PDA

View Full Version : Identical Twins



TheIT
05-17-2010, 10:46 AM
Looking for information about identical twins. My WIP contains a couple of sets of twins, and I was hoping for some details.

Do identical twins sound alike? My MC's father has an identical twin, and I'm wondering whether my MC would ever confuse his father's voice with his uncle's voice.

Thanks in advance!

Polenth
05-17-2010, 11:17 AM
It's a lot like the way they look. Though most identical twins look the same at first, once you get to know them, you don't make that mistake for more than a moment. You learn to recognise the small differences.

The same goes for voice. The basic tone will be the same in most cases, but everyone has their own way of saying things. There are subtle differences in the way certain words are said and so forth.

Most likely, the son might make the mistake for a moment, but a longer piece of speech would be recognisable as one or the other. Chances are good that the son won't consciously know how he tells them apart (or at least, not entirely).

Twinguistics
05-17-2010, 11:27 AM
It is certainly possible.

I'm an identical twin and have been confused with my brother on the phone many times, even by our mother. I think it is certainly feasible that the MC would confuse his father's voice with his uncle's, espcially if the uncle is trying to deceive him...

TheIT
05-17-2010, 12:22 PM
Thanks, that's what I figured. The basic voice would be similar, but the nuances would be different.

I suppose it'd be the same for body language and movements? My MC is encountering his uncle after the uncle has lived for years in a different city. I figure my MC would be thrown off-balance by a mix of familiar/unfamiliar when talking with this man who shares his father's appearance but who is basically a stranger to him.

Twinguistics
05-17-2010, 12:37 PM
Yes it can be the same for body language and movements too. Me and my brother do move in a very similar way (or so I'm told). I'm pretty sure that from a distance and from the back our gaits would look very similar, for example...

One word of warning though. If the uncle has done anything to alter his body (worked out when the father hasn't etc) this will change him to be less identical.

Remember that twins share the same genes but obviously their bodies can be changed by life experience...

shaldna
05-17-2010, 01:02 PM
Two of my best friends are identical twins, and they are very alike in thier tastes and personalities etc.

They do look the same, but different, if that makes sense. They have thier own quirks and gestures etc, but they do sound alike and they tend to use the same speech patterns and turn of phrase, but i think this is more because of the amount of time they spend with each other than some weird twin thing.

They are very similar, and they get on really well, like scary well for siblings.

sheadakota
05-17-2010, 01:58 PM
My SIL is an identical twin and its kind of spooky how much her twin and her sound alike, but I don't spend everyday around her. I think they could fool me if they wanted to.

stitchingirl
05-17-2010, 06:01 PM
Scott says that my mom and aunt sound identical. I can hear the similarities over the phone more than in person. My aunt's voice is just slightly deeper. My mom's voice sounds more shrill..or maybe I'm flashing back to my childhood whenever she would start yelling.

Most who meet my mom and aunt almost seem surprised that I can tell the difference. I've lived with my mom for twenty years and my aunt moved in twenty three years ago, when I was seventeen.

johnnysannie
05-17-2010, 07:22 PM
I'm the mother of identical twin girls and most of the time I can tell their voices apart too but it's easier in person, harder via phone. Last week, one called me and I thought it was her sister....not just through the phone call but for hours until the one who called told me it was her, not her sister. She wasn't trying to fool me, either, so it's possible.

Shakesbear
05-17-2010, 08:57 PM
I've taught three sets of identical twins. Two sets in one class! I could tell them apart - knew with was Angie and which was Anna, which was Natalie and which was Naomi - but they made it easy as they did not want to be thought of as the same. The boys though! They worked at being hard to tell apart - if one was suspended from school it was really hard to say if he was at home and his brother in school.

Chasing the Horizon
05-17-2010, 10:36 PM
I did a lot of research on this because I have identical twins in my books.

A lot of it depends on whether they want to be confused or told apart. If they WANT to be told apart, they'll find ways to make themselves different, both in appearance and sound, and it will be easy to tell them apart (it sounds like that is the case in your book). I have a pair who are obsessed with not being told apart, and it's basically impossible to tell which is which. But it takes a lot of effort on their part, and they've also been together basically every second of their lives, which results in identical mannerisms and speech patterns. If the twins have been living apart for a while, I'd think they would have changed enough to be easily told apart.

shaldna
05-18-2010, 12:05 PM
I know that with my friends the issue they have is that it's not that people can't tell them apart, but that they can't be bothered.

One of them even cut her hair at one stage, and people still called her by the wrong name,.

Wayne K
05-18-2010, 04:12 PM
This (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQTqKcojrVY) should answer your question

Summonere
05-18-2010, 06:53 PM
I'm not an identical twin, but a fraternal one, and people tell us we sound alike all the time, especially on the phone (in which case we look alike exactly alike, and thereby become all the harder to differentiate).

My niece, now six, often used to mistake me for her father when she was younger, and now only rarely does so, unless she has only a voice to go by.

Recently attended a birthday party for her and a buncha little six year old friends. Piles of little kids kept coming by to show me their party favors, thinking I was that other guy, their little buddy's father.

The identical twins I've known were not absolutely indistinguishable from one another, but some of them made it very difficult to tell, dressing alike and wearing their hair alike. Side by side, readily available for comparison, I could tell who was who, but that wasn't always the case when they were apart.

Tsu Dho Nimh
05-19-2010, 05:07 AM
Thanks, that's what I figured. The basic voice would be similar, but the nuances would be different.

I suppose it'd be the same for body language and movements? My MC is encountering his uncle after the uncle has lived for years in a different city. I figure my MC would be thrown off-balance by a mix of familiar/unfamiliar when talking with this man who shares his father's appearance but who is basically a stranger to him.

My house-mate has adult twin sons ... genetically identical.

Voices are similar in pitch, speech patterns are different, vocabulary differs, quirks differ. On the phone they sound more like their father than each other.
Body language and posture is extremely different. One is "uptight", the other is relaxed (older one). Walk and sit postures differ.
The older one can imitate his brother, even fooling classmates and teachers of the younger one, but the reverse isn't true ... dunno why.
Facial features are strongly similar, but one is "softer" looking, has rounder features.

I don't get them confused - I go more by movement and speech than anything.

DavidZahir
05-19-2010, 08:04 PM
I'm a fraternal twin, yet my voice has been mistaken for my brother's countless times.

LadyMage
05-20-2010, 01:16 AM
I have two pairs of twins as close friends. One identical, one fraternal.

With the identical, they take the time and effort to look different, but I have a time of mistaking them once a month at the very least. They sound nothing alike, though; B has the slightest rasp to his voice, while S is a different pitch, just a wee bit higher on the tenor scale.

With the other pair, until they got their different cell numbers, I would nearly always make sure I am speaking to the right twin: they sound incredibly alike over the phone. They're super-easy to tell apart in person, but not over the phone. J's husband is also a twin and they're of the "carbon copy of each other" variety; not the first such pair I've met.