I have a female MC in a fantasy world who comes from a town in the mountains. She was raised to be a mountain girl and she never had a proper education (although she knows herbs, wild birds, and can fell a tree like nobody's business). She's suddenly thrown into this crazy adventure and she must work with an important dude from the palace.
Now that she's working with this educated, eloquent guy, it felt important to highlight her non-education. I've been revealing it by using some vocabulary. He frequently says a high end vocab word that she's never heard and she pretends like she knows what it means. But really, she has no idea. It gets her into trouble more than once.
I was toying with taking this a step further and had the idea of making her speak with informal contractions (ex: 'do you' becomes d'ya, or 'what did he' becomes whatd'dee). That's how she learned the language anyway. By listening, not by writing out the words. I'm on the fence about keeping this one, because it's making her sound way younger than she is. Any thoughts?
Anyways, as I'm working though this issue another interesting thought hit me.
These characters aren't actually speaking English. They're speaking a language that's made up to fit this fantasy world. Since I'm the author writing for an English speaking audience, I'm technically translating this foreign fantasy language into English. It's strange, because later in the book the male MC teaches her to write, and he specifically mentions the 38 runes that make up their sounds. So if they have different sounds than English, would it make sense to start adding informal contractions? It seems odd to me.
Haha, am I thinking about this way too much? I feel like I am.