I am still stressing over the need to make the dialect of servants and foreign characters different from that of the rest of my novel.  I think that I have finally decided how I feel about this issue, but want to get your opinion.

In this instance, the character is a french woman who is the most popular modiste in London.  Which of the following examples would you prefer to read:


“I have heard of Monsieur Gardiner, but have not had the pleasure of meeting him.  Perhaps, Madame Gardiner, you might arrange for an introduction.  If he can obtain such beautiful fabrics, I must have access to him.”  To her listeners, Madame LaRue’s accented-English flowed as smooth as fingers gliding across the silks on her shelf.


“I ‘ave ‘eard of Monsieur Gardiner, but ‘ave not ‘ad the pleasure of meeting ‘im. Perhaps, Madame Gardiner, you might arrange for ze introduction. If ‘e can obtain such beautiful fabricz, I must ‘ave accezz to ‘im.”

I look forward to your responses!

Happy Reading!


20 thoughts on “WHICH DO YOU PREFER?

    1. I admit to being surprised, as well. I am wondering though if the variations are worth the trouble. It is more difficult to remain consistent when you have to think in very different voices and more time-consuming to do so.


  1. Ummm. I read the first one with a French accent; so it sounded French in my mind. It is probably easier for your readers, too.

    Julieanne Spoor ________________________________


  2. Either is fine with me. If you decide to use a “dialect” though, it is best not to overdo it or make it contrived.


    1. Thank you for your opinion. I am surprised to find that readers are split so some will be happy with what I finally decide and others may be disappointed.


  3. While the dialect is more authentic, which I like, the more accurate English is easier to read as one goes along with the story. Now isn’t that a helpful response. I suppose I’d simply wish for consistency, difficult if there were many characters who spoke varying levels of English, from the highly educated to those with virtually no special instruction or example to follow of proper King’s English.


    1. I think it would be much easier to have them all speak the same and perhaps just make a reference to how they sound. It is easier to be consistent that way. My concession to servant speech would be contractions and the occasional dropped “h.” Thanks for voicing your opinion.


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