Les poissons, les poissons, ‘ow I love les poissons!

I’m over at Kat Latham’s blog with ten tips on how I write characters with accents. Stop by, let me know what you think, and enter to win a copy of A Lily Among Thorns!

4 Responses to “Les poissons, les poissons, ‘ow I love les poissons!”

  • Phyllis:

    Oh that song! I swear I’m the only one of my friends in college (and it came out when I was in college. Ancient.) who remembered the song. But then, I was a French major. (hee hee hee! han han han!)

    • Rose:

      Zen I stuff you wiz bread! It won’t hurt ’cause you’re dead! And you’re certainly lucky you are! That’s hilarious and a little angry-making about Hagrid being difficult for your son…I think that authors don’t always consider that dialect doesn’t make sense to children who aren’t familiar with the accents involved, and you’d think that for the writer of a kid’s book, clarity would be a priority. I never really understood the spelling of Cockney accents either as a kid, especially the w for the v–and it took me YEARS to figure out that “loverly” for “lovely” only made sense if you pronounced your Rs like an upper-class Brit.

  • Phyllis:

    And I really enjoyed the article! (Was thinking of Hagrid even before I scrolled to his picture – my son, who’s not a strong reader, was reading HP out loud to me and Hagrid was tripping him up all over the place. JK Rowling went a little overboard on him, IMHO.

  • Diana Rozevskis:

    I was reading articles on writing with accents and although mixed reviews I think on a general whole people were implying; if it is not overly done and written well, it works and enhances the character.
    I myself have written a children’s book: Crystal Waters It Began in Europe, and have a couple of characters with accents. There is a reason for this that will be revealed in a later book within the series.
    I must admit, I think if overly done it can kill the story and am sorry to hear Phyllis’ son was struggling reading Hagrid’s accent. But do you not think, that if done well enough, it introduces the world of accents for the future? When is the right time to get people reading them?
    Both my daughters aged six and twelve both love reading and still struggle on some ‘correct spelt’ words when reading books. And so that’s when we look it up in a dictionary and learn it for future reading. If done often enough I think it eventually sticks.
    In the case of accents, I think if children struggle with them, I think it is the adult helpers task to try and explain how they sound and their meaning (as done with other difficult words) as you won’t find them in a dictionary, and is all in the progression of learning.
    Like I said earlier, when IS the right time to introduce accents within a book?
    Surely JK Rowling can’t have got it that wrong, looking at her worldwide followers that love her books?
    Of course, this only my humble opinion.

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