K – Kilograms vs. pounds … or while vs. whilst. How authentic should we be?

Did you ever watch the movie How to Train a Dragon? It’s actually one of my favorite movies.


I have a big problem in how it was ‘cast’.

Cast? you ask. Yes, let me explain.

How to Train your Dragon is set on the island of Berk is a Viking village. ALL the adults have a Scottish sounding accent.


But none of the kids do.

And here you go –> O_o How is that possible? My kids are growing up in the US, they haven’t adopted a Russian accent.


You see, the cast members for the younger characters were standard ‘english’ speakers, but not the same as the adults. So that gets me thinking.

Do we properly address the differences in culture, accent, etc. when writing stories set in another country? Another time? Another place?

If in the UK, do we use pounds to share weights even though it should be kilograms? Do we use ‘while’ instead of ‘whilst’ because ‘whilst’ is funny to us? (have you talked to a Brit lately??) and do we Americanize just because we are American writers (or vice versa elsewhere?)

Books aren’t reality, but if we’re setting them a specific reality, we gotta make sure it’s true to life. That means, in everything, not just the accent.

What do you think on the differences and ensuring they are ‘consistent’ in context?

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