Loved the movie Prey and I have a question about it.
French is not my first language and I'm not fluent in it, but the French that the poachers spoke seemed a little off to me.
Was it my imagination? If not, was there a reason to be off?
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Trachtenberg: And something that I’m really excited about, I will say, is that there are no subtitles at all in the movie. We are very linked to [the main character] Naru and her experience of the story. And so even when those French bird trappers show up, it’s as foreign to us as it is to her, unless you speak French. But even still if you speak French, because they’re speaking such a very specific version of French, it’s not going to be cogent to most folks. So I think language still plays a very specific role even in the original release of the movie.
So it was an artistic choice to have a specific version of French.
French speaker here. They speak the old French which is why it’s not like modern French. They speak French like people from Quebec because France settlers did not change their accents like the French did in the 1800s. Back then, everyone spoke like they do in the movie. They did a good job not using the modern french accent because it would have been inaccurate.
I'm a French Canadian and my first language is French.
This is not an artistic choice that has been made in the movie. There are three sources of French being used here: Quebec French Canadian, French from France, and French being spoken as a second language by an English Canadian actor.
As I understand it, production didn't care a lot about the French dialog, and let every actor speak their own French depending on their nationality.
The trapper chief, Big Beard, portrayed by Mike Patterson (His first language is English) who is also a standup comedian. You can hear his French accent here. Wax moustache, portrayed by Nelson Leis who is an English Canadian, born in Ontario to an Estonian father and French mother who taught him French as it is spoken in France. Trapper #17 is portrayed by Eric Beaudoin born in Québec (Canada), speaking Canadian French with a Québec accent.
I’m french canadian and it’s the typical weird french in english movies type of situation. I heard french spoken with a french accent, french spoken with a french canadian accent and french spoken with an english accent, which was not always super clear. All the french dialogue wasn’t mixed very well anyway, my guess is that the sound was made by an english speaker, and for the english audience in mind which doesn’t understand the dialogue anyway.