Why are accents from other races gone? — Guild Wars 2 Forums
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Why are accents from other races gone?

zealex.9410zealex.9410 Member ✭✭✭✭
edited March 12, 2021 in Living World

This is something ive been noticing and it once again occured with the latest release.

For example, largos in the personal story had this russian esque accent and tengu had an asian accent, this served to make them different and varied from the rest of tyria (it served as world building and made these races more believable/unique).

In wing 6 the largos twins lost the accent and so did the tengu we talk to in the newest lw release. This imo hurts the representation of their races and waters down the tengu and largos mixing them up with every other races, in the end, making the indistinquishable.

I want to make it clear that by accent i dont mean the voice choise for Kalidris since that has been a hot topic Other than the lack of an accent i think her innocent/quirky and more happy go lucky voice/tone adds to the tengu as a whole (breaking the stereotype that all tengu sound like kitten warriors).

What gives for the watering down of the races through the removal of their accents?

Comments

  • Blude.6812Blude.6812 Member ✭✭✭✭

    CYA! (given all the PC and cultural appropriation rage that is in vogue now.)

  • Randin.5701Randin.5701 Member ✭✭

    Well, the tengu never had unique accents, they've always had the same American accents that most races have. Really, the only GW2 races that have had something other than American accents were the sylvari, the largos, and . . . I want to say centaurs, perhaps?

    That said, it is odd if there are indeed largos characters that don't have the Arabic-sounding accent that the one from the personal story had.

  • zealex.9410zealex.9410 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Randulf.7614 said:
    It's possible the team have decided to be less pigeon holed by accents for a couple of reasons

    • it doesn't risk stereotyping a race by association
    • it gives a bit more flexibility for the VA and broadening the casting

    It's something that I noticed, but have started to accept since the VA and dialogue is generally of decent enough quality to overcome it

    But having an accent isnt smth thats bad or has any risk attached to it, just like theres accents that exist in rl and its all based on various factors.

    I can understand the more flexibility that it allows but thats one thing that anet used to be very good at (also in pof where the voice acting sounds very apropriate for that part of the world) it added to the worldbuilding and didnt mud the waters when it comes to races/countries/cultures etc.

  • zealex.9410zealex.9410 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Blude.6812 said:
    CYA! (given all the PC and cultural appropriation rage that is in vogue now.)

    I dont get this, theres nothing inherently rage worty or negative with having an accent, its purely cultural and background based.

  • Randulf.7614Randulf.7614 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited March 13, 2021

    @zealex.9410 said:

    @Randulf.7614 said:
    It's possible the team have decided to be less pigeon holed by accents for a couple of reasons

    • it doesn't risk stereotyping a race by association
    • it gives a bit more flexibility for the VA and broadening the casting

    It's something that I noticed, but have started to accept since the VA and dialogue is generally of decent enough quality to overcome it

    But having an accent isnt smth thats bad or has any risk attached to it, just like theres accents that exist in rl and its all based on various factors.

    I can understand the more flexibility that it allows but thats one thing that anet used to be very good at (also in pof where the voice acting sounds very apropriate for that part of the world) it added to the worldbuilding and didnt mud the waters when it comes to races/countries/cultures etc.

    I don't necessarily mean it as a bad thing in itself, more that they might want to broaden their races to be less defined or identified by their accent and to become more associated by other traits or an NPC's character. I understand the use of RL accents as easy identifiers, but it's a bit old hat in fantasy and with newer or different teams approaching the game, they've perhaps decided to freshen the races up a bit.

    I am just speculating though. It could be nothing to do with either reason I gave. Maybe a dev will give us some insight or perhaps next time they do a guild chat and ask for questions, it would be an interesting one to put forward

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  • voltaicbore.8012voltaicbore.8012 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @zealex.9410 said:

    But having an accent isnt smth thats bad or has any risk attached to it, just like theres accents that exist in rl and its all based on various factors.

    LOL where have you been, man. There are plenty of people who would fly into an unreasonable rage over much smaller things these days.

    I agree with you and @Randulf.7614 that accents in the game aren't bad, and if done well can add a certain level of charm. But the prevailing culture of hypersensitivity, at least here in the US, could easily see the accents as a target for outrage. ANet has always been pretty strongly attuned to the "let's be inclusive/let's not offend people" side of things, so it doesn't surprise me at all the the game would take these more politically correct directions in various ways.

  • BlueJin.4127BlueJin.4127 Member ✭✭✭
    edited March 13, 2021

    I always found 2ndary language accents weird to have on characters that are supposed to be speaking their native language. For example, in GW1, aren’t Shiro, the fortune teller, and other Canthans speaking their native Canthan language with each other? The accents they use for Canthans imitate Asians learning to speak English as a 2ndary language... except they’re speaking their native Canthan language with each other and should not have 2ndary language accents.

  • Astyrah.4015Astyrah.4015 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited March 13, 2021

    @BlueJin.4127 said:
    I always found 2ndary language accents weird to have on characters that are supposed to be speaking their native language. For example, in GW1, aren’t Shiro, the fortune teller, and other Canthans speaking their native Canthan language with each other? The accents they use for Canthans imitate Asians learning to speak English as a 2ndary language... except they’re speaking their native Canthan language with each other and should not have 2ndary language accents.

    i doubt canthans are actually speaking chinese, japanese or korean (i know you didnt say they did but just that the canthans are often compared to the east asians of the real world -- since we're on to asian-type characters anyway). that said the way they can work around this is if they did it the way of SWTOR/star wars and have actual different non-earth languages spoken by voice actors (though tbh they sound like gibberish kitten to me most of the time) with subtitles ofcourse. but yeah they aren't going to rework the whole voice acting for gw1 and gw2 (EoD) just for that -- i just like to believe they did accents for races/regions because it's the best way they can express the characters speaking another language without actually having to formulate and cook up a new language from scratch like how sci-fi movies and games do (vocabulary, grammar structuring, etc. etc.)

    @firedragon.8953 said:

    @Randulf.7614 said:
    It's possible the team have decided to be less pigeon holed by accents for a couple of reasons

    • it doesn't risk stereotyping a race by association

    As a linguist, this saddens me like you probably can't believe.
    Accents are wonderful beautiful things, and to "scrub" or "purge" them in an attempt to be PC is actually more "racist" (more likely just more ignorant) even if people have good intentions. Trying to tiptoe around some ambiguous label of "appropriation", especially in the context of a high-fantasy game, seems rather futile.

    yeah i don't see anything racist or racial with in-game characters speaking a certain accent at all. if anything it adds to the variety of voices i hear (even if the accent is badly done/forced out by the voice actor) and adds a bit more colour to each race/character/region/etc. in-game.

  • zealex.9410zealex.9410 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @firedragon.8953 said:

    @Randulf.7614 said:
    It's possible the team have decided to be less pigeon holed by accents for a couple of reasons

    • it doesn't risk stereotyping a race by association

    As a linguist, this saddens me like you probably can't believe.
    Accents are wonderful beautiful things, and to "scrub" or "purge" them in an attempt to be PC is actually more "racist" (more likely just more ignorant) even if people have good intentions. Trying to tiptoe around some ambiguous label of "appropriation", especially in the context of a high-fantasy game, seems rather futile.

    Stereotypical would be if all tengu had the exact same tone and personallity and attitude like we saw with them for years. The new tengu npc breaks the stereotype and adds alot of needed diversity to what a tengu is.

    Based on my experience accents get formed based on multiple diff factors (culture, mood, geographical traits of the land, climate etc) none of which are inherently biological (which is why if you live somewhere where theres an accent for long enough you ar likely to pick uo that accent). Accent dont serve as a tool to stereotype a race of a group, on the contrary its a celebration of their uniqueness and diversity from other races/ ethinicities on the planet.

  • zealex.9410zealex.9410 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @BlueJin.4127 said:
    I always found 2ndary language accents weird to have on characters that are supposed to be speaking their native language. For example, in GW1, aren’t Shiro, the fortune teller, and other Canthans speaking their native Canthan language with each other? The accents they use for Canthans imitate Asians learning to speak English as a 2ndary language... except they’re speaking their native Canthan language with each other and should not have 2ndary language accents.

    In these niche cases ye altho i prefer it to anet going the netflix route ("talking in x launguage") however, when they speak with ppl from other places and not in their native tongue accents make sense. Also diff languages work your vocals and mouth differently ive come to notice thats why accents even exist in the first place on top of other enviromental/geographical and cultural reasons.

  • zealex.9410zealex.9410 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Astyrah.4015 said:
    yeah i don't see anything racist or racial with in-game characters speaking a certain accent at all. if anything it adds to the variety of voices i hear (even if the accent is badly done/forced out by the voice actor) and adds a bit more colour to each race/character/region/etc. in-game.

    Thats basicly my issue with this whope its, it does more harm than good because everyone just sounds the same, no variety or uniqueness.

  • Biermeister.4678Biermeister.4678 Member ✭✭✭

    Why no Southern accents for the people of South Kryta in the LA area? and Northern accents for North Kryta

  • Dawdler.8521Dawdler.8521 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Even the modest amount of buzz words in this thread make my head hurt because people are way overthinking the simple fact of voiceovers being voiceovers.

    gaggle - /ˈɡaɡ(ə)l/ - noun
    A disorderly group of Asura.
    "The gaggle of Asura tried to agree on whether a phase-shifted thermonuclear energy matrix was sufficiently powerful for a device capable of heating bread"

  • ugrakarma.9416ugrakarma.9416 Member ✭✭✭✭

    inst easy emulate a accent, unless a company try employ ppl with foreign background as voice actor,,, the "loss of accent" is just due to switch of voice actors.

    -- Atlantean Sword --
    The secret of steel has always carried with it a mystery. You must learn its riddle, Conan. You must learn its discipline. For no one - no one in this world can you trust. Not men, not women, not beasts..." [Points to sword] "This you can trust."

  • Fueki.4753Fueki.4753 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Arenanet being unable to hire actors capable of emulating the accents might also be a factor.

  • zealex.9410zealex.9410 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Fueki.4753 said:
    Arenanet being unable to hire actors capable of emulating the accents might also be a factor.

    They have a number of hig profile actors which i would highly doubt cant do accent work. But yeah its a posibility.

  • Weindrasi.3805Weindrasi.3805 Member ✭✭✭
    edited March 14, 2021

    @zealex.9410 said:

    @firedragon.8953 said:

    @Randulf.7614 said:
    It's possible the team have decided to be less pigeon holed by accents for a couple of reasons

    • it doesn't risk stereotyping a race by association

    As a linguist, this saddens me like you probably can't believe.
    Accents are wonderful beautiful things, and to "scrub" or "purge" them in an attempt to be PC is actually more "racist" (more likely just more ignorant) even if people have good intentions. Trying to tiptoe around some ambiguous label of "appropriation", especially in the context of a high-fantasy game, seems rather futile.

    Stereotypical would be if all tengu had the exact same tone and personallity and attitude like we saw with them for years. The new tengu npc breaks the stereotype and adds alot of needed diversity to what a tengu is.

    Based on my experience accents get formed based on multiple diff factors (culture, mood, geographical traits of the land, climate etc) none of which are inherently biological (which is why if you live somewhere where theres an accent for long enough you ar likely to pick uo that accent). Accent dont serve as a tool to stereotype a race of a group, on the contrary its a celebration of their uniqueness and diversity from other races/ ethinicities on the planet.

    Except there is ample reason for biological accents in GW2... namely because the Tengu are literally bird people speaking out of beak-mouths.
    I agree that the Tengu should have different tone and personality, and because of that I liked the young high pitched voice of the new Tengu character. However, I did not like the lack of accent--which she should have both because she's talking out of a beak AND because her first language isn't Common.