Incredibly happy someone caught the Pan-African Union reference. And the game isn’t even out yet!
Looking at Maggie’s visual, I didn’t get an African-American sense from that, it seemed Actually African. But I didn’t want a heavy African accent for a lot of reasons, many practical (there are not a whole lot of African actors in Los Angeles!)
If Maggie is descended from African colonists, why did she name her alien dog Daisy? Daisy was the cute name the artists used to describe her and there wasn’t the idea then that this was the REAL name, but I try wherever possible to keep the artist’s temp names, because that process of inspiration is very close to the real way we name things. Why not Daisy? Why overthink it? There’s a lot of pressure to overthink it, and I have to be the first defense against that.
I thought about my own pets. They get a LOT of nicknames! Why should Maggie act any different?
So I wondered “what would Daisy’s name be, in Maggie’s family’s language?” I do some research and pick a popular (but not too popular, that would be lazy) African language. Shona! A Bantu language spoken in Zimbabwe! Perfect!
I find an online dictionary and look up Daisy in Shona. No luck. The dictionaries I found weren’t incredibly helpful.
So I went to “flower.” Ruva! Great! So sometimes Maggie calls her Daisy, sometimes Ruva. Sounds like two different names to you and me, not to Maggie.
Sometimes she shouts “Ruva! Vhima!” Which is Shona for “Flower! Hunt!”
Then it was just a case of putting her and Bucket in the same room and letting them talk.
Bucket Maggie you sometimes call Daisy ‘Ruva,’ which I assume is her name in your native language. But I do not recognize it.
Maggie It’s Shona. I figured you knew every language.
Bucket The trick is knowing which dictionaries to load. Ah! A bantu language!
Maggie I guess. I don’t speak it much. Mostly some words I picked up from my grandmother.
Your grandmother was decended from remarkable people. The pan-african union drove the third wave of settlement. If it wasn’t for them, we’d not have made it this far from Hub.
See, to Maggie this stuff is all ancient history. Her grandmother is important to her, but not the PanAfrican Union. I might nerd out on history stuff, but Maggie is just a normal person.