Why French?

Discussion in 'The Next Generation' started by mythme, Jul 16, 2013.

  1. mythme

    mythme Commodore Commodore

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    I'm sure this is addressed somewhere. Why was Picard conceived as being French. Why, once a English actor was cast, did he remain French? Why not recon the part to be British or even have Stewart use a fake French accent? Why the hardline push for Picard being French?
     
  2. Sir Rhosis

    Sir Rhosis Commodore Commodore

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    No proof, but I believe I've heard it was in honor of Jacques Cousteau.

    Sir Rhosis
     
  3. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    I think him trying to do a French accent would have been painful and terrible for everyone involved. ;) To make the character BRITISH you'd have to at the very least give the character a new name and potentially change some other character details that may have been in the series bible. But, really, I'm not clear why. Those could all be hurdles, sure, but not impossible ones to get through. But it could just boil down to they liked the name Jean-Luc Picard for the name of the character and probably just assumed that sometime between "now" and "then" French people merge culturally (at least linguistically. I believe Data even says French is a "dead language") with Brittan. Once a unified Earth happened it's likely a LOT of cultural borders broke down especially if travel between countries and such became easier and faster (there may be something in a non-canon background about Picard having doing extensive schooling in England.)
     
  4. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    World War 3 consisted of Britain conquering France. ;)
     
  5. sonak

    sonak Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I've wondered this myself. Why not just make the character British? What's the big deal?:confused:
     
  6. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

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    Why not French? And why would he speak with an accent? It is possible to learn a language so well as to speak it without an accent. And if Picard speaks English as a second language, Britain's proximity would undoubtedly lead to him developing a British accent rather than a neutral one.
     
  7. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

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    A Frenchman with a British accent who's into Shakespeare and Earl Grey tea. ;)
     
  8. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    And is also a wine aficionado and grew up on the family vineyard.
     
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Yes, and also he was named for the pioneering aviator-scientists the Piccard brothers. And I think Roddenberry wanted more of an international feel.

    As for the accent, it's no more problematical than having African native Uhura speak with a Chicago accent. Or having Vulcan native Spock speak with a Boston accent. Or having an Indian Sikh named Khan speak with a Mexican accent.
     
  10. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Real Me Premium Member

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    As I've said before, they, just took back the land they lost in the 13th Century.
     
  11. TheSubCommander

    TheSubCommander Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I always had a theory that the name Picard was chosen by Roddenberry because it sounds similar to Pike. Being French was secondary.
     
  12. scotpens

    scotpens Vice Admiral Admiral

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    "I fart in your general direction. Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!"

    According to Wiki:
    BTW, the Piccard brothers were actually Swiss.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2013
  13. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

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    That was a rich Corinthian accent.
     
  14. Bad Thoughts

    Bad Thoughts Commodore Commodore

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    Why wouldn't Picard speak Received Pronunciation English (or the 24th century thereof)? The character should probably have had more Gallic attributes, but he might well gravitate toward a British way of speaking English. Indeed, Received Pronunciation is a legitimate magnet in today's world for those aspiring to speak English, and people in many parts of the world perceive the way Englishmen pronounce words to be more prestigious. And if I am not mistaken, it is the way that most Europeans are taught English.
     
  15. Third Nacelle

    Third Nacelle Captain Captain

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    Picard's brother, nephew, sister-in-law, and that Louis guy were all French but spoke English - to each other! - in France! - with English accents.

    That either means English has become Earth's primary language by the 24th century and the English accent spread out to the continent, or perhaps Picard was speaking French the whole time and the univeral translator gives him the accent.
     
  16. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Real Me Premium Member

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    Why would the UT give Picard an English accent?
     
  17. Third Nacelle

    Third Nacelle Captain Captain

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    Why would the UT give some random Cardassian or Romulan an English accent?
     
  18. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Real Me Premium Member

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    Hoshi Sato had an odd sense of humor.
     
  19. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    No one ever realized that Hoshi programmed LinguaCodeĀ® synthesizers to give Vulcans Andorian accents.
     
  20. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    The French are very proud of their culture and language, sure a lot can happen over the course of a few hundred years. Even today travel bewteen the UK and France is very easy. But take for example the recent EU-US trade talks, their was an exception made for Culture mainly to placate the French regarding Films and TV as some in France feel their culture is being overtaken by American and to a lesser extent British media.