Deadwood Forums

HBO (ended 2006)

Language in this series

  • Avatar of meee223

    meee223

    [1]Aug 22, 2011
    • member since: 10/06/06
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    I recently started watching this series, first on DVD and now on The Movie Network in Canada. I'm surprised the DVD doesn't have sub-titles because I'd use them if they did. I'm having a hard time making out some of the dialogue. I think the actors need some lessons in pronunciation because I go back a lot to watch scenes over and over and I STILL cannot make out what some of the characters are saying. Al's character is one of the worst. I don't think I can make out half of what he says! It's not my tv because I first watched this on an old set and now on my brand new HD flatscreen tv. Did anyone else have this problem? Secondly, why don't the characters talk in plain simple English, what you'd expect in the Old West, instead of trying to sound like scholars?

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  • Avatar of maineloghauler

    maineloghauler

    [2]Oct 14, 2011
    • member since: 10/13/11
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    The show was dead on with their language and speech. Thats how they actually talked back than. Go visit a historical society and see for yourself. I understood every genius word that came out of ian mcshane's mouth. You get used to the kind of "fancied up dirty talk" lol keep watchn u wont regret u saw it.

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  • Avatar of dragon9

    dragon9

    [3]Oct 26, 2011
    • member since: 10/27/11
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    I HAVE to watch with subtitles,its just to quick. I always ask myself "Who the hell could talk this way all the time"?

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  • Avatar of meee223

    meee223

    [4]Dec 2, 2011
    • member since: 10/06/06
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    Every episode is so exhausting to watch. I usually takes me over 2 hrs. because I keep having to re-watch scenes to try and understand what is being said. Currently on season 2 and while the words are clearer, the meaning of the sentences are still mostly beyond my understanding. In one scene between Joanie and her partner Maddie, they are sitting in a cafe and Maddie is telling Joanie about the man known as Mr. W, who just came to town. English is my one and only language, I heard every word in this scene very clearly, yet I had no understanding of the conversation that took place, even replaying the scene a few times. How on earth do the Deadwood lovers understand this dialogue, authentic or not? Are there others who have trouble, or is it just me?
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  • Avatar of gambs44

    gambs44

    [5]Dec 22, 2011
    • member since: 12/21/11
    • level: 1
    • rank: Weatherman
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    I have found some of the dialogue in the series to be difficult to "cipher" as they say. But on the whole, it's a rather close recreation of the language and syntax of the day. The ubiquitous use of some of the curse words, as explained by the shows creator, isn't historically accurate because the meaning behind them would be entirely lost on modern audiences. So, he chose to use a sprinkling of modern day curses to get the point the dialogue intends to across to an audience from our time period. It's one of the reasons why the show is so great. The expository soliloquies of Al Swearengen are pure mastery of screen writing in my opinion because they make you piece together clues about his character's past and his mind's inner workings. In college while taking a speech class we explored the show's use of the grammar and syntax of that time period and on the whole, it all is consistent with historical records. They never spoke plainly about what their topics, always began conversing with generalities and inquisitions as to the participants' health, family, etc. Anyone who is familiar with cultures of the East and Middle East this will be familiar to as they still consider this pro forma for conversing any type of subject. Notwithstanding, the history and lineage of such matters is the extent to which I had priorly pontificated.....Sound like EB Farnum there? it's what I was going for.... Long live Deadwood. I'd pay alot of money to at least read the script or plotlines to the missing last 2 seasons.

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