Don’t miswrite dialects




So, I’ve seen this problem when people want to write characters from a culture other than their own:

  • They know that those characters speak a different dialect than they do
  • And they want to convey this
  • But they don’t realize…

clatterbane said:

In a lot of cases, it seems better to convey the point through syntax and idiom, IMO.

Otherwise it’s a little too easy to come across like the hideous, deliberately Othering 19th century attempts at dialect writing. Even if you do some actual linguistic research, and aren’t trying to give that effect. I have seen modern examples that were just so bad (usually dealing with already stigmatized dialects) that I personally try to use a very light touch with that.

realsocialskills said:

Yes, this is definitely a much less risky approach.