Why French?

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

  1. JoeZhang

    JoeZhang Vice Admiral Admiral

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  2. Mario de Monti

    Mario de Monti Captain Captain

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    To me the real question is, why no one in TNG - not even Picard himself - is able to pronounce his name properly :devil:
     
  3. iguana_tonante

    iguana_tonante Admiral Admiral

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    Why not? Do all French people behave the same? Holy national stereotype, Batman.

    That would have been terrible.

    You are not mistaken.
     
  4. Happy Xmas (War Is Over)

    Happy Xmas (War Is Over) Fleet Admiral Premium Member

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    What would have been weird is Stewart performing Picard with a Yorkshire accent.
     
  5. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    ^^Well as least on the European mainland.
     
  6. Bad Thoughts

    Bad Thoughts Commodore Commodore

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    Being a Shakesperean enthusiast, I would have loved in he spoke in Original Pronunciation.

    Though I speak French very well, I was shocked when I heard proper pronunciation of his name, not just in French, but in German! Of course, I think I also associated him with the Picardy region (the d would be pronounced), even though he was from Eastern France.
     
  7. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

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    For us non-Europeans, what would the correct pronunciation be?
     
  8. iguana_tonante

    iguana_tonante Admiral Admiral

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    Italian voice actors also made a very good job at pronouncing it correctly, I think.

    Eta: The final -d is silent.
     
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I always found it amusing that Riker said the name "Jean-Luc Picard" with more of a French accent than Picard himself used.
     
  10. Mario de Monti

    Mario de Monti Captain Captain

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    Well there are two things: In French a "d" at the end is usually silent. So it would be pronounced "Picar" rather than "Picard". The other is the "u" in Luc, which is difficult to convey, since this sound doesn´t exist in the English language. In German it is the letter "ü" or u-umlaut. I´m aware that doesn´t help much.
     
  11. Robert Comsol

    Robert Comsol Commodore Commodore

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    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. :rolleyes:

    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 :rofl:

    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.
     
  12. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

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    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?
     
  13. Bad Thoughts

    Bad Thoughts Commodore Commodore

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    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.
     
  14. Mark_Nguyen

    Mark_Nguyen Commodore Commodore

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    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
     
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    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.
     
  16. Bad Thoughts

    Bad Thoughts Commodore Commodore

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    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.
     
  17. Mark_Nguyen

    Mark_Nguyen Commodore Commodore

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

    Mark
     
  18. iguana_tonante

    iguana_tonante Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  19. Bad Thoughts

    Bad Thoughts Commodore Commodore

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    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.
     
  20. TheRoyalFamily

    TheRoyalFamily Commodore Commodore

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    Well, French is a dead language, so why would Picard speak with a French accent?