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Theories may be removed if...
See the Girl Genius Wiki theory policy for more details.
Common Languages and the Jäger Accent Problem Edit
As is well known from the canon, the Jägermonsters speak with an accent. The consensus is that this accent is depicted in the comic in the conventional way used to depict a stereotypical German accent.
This has an interesting implication. Had they been speaking with a Hungarian, Romanian, or Slavic accent, then it would be entirely reasonable that this would also constitute an accent when speaking German, even if it is depicted as English spoken with an accent because the comic itself is written in English.
But how do you speak German with a German accent (and still not be speaking it quite properly)?
Could it be that despite the use of some German words, the people in the Girl Genius comic actually are speaking English?
A possible explanation for this would derive from the fact that the Spark has caused chaos in Europe. One of the effects of that chaos is (apparently) the existence of seven Popes. Another consequence, quite reasonably, could be a delay in the rise of the nation-state. If Europe is an area of fiefdoms, principalities, and free cities, it is not unreasonable that if, on the other hand, England, due to its situation on an island, managed to unify ahead of the other nations we are familiar with, it could have been in a position to conquer Europe at some time in the past. This could have led to the English language establishing itself on the Continent, and it could also explain a later conflict which would have led to much of England becoming submerged.
Lingua europa is no language we know Edit
If one accepts that the world of Girl Genius is somehow our world with an alternate version of history, a quantum dimension if you will, then it's very possible that the languages they speak have nothing in common with the ones we know. Depending on exactly where history diverged, German, Polish, English, Chinese, etc. may never have developed as we know them, or be almost unrecognizable as such. In that case, the comic would merely be approximating accents and words from various languages or translating them for the benefit of the reader.
For a more in-depth discussion of the problem of dialect drift, see:
"If you're wondering how he eats and breathes and other science facts..."
On the other hand... Edit
The divergences cannot have been that drastic - a lot of cultural things are essentially the same or at least close enough for us to recognize. Zeetha calls Gil "Romeo" in the bedroom at Mamma Gkika´s, so apparently "Romeo and Juliet" exists, which ought to mean Shakespeare existed; Agatha refers to "Puss in Boots" when Krosp first talks to her; Rembrandt existed, even though as a spark rather than a painter. Also, very many cities we know exist and are called the same; Vienna, Paris, Stockholm, Bucarest, Essen, Dublin and Milan are all mentioned (off the top of my head) - if we assume that Mechanicsburg is Sibiu in Romania, then we can also assume that calling the other cities by their real-world names is not a translation convention, because it is not done with Mechanicsburg, or Beetleburg for that matter.
On the other other hand, the real-world Mechanicsburgs (plural) are in the USA.
It could be anything between Late Latin and any of the modern languages. My vote is down for Frankish, a West German language spoken during the days of the Merovingians. The politics and war of this Europa are very much like they were during the hayday of the Frankish Empire. Billy Catringer
Alternate Explanation? Edit
Ever talked with false fangs? The "Jager accent" could be a speech impediment caused by the mouth full of sharp teeth Jagers acquire. LadyTragic 06:23, November 2, 2011 (UTC)
I believe the fangs contribute, along with the fact that their necks have been reenforced to the point that hanging on a gibbet for three days is a mere inconvenience, But the base of the accent appears to be the Old Mechanicsburg working class accent, This makes sense as the Jägerkin mostly are old working class Mechanicsburgers. And it's every bit as common for a native speaker of German to have a distinct Bavarian accent as it is for an Englishman to have a Yorkshire accent or a Frenchman a Norman accent. So you can speak German with a German accent! Datkhound 14:34, November 2, 2011 (UTC)
- In that regard (German with a German accent), "Hogan's Heroes" became a hit in Germany in the 1990's, which is a bit odd. The show had to be edited a bit as certain salutes and greetings are illegal in Germany now ("The corn is this high!" - really!). However, Colonel Klink and Sargent Schultz were given Bavian and Schwaben accents which are considered 'hick' accents by other parts of Germany, I understand. AndyAB99 19:15, November 3, 2011 (UTC)
The Heterodynes seem to be decended from one of the Barbarian tribial groups from East of Europa. Could the language be Hunnish or Mongol?--Bosda Di'Chi 12:15, November 4, 2011 (UTC)