At least half of the translators, interpreters and project managers here at STUDIOTRE are big Game of Thrones fans.
The show has proved to be a huge hit not just in our offices but also in the homes of countless viewers across the globe. As members of staff at a translation and interpreting agency, you won’t be surprised to hear that as well as the battles, plotting and torrid affairs, we’re also fascinated by the linguistic side of the programme.
If you aren’t from the UK but you’ve watched Game of Thrones in English, you may have noticed that the characters have a rather “unusual” way of speaking that can be hard to understand at times.
If you listen carefully, you can hear seven different accents.
Let’s take a look at them all.
People with this accent: Ned Stark, Robert Baratheon, Robb Stark, Jon Snow, Theon Greyjoy, Bronn, Lyanna Mormont, all of the Northern lords, Mance Rayder and the wildlings.
Description: the quintessential Yorkshire accent is easy on the ears, with a gritty, quietly determined sound.
People with this accent: Ser Davos Seaworth
Description: this is how the people of Newcastle speak and it has a rather guttural sound.
People with this accent: Catelyn, Sansa, Arya and Bran Stark; Cersei, Joffrey and Tywin Lannister; Daenerys and Viserys Targaryen; Brienne of Tarth, Gendry, Varys and Missandei.
Description: also known as “BBC English” because of the crystal clear tone, it is rather refined and often associated with the English aristocracy.
People with this accent: Stannis Baratheon and some of the minor characters, such as the guards.
Description: better known as “cockney”, it stems from the working class dialect in London and it can now be heard throughout the city and the surrounding area.
People with this accent: Jaime, Melisandre, Jaqen H’ghar, Shae
Description: due to the origins of the actors, hints of German and Northern European accents can be heard when these characters speak.
People with this accent: everyone from Dorne and Essos, Syrio Forel, Salladhor Saan
Description: the accents of these characters call to mind the way Spanish, Italian, Greek and North African people often speak in English.
People with this accent: Tyrion Lannister, Lord Petyr Baelish
Description: everything from posh and French to Welsh and Irish can be heard in the wandering accents of these characters.
The difference between accents is not just an important consideration in the world of film and TV. They reflect people’s cultural and linguistic identities, so it’s essential for us to take them into account in our translation and interpreting work.
Would you like to know how we handle different accents in our projects? Get in touch!