ELA 5: Dialect

Today we're gonna teach ya'll about dialects and their uses in creative writing. Ya hear? Well, you will once you watch the video.

5th GradeLanguage Arts
Elementary and Middle School5th Grade
LanguageEnglish Language

Transcript

00:27

A dialect is a particular way of speaking [Coop discussing what are dialects]

00:29

a language in a certain part of the world.

00:32

Even though a language like English is spoken all over the Earth, it changes from

00:35

region to region.. which is why a vermont-native

00:37

visiting mississippi might wonder if she's travelled to some sort of alternate dimension where English is an entirely different language.

00:44

In the American South it's pretty common to hear "y'all," which means “you all.”

00:49

We don’t know why, but people in the South love them some “y’all.” [Southern American man on a farm]

00:52

So because a whole bunch of people in a particular region say it, "y'all" is a part of the Southern

00:57

dialect. Dialects aren't just great for the diversity of [Girl walks to a writer's block sign]

01:00

the English language; it can also be used when you're writing fiction.

01:03

One common problem with dialogue is that sometimes all of the characters end up sounding the same.

01:08

Which just isn’t realistic. Seriously, next time you’re in the cafeteria, take a second

01:14

just to listen. No two people talk the same way..

01:16

If there aren't clear differences in the voices of the various characters, your dialogue can [Girls sitting on a bench and two men appear]

01:21

end up sounding like one single, boring voice.

01:23

Which, for those of you who haven’t picked up on it yet, is a bad thing.

01:27

Always at least consider sprinkling a dialect or two if it makes sense to do so. Maybe one of your

01:31

characters is from France, and speaks English with a French dialect. [French woman eating a croissant]

01:35

Or maybe one of them is from Southern California and speaks like a surfer.

01:38

These two characters definitely won't sound alike.

01:40

And their conversations together will probably be awkward

01:43

But a word of warning – don’t overdo it with the dialects. [Dialects added to a stew pan]

01:46

The last thing you want is for the doctor in your story to speak like he’s from Tunisia for no good reason.