The TNG character Deanna Troi always speaks with a slight foreign accent, which I've been unable to place. In-universe it's presumably a Betazoid accent, but what is it based on out-of-universe?

It can't be the actress's own accent, since Marina Sirtis is English-American. Is there any information on what she based the accent on for her character, or what kind of real-world accent (if any) she's trying to emulate?

What sort of out-of-universe accent is Troi/Sirtis using?

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    Her mother Lwaxana doesn't have the same accent, and has commented on her late husband's accent. Deanna got the accent from her human father, not from her Betazoid mother. (I suspect that was retconned after Majel Barrett-Roddenberry appears as Lwaxana.) Commented Aug 16, 2016 at 15:04
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    If you had read my blog posts, you'd have the answer, from Marina Sirtis herself! See below. :-)
    – Praxis
    Commented Aug 16, 2016 at 15:20
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    @Praxis I did read your blog posts, and seeing that was what inspired me to ask this question! :-) Though it was something I'd been wondering ever since I started watching TNG, so I would've asked it sooner or later anyway.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Aug 16, 2016 at 18:41
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    I recall seeing Marina at a convention once and she talked about the accent. She had "arranged" with the producers that she would be producing a Betazoid accent since that was her characters home planet so it made sense she'd have a different accent to everyone else. Then her mother appears on the show sounding completely different. So Marina went back to the producers who said well, ok, Deanna actually has her fathers accent. Then in a later episode she meets her father (or rather a replication of him) and he speaks nothing like her either. Commented Aug 16, 2016 at 23:20
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    Ummm.... "What was Deanna Troi's accent?" - I'm guessing "very, very strange when the series started" isn't a valid answer? :p Commented Aug 17, 2016 at 11:23

4 Answers 4


Israeli, as revealed ten days ago at Star Trek 50

Marina Sirtis herself said exactly the following on Day 4 of the Star Trek 50th Anniversary Celebration in Las Vegas:

SIRTIS: I based Troi’s accent on an Israeli friend of mine.

See here where I live-blogged a panel session with Marina Sirtis, Michael Dorn, and Jonathan Frakes.

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    Yep, I was there, heard her say so. +1 for you.
    – MPW
    Commented Aug 16, 2016 at 16:35
  • I always assumed that it was her English accent slipping out. Commented Aug 17, 2016 at 21:28

The answer is in the Wiki page you cited:

She was also asked to create an accent (described as a mixture of Eastern European and Israeli) for her character, although her natural accent is English. Over time, the accent was adjusted and became more Americanized.

  • Damn, I searched through the Wiki page for Troi, but didn't think to check the one for Sirtis!
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Aug 16, 2016 at 13:37
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    You should have searched for "accent". :)
    – Dima
    Commented Aug 16, 2016 at 13:38
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    I just always attributed it to her Greek heritage.
    – PiousVenom
    Commented Aug 16, 2016 at 14:18

As I recall from seeing her speak right as the final episodes of season 7 were airing, she needed an accent but it couldn’t be her british accent because they wqnted it to not match Picard! This was noticed as being inconsistent when we met her family: she didn’t speak like her mother so it must be her father’s accent. Well, they messed up when we heard her father. So, she guesses, she must have gone away to school!

Actually, I didn’t see it as a problem. Kids pick up the accent from where they are living and their parents don’t. So the accent is from where they lived when she was acquiring language, different from where her parents grew up.

But growing up in different places and having parents with different accents allows her to have a mixted or even inconsistent accent, as she had multiple influences. And over 7 years she talked more like the others on the ship.

Anyway, out-of-universe, 25 years ago I don’t recall her telling me any specific accent it was based on. Just that she tried different things that she could speak consistently and the producers OK’ed one of them.


Greek. She was a greek jew, with nearly no contact to .il, she didn't spoke hebrew, but she spoke greek. It is not realistic to learn the vocalisation of her friend so fast.

Btw, as I know these languages, they differ quite strongly from eachother in the pronounciation. I think, anybody native greek or hebrew speaker could decide easily, hearing her on the youtube, how her accent sounds.

I see a strong chance, that this .il has more to .gr to do. (Which is absolutely not a problem! :-) I love the beautiful greek betazoids. :-) )

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    She explicitly said on stage about ten days ago at the Star Trek 50 celebration that she based Troi's accent on the accent of a Israeli friend of hers. It's true she can speak Greek, but she stated that she used her Israeli friend's accent as a template.
    – Praxis
    Commented Aug 17, 2016 at 23:51

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