Vikings!

Mar. 25th, 2013 07:45 pm
bobcatmoran: The twins from Ouran, talking about robots and flowers (robot flowers)
The History Channel was showing the first three episodes of Vikings yesterday afternoon, and I decided to check it out since I've been seeing a lot about it lately on the interwebs and (more importantly, as I have a horrible weakness for linguistics) there's some scenes with characters speaking Old English.

I'll be the first to admit that it's not exactly great television. It's probably about as historically accurate as one can expect seeing as how it's on the channel that is single-handedly responsible for my grandpa's belief that aliens constructed the pyramids. Still, if they continue to show reruns on Sunday afternoon, i.e. when it's not past my stupidly early bedtime, I'm probably gonna watch. I've got a lot of feels about Athelstan, culture shock, proto-colonial conquest, Floki/Boat, and differing belief systems. Also, the look on Bjorn's face during the Thing. "What? I have to sentence people to death and throw cabbages? Why was I not warned of this?!" Kind of worrying that he actually seemed more distressed at the cabbage-throwing than the voting to kill a guy, but it's also made pretty evident that life is cheap in this world.

And going back to the linguistics thing, I really like how they handle the Old Norse/Old English. I can't speak to how accurate any of it is, but I like how, when introducing the Old Norse-speaking characters, their first few lines are in Old Norse, just to show the audience that, "This is how these characters are actually talking," and then it switches over to Modern English because although I personally would totally go for a show that's crazy enough to be entirely in Old Norse, I don't think that's a thing that would have much of a market. Then, when the action switches to the monastery, we get a few lines from the monks in Old English, before they, too, switch over to Modern English. And then when you get characters who are speaking both languages onscreen together, it switches back to Old Norse/Old English, to emphasize that these guys are mutually unintelligible.

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