I wanna start writing in English and I have a few stories in Russian. What's my best choice? Is it to rewrite those stories in English with very many mistakes or to start something new and learn?

  • To what kind of mistakes are you referring? The storytelling misses you do not want to repeat/translate into English, or the language/grammar ones?
    – Lew
    Commented Nov 29, 2016 at 18:32
  • Mistakes that happen when you are not fluent in English. Or maybe it's better not to try and write in Russian? Commented Nov 29, 2016 at 18:38
  • This is not really a question about writing. It feels more like a question about how to learn to write in English, which might be more appropriate for the English Language Learners site. Anything we might say here would only be a matter of opinion, and not really on topic for this site.
    – user16226
    Commented Nov 29, 2016 at 18:59
  • This question is not about writing but about how to learn English.
    – user5645
    Commented Nov 30, 2016 at 10:00
  • @what - No! This question is about how to do what I plan to do. Commented Nov 30, 2016 at 10:12

2 Answers 2


Writing in a language other than your native one is hard (so is writing in your native language but this is usually harder). On the other hand storytelling is storytelling.

If you are just practicing the question is what are you practicing. If you want to translate then translate, if you want to tell stories then tell a story.

If you want a saleable story you can either hire a translator (expensive), do your own translation (hard), Tell a well written story (hard), or tell a poorly written but well told story.

When deciding between the last two the question is do you want to hide your foreign language roots or exaggerate them and the answer will depend on the story you want to tell.

  • I'm really thinking to rewrite the stories in English and not translate them. But I'm afraid that my knowledge of writing in English will provide a poor result, the storytelling between the two languages differes. Commented Nov 30, 2016 at 6:43

If you are comfortable with your storytelling skills and quality of your writing in your native language, but you want to expand your language horizon, I would suggest first to try translating a story you already have finished and consider well-written. This way you can concentrate on the translation and not the plot/characters, etc.

As for should you do it or not, it is for you and you only to decide, and for the time to tell.

I can only praise you for challenging yourself.

Good luck!

  • @what I never said that it is easier. I said that it is better if one wants to concentrate on learning the language, since one already has a complete story, and doesn't have to worry about developing it.
    – Lew
    Commented Nov 30, 2016 at 21:50
  • @what You are vehemently disagreeing with what I have never said. Translation is an art of its own, and I agree with you completely: it is extremely difficult to get the feel of the words across the language barrier. This is why I suggested it as a learning exercise. I never said it is easy.
    – Lew
    Commented Dec 3, 2016 at 18:58
  • @what Your point escapes me. No one can learn how to write in any language without learning the language. That is what I recommend, I apologize if I was not clear enough.
    – Lew
    Commented Dec 4, 2016 at 22:42
  • @what "This question is not about writing but about how to learn English"—this is your quote. I suggested one of the ways the author of the question mentioned as a more challenging, yet more efficient method for doing exactly that.
    – Lew
    Commented Dec 4, 2016 at 22:50

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