A discussion back then~

Part 1 - http://rpgmaker.net/articles/537/
Part 2 - You are here
Part 3 - http://rpgmaker.net/articles/539/
Darken's Awesome NPC Dialogue Article - http://rpgmaker.net/articles/535/

Nessiah's problem back then...

I just have a question, from what I remember dialect is important, but I don't know much foreigners or rather they are pretty scarce, do you have any suggestions on how to execute this? Like how does a Russian talk?

Apparently, someone told me dialect is important in a dialogue, I just don't know how to execute it.


Read it out loud to yourself, I find that helps a bit. Lest you end up with something like this.


I'm basically posting all of these things from my WRITING WORKSHOP (Note: I will totally find this pdf again since it's useful as hell), which covers a lot of basic aspects of story writing in terms of plot, character and dialogue:

Dialect helps a lot but it's not entirely necessary. It helps build the "voice" of many of your characters. But do not overuse it so that it becomes caricature, unless that is your goal. Basically, dialect helps flavour the dialogue.

Imagine if every character or the narrator in a book you are reading is speaking in a Caribbean Jamaican accent. Or a thick Irish accent. Or any accent that only a certain audience will be able to 'get'. You'll probably get turned off because although you the writer may have thought the thick accent had given flavour to the story, the reader cannot understand what they are even saying in the first place. The reader is going to be confused and they are going to skip your dialogue. If it's not reader confusion, it's reader frustration - where the reader becomes frustrated with having to analyze, decipher and translate every single word that is narrated.

But there are sacrifices the writer may have to make to make his story more accessible to readers on a global scale and not just on a local scale. The writer may have to tone down the thick accent. But if they still want some of that 'flavour', they can always aim for the phonetic spelling of words. I don't have a ready-made example on me for a popular accent, so I'll just make up my own, for my own Trinidadian accent:

"Aye, suh. When we go do dah project? Yuh tink we go end up failin dis course? We does lime and fete too much, ent?"

Can you understand what I've said there? I do, and other Trinidadians would also, but I don't think anyone unfamiliar of how a Trini speaks will know what the hell the last sentence is about and will probably have to re-read each sentence twice to find out what is really being said in standard English. We use different words, as 'fete' actually means 'party' for us. We hardly ever say the word 'party' and it would ring as false for a Trini reading it - but would someone unfamiliar really notice? Many Trinis do not pronounce the 'th' sound, as in 'the' or 'thing'. We say 'de' or 'ting' and it would also ring false if a lower class Trini is pronouncing it as 'the' or 'thing'. But, in my opinion, 'ting' and 'de' would look so horrible on paper, especially if one were to write a novel with 'de' replacing 'the' in every single line of dialogue.

The translation in proper English is:

"Hey, sir. When are we going to that project? You think we will end up failing this course? We hang out and party too much, don't we?"

Much better to read, isn't it? But now it's lost that Trinidadian accent flavour. What we CAN do is be a little slack on the accent and try spelling some of the words correctly while retaining some of the 'more flavourish' words. For example:

"Aye, suh. When we goin' do that project? You t'ink we go end up failing this course? We does party too much, you ain't think?"

How does that look? Does it look better? Almost everything is spelt correctly but it is still grammatically incorrect, according to standard English. But it should be more understandable for readers. You have to be really careful when you're incorporating dialect in a serious way. Else it just sounds ridiculous and parodying itself.

Doing it in a comedic can be fun, though, for example, pirate talk:

"Hello, friend! Look over there! It's a beer!"

could become

"Arrr, matey! Avast! I just laid me eyes on some grog!"


1. Write down every piece of information I have to get across in the scene. A cutscene should always advance the plot so that the reader keeps motivated, and always feels like something is happening, and what they're reading is important.
2. Write roughly what I want the characters to say in a word processor. I usually say it out loud and give every character a particular way of speaking or a particular accent. Usually the "naturalness" and the "characterization" comes out there. If (while using that character's voice) it feels natural to say what you're typing out loud, it will usually be natural.
3. Read it through again and fix typos, repetitions etc
4. Go through and check rythm. Too many times people ignore rythm...there are times when a simple "of" can make a piece flow better.
5. Import all the dialogue without blocking.
6. Watch the dialogue and write down how you want to block it.
7. Block it, watch it, fix the blocking etc.
8. At this point, when the characters move appropriately and "come alive" you'll be able to more clearly see the problems in your script. Go through it again and change what pieces of dialogue don't fit, or should be tweaked. There are times when poetics can be very moving, and times when it isn't. You can usually tell at this point if it's awkward or not.
9. Watch the scene in context (with the scenes that precede it) and then tweak the dialogue again.

If a scene is giving you particular trouble, get an extra person who can act (two if you can't act) and have them read the dialogue. Record it, play it back a few times and you should be able to tell where it's natural/unnatural, what bits can be improved, where it doesn't fit.
Remember, however, that people can add expression, pauses etc. You can pick up a lot from the recordings as to where to add pauses and things in your dialogue. But stil, even with this, a little sprite and a small faceset can't get across the range of emotion or expression that a real person/actor can. That being the case you might have to make your dialogue slightly UN-NATURAL in order to flow better in the context of your game.


For Christ's sake, avoid using the triple ellipsis wherever possible. All too often people use it to finish off a sentence, with the intention of sounding ominous or foreboding or... mysterious...

It sucks and it's way overused. I use it a lot in my dialogue to construe when characters are trying to figure out what to say, like when they've forgotten a word or something like that, or for comedic purposes or something. Hardly ever as something EVIL OR MYSTERIOUS because @#!$@#$@! it's overused and terrible and just DON'T DO IT.

my $0.02

Chaos Emerl
Personally I hate it when people add accents to dialogue. Subtle colloquialisms are one thing, but when you're making something so "stylish" that you can't even read it, that just frustrates the reader. If you want a character to have an accent, don't display the accent in text. I mean, if someone with an accent was doing a speech and you were recording what they said, would you write "'at ol' bloke 'as gone an' shot 'immself inna knee, eh?" or "That old bloke has gone and shot himself in the knee, eh?" So why would people want to read any different in a game?

You should never sacrifice readability for style. Even Strangeluv's post is overdoing it, IMO. I hate it most when people shorten words with apostrophes for no reason.

The only exception to this would be if you're deliberately trying to make the character hard to understand. And to pull that off, you'd need the hero to make some wise cracks about how they have no idea what the person is saying, or something similar.


Swearing is something that could make or break a line of dialogue. In atmospheres and moods created, adopted and represented over and over, such as a fantasy world with elves and dwarves, would swearing have no place in at all, except for a parody or spoof. However, in a cyberpunk dystopia, there would be more room for it. It all depends on atmosphere, in my opinion.

If you create your own atmosphere, unfamiliar to the masses, you can pretty much do anything you want, I think, but if you're 'borrowing' one, at least conform to the standards it has set for itself, because any major derail can just look ridiculous or embarrassing in a serious tone.

In literature, I have no problem at all with swearing and slang. I think, if used properly and carefully, it can make the writing very interesting. Swearing is a thing that draws attention to itself and it can distract from the dialogue. That's how we humans read it. We will read the word FUCK more than any other word in the sentence probably. In literature, there's more room for it. In games, not so much, so you have to be very careful if you want to use it and not appear totally stupid.


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Saying "triple ellipsis" is kind of redundant. By definition an ellipsis is generally three periods. The "triple" isn't neccesary.

Just saying :P
Saying "triple ellipsis" is kind of redundant. By definition an ellipsis is generally three periods. The "triple" isn't neccesary.

Just saying :P

It's a discussion in the forum. And...well...you know...it's not like that it matters........
I know, I was only joking. Great articles.
it could totally mean 9 periods ......... like you know an exaggeration.
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