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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek TV Series > The Next Generation

The Next Generation All Good Things come to an end...but not here.

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Old July 16 2013, 05:10 PM   #31
Robert Comsol
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Re: Why French?

Okay, in the Midwest I once had dinner at an Italian restaurant with Greek wall paintings. Or another Italian restaurant with plenty of French wine poster paintings.

To cast a British actor to play a starship captain of French origin was a bad thing from the start that just proved Murphy's Law, for the various reeasons mentioned here.

And I wouldn't be too surprised if the actual inspiration for the name came from the famous French frozen food company. (You know, it's very "picard" in space ).

Not entirely unexpected TNG was not a big success in France. The captain supposedly to represent their culture apparently had never heard of Moliére, Jean-Jacques Rosseau or Voltaire.

But here is the best screw-up.

This painting from the 7th movie shows one of Picard's (supposedly French) ancestors from...The Battle of Trafalgar

This battle was a humiliating defeat for the French and their allied Spanish Navy. Nothing to write home about and definitely nothing you would want to be remembered by - as a French officer.

As a matter of fact, the French Maritime History Museum in Paris (vis-a-vis the Eiffel Tower) has little to say or showcase on the Battle of Trafalgar. Except for the heroic (or suicidal) actions of the French Captain Lucas.

Bob

P.S. French Fries were not invented in France. The were invented in Belgium. But since a lot of people from Belgium, like Agatha Christie's Hercules Poirot, speak French, they are often mistaken for French citizens.
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Old July 16 2013, 05:13 PM   #32
Pavonis
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Re: Why French?

Is it reasonable to assume the Picards have been French since the beginning of time? Might they perhaps have immigrated to La Barre in, say, the 22nd century?
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Old July 16 2013, 05:36 PM   #33
Bad Thoughts
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Re: Why French?

Is it reasonable to assume the Picards have been French since the beginning of time? Might they perhaps have immigrated to La Barre in, say, the 22nd century?
From what I can tell, picards were agricultural laborers (diggers). The word was attached to a group of students from the Flemish (non-French) territories of Burgundy, who were expelled from the Paris' universities for rioting during Mardi Gras. Subsequently, the people from this region were understood in terms of these students, these Picards, thus becoming Picardy.

Does this explain anything? I don't know. However, with all the accounts of Picard family history on the show, it's possible that many Picards were mercenaries or sailors. No navy was picky about who served, and indeed, Frenchmen served in the British navy. Could such mercenaries and sailors have found their way to Franche-Comté to become vintners? After 1870, it's entirely possible.
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Old July 16 2013, 05:38 PM   #34
Mark_Nguyen
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Re: Why French?

Why not? People from Quebec are ethnically French but have very different accents, and those few who actually move to France would be in a similar situation.

Also, while Picard's dad spoke with an English accent, his mom spoke with a pronounced French accent. And what's wrong with having had an ancestor who fought and lost some major battle? We listen to a ton of American vets go on about the Vietnam war, to say nothing of various Southern gentry who insist that the years between 1861-1865 were totally awesome despite the outcome...

And of further note, while almost everyone pronounced "Picard" with the "D", Q and one Ferengi (Bractor from "Peak Performance", played by Armin Shimerman) have pronounced the name with the muted D. Q most likely in jest, and Bractor because Armin did it right but wasn't shooting live with the other actors, and no one caught the blunder.

Mark
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Old July 16 2013, 05:40 PM   #35
Christopher
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Re: Why French?

In the 24th century, they have flying cars and transporters. Distance no longer matters. It would be simple for a resident of Labarre to commute to England for school, or to be enrolled in boarding school there, and thereby pick up the accent. Heck, someone could live in Mumbai or Antarctica and commute to London for school every day.
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Old July 16 2013, 05:46 PM   #36
Bad Thoughts
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Re: Why French?

I should add that I always ask Frenchmen to say my name as if it were French. This usually means that they must convert a -th- to -t-, the former being unpronounceable in French.

ETA: on the other hand, the Quebecois have not problem with my name.
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Old July 16 2013, 05:51 PM   #37
Mark_Nguyen
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Re: Why French?

So, Bed Tots? That's how my Quebecquoise wife would pronounce it.

Mark
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Old July 16 2013, 05:56 PM   #38
iguana_tonante
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Re: Why French?

Robert Comsol wrote: View Post
To cast a British actor to play a starship captain of French origin was a bad thing from the start
Not at all. I find Picard's infatuation with British stuff refreshing and believable, and immensely better than a stereotyped "Frenchman". That would have been downright insulting. But an well-read, cultured French captain with a penchant for tea and Shakespeare? That's nothing weird or unusual about that.
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Old July 16 2013, 05:57 PM   #39
Bad Thoughts
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Re: Why French?

Mark_Nguyen wrote: View Post
So, Bed Tots? That's how my Quebecquoise wife would pronounce it.

Mark
Ha, ha!

However, I know many, who play "la musique trad," not all of them well educated, who lack the distinctive French difficulty with English pronunciation. Nothing scientific, just observation.
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Old July 16 2013, 06:26 PM   #40
TheRoyalFamily
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Re: Why French?

Well, French is a dead language, so why would Picard speak with a French accent?
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Old July 16 2013, 06:44 PM   #41
marksound
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Re: Why French?

Picard has an English accent for the same reason Vizzini the Sicilian has an American accent. It's funnier that way.
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Old July 16 2013, 07:59 PM   #42
Mario de Monti
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Re: Why French?

Carcazoid wrote: View Post
... Vizzini the Sicilian ...
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Old July 16 2013, 08:24 PM   #43
MacLeod
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Re: Why French?

Aside from the odd occasion it's not like they really made an issue of Picard being French.
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Old July 16 2013, 08:58 PM   #44
JirinPanthosa
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Re: Why French?

Why should anybody in the 24th century speak with an accent even remotely resembling modern accents? Why is it when people who speak English intentionally speak in Klingon the universal translator misses it? Why do all the Klingons in Matter of Honor speak perfect English and why should they have to when Riker has a universal translator? How do aliens know so many human expressions but never inject expressions of their own origin into conversation?
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Old July 16 2013, 09:11 PM   #45
Melakon
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Re: Why French?

Patrick could have done a French accent, and they could have written Picard as waxing eloquently on well known French events and historical figures while playing a little accordian. But if they had, I guarantee that right now we'd all be in a thread about Picard being a French stereotype.
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