)
Ugh...stereochemistry (shudder). Oh, well the only other "french" thing we've got in BSG is when Stinger says "esprit de corps" in "Pegasus", but I think that and the LDYB II blackboard thing are just mistakes. --The Merovingian (C - E) 15:59, 6 June 2006 (CDT)
I don't think they're any more mistakes then talking of dogs horses and such. There's no reason why languages other than english can exist within the Colonies. Might even be a second language to them since they're teaching it to preschoolers--Sauron18 17:05 June 06 2006
Very nice find, Sauron. --Peter Farago 20:39, 6 June 2006 (CDT)


Anything in particular, or just in general? I always look at an article's talk page when I see a delete or clean-up tag and I'm often annoyed because the tagger hasn't posted about why they tagged. I'm not looking for an exhaustive list, just maybe the direction you think the article should be headed or something. --Day (Talk - Admin - SotS) 02:28, 19 July 2006 (CDT)