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Was there a deliberate "foreignness" to the Rozhenkos' speech in ST:TNG?

In-universe, it would make sense: they were NOT native speakers (Belorussians or Russians by ancestry, and lived in Russia/USSR territory once they returned to Earth).

Out of universe, Sergey Rozhenko was played by Theodore Bikel, who Memory Alpha notes as "a master of languages, dialects, and accents, he often plays ethnic roles".

However, I'm looking for specific in-universe confirmation of actual speech of Sergey and Helena being "foreign" - a noticeable accent; or ESL patterns of speech.

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  • An preferred answer I'd be interested in would be either backed up by audio/video clip; or a quote on the topic from an actor or one of the people involved with the show. Commented Apr 14, 2014 at 10:52
  • Sergey and Helena are specifically mentioned as having brought Work up on the planet Gault, but there's no further hard in-universe evidence of the Rozhenkos having any particular accent outside the characterizations by the actors. The accents used in "Family" by Theodore Bikel and Georgia Brown are Russian and are definitely affected (Bikel is Austrian whilst Brown was English). Likewise the name Rozhenko is predominantly found in Russia (name-list.net/russia/firstname/Rozhenko).
    – Selezen
    Commented Apr 14, 2014 at 16:43
  • @Selezen - if you have a clip showing the accents, that's what I'm looking for (I speak Russian so I can easily tell a russian accent, even Sean Connery fake one :) Commented Apr 14, 2014 at 17:46
  • @DVK - here's a clip: youtube.com/watch?v=2ueUVFOmZHg
    – Hypnosifl
    Commented Apr 14, 2014 at 19:29
  • With the universal translator, <insert-language>SL speakers probably sound like natives, smoothing over swapped or missing words and correcting grammar.
    – Xantec
    Commented Apr 14, 2014 at 19:48

2 Answers 2

1

Yes, the two characters were portrayed with accents onscreen. Here's a clip link.

2

The original screenplay clearly identifies them thusly;

SERGEY & HELENA ROZHENKO MATERIALIZE on the platform. They are of Russian descent, and carry themselves with pride and dignity. Sergey is compact, barrel-chested... a retired Starfleet Chief growing old gracefully. His wife is short of stature and yet there is an underlying strength to her which belies her slight appearance.


I've identified two videos that show the character actors using their own naturally accented (e.g. not Russian) voices, to demonstrate that they were using a fake accent on the show.

Georgia Brown:

Theo Bikel

As you can see, Bikel does have a strong (and highly noticeable) Eastern European accent that carries over into his depiction of Sergey Rozhenko whereas Georgia Brown is an English character actor who is clearly putting on a cod Russian accent.

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  • "cod russian accent"? Commented Apr 14, 2014 at 19:53
  • @DVK - As in unconvincing. Her accent is all over the place veering wildly between what I can only describe as "stage-Russian" and something like Slovenian?
    – Valorum
    Commented Apr 14, 2014 at 19:59
  • According to Memory Beta, the colony was settled by the Siberian collective; memory-beta.wikia.com/wiki/Siberian_Collective
    – Valorum
    Commented Apr 15, 2014 at 19:11
  • his accent as both Rozhenko and as Rabbi Koslov (in Bab5, Ep. TKO), is pretty much what I hear from several Ukrainian expatriots weekly at church.
    – aramis
    Commented Apr 15, 2014 at 21:29

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