May 16th, 2005

The Phantom and Christine

Question about language and vocal training

I wasn't sure if this would be more appropriate for this community or multilingual, so I apologize if I've posted this in the wrong place.

1. I have a character in her mid-fifties; she was born and raised in Germany until she, her husband, and her first child moved to Canada in the late eighties. Obviously she would still have a German accent and speak the language fluently, however she had a daughter after coming to Canada. Now this girl, who I'll call C, was raised in both English and German, but she's only had the ability to really use German in limited cases -- she usually speaks English. In the story she's now eighteen, so when she speaks German, would it have an accent? If her mother was to compare C's German with her own, would there be a noticeable difference in pronounciation and such?

1b. Since C's first language is English, would it be plausible to have some difficulty understanding her mother when her mother speaks German? I know this happened with a Korean girl I know, but I didn't know if she was the exception to any rule.

2. This might sound rather stupid but...C takes vocal lessons as well. Would it be plausible to have her instructor work at a school for music (ex: instrument lessons, vocal lessons, and such), that she would go to something like once or twice a week? Or would she go to her instructor's place, or would he come to her...? I've never taken vocal lessons, nor do I know of anyone who has, and so I was wondering if any of you could help. Thanks in advance.
  • Current Music
    "Music Lessons/Phantom Fugue" - Phantom (Kopit/Yeston)
Monty Python

Car vs. Iron Gate Collision Question

The situation is this: a car, driving along at probably about thirty-five miles an hour, makes a sudden swerve to avoid a child, and crashes straight into a wrought iron gate. I'm thinking something similar to this, but a single gate rather than two. Possibly in a fairly rusty condition.

I'm trying to figure out what kind of damage it would do to the gate (and to a lesser extent the car, but that's not so important to the scene). Specifically, I'd really like to know whether the metal bars would be likely to bend under the impact, or if they could actually break. If the gate's fairly well secured - probably with a bolt going into the ground, like the picture - would it be likely to be ripped off its hinges? Also, any info on what sort of (preferably minor) injuries the driver might sustain from that kind of collision would be helpful.

I can't quite figure out how to wring the information out of Google, since what happens to the actual gates isn't usually priority reporting in a car crash. So if anybody's seen a similar collision - or just knows enough about the strength of rusty wrought iron to theorise - any kind of info on how it might play out would be very helpful. Thanks.