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Incorporating foreign languages, slang, dialect, and so on into a work.

16
votes
7answers
3k views

Are there any general rules or guidelines for using newly coined word(s) or neologism?

Recently, I came across one beautiful word 'Wynorrific', defined on Urban dictionary: Something being both beautiful and terrible at the same time. [The word "awesome" has lost its meaning on ...
9
votes
1answer
136 views

Writing a short story set in a place I’ve never been

I’m writing a science fiction type short story set in Germany (actually Stuttgart). To some extent the location isn’t that important- it could be set anywhere but setting it there appeals to me and ...
10
votes
4answers
430 views

How does one add puns in another language?

Back in college, I took a regular English course that was required for all majors. The teacher just happened to be a grad student in British Literature, so we read a lot of British literature. All the ...
15
votes
6answers
4k views

How to address family members solely by relationship in dialogue?

Most English speakers probably just care about You, Mom, Dad, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, Grandparents, Great-Grandparents and Ancestors, Children, Grandchildren, etc. That's great... as long as you are ...
5
votes
2answers
86 views

Writing a poem in secondary language that has rules for primary language

Haiku is a very short Japanese poem with seventeen syllables and three verses each being of 5,7 and 5 syllables respectively. The Haiku was written primarily in Japanese language and the rules applied ...
10
votes
2answers
143 views

Colloquial speech in pre-modern setting

Following this question, I'm struggling with writing the speech of pre-modern (in my case - 5th century) noble-born children between themselves. Characters who are well-educated, would not be making ...
29
votes
10answers
8k views

How to write dialogue for someone who is intelligent but barely speaks the language?

I have a character who is a refugee from another country. She comes to the protagonist, and they have a couple of scenes together, viewed from the protagonist. I read about how important it is to ...
18
votes
9answers
4k views

Avoiding Slang whilst Writing

I sometime express my personality too much in my more creative fiction. When I get going, I include slang words and phrases that sound fascinating and are comprehensible to me, but may not be ...
5
votes
5answers
177 views

How does one include non-Latin-based script in an overall English work?

For Latin-based languages, the foreign term may be expressed in italics. Gracias. However, what about non-Latin-based languages and non-alphabetic languages? Okay, what if something happens, and the ...
2
votes
2answers
75 views

How are suspected persons referred to in news articles?

In the Netherlands, convicts and persons of interest in relations to a crime have their last names truncated in published news articles – for example "John D." – but I know that this is not the case ...
8
votes
3answers
220 views

Is it better to avoid names with a difficult pronunciation in Middle Grade fiction?

Many languages are written using Latin letters, but often these seemingly familiar letters aren't pronounced in the way that we are used to. For example, an English speaker might read the name ...
2
votes
2answers
99 views

What language should I write my programming blog post in? [closed]

My background I'm a native French speaker and a software engineer, I studied in French and grew up speaking French. My Question is: which language should I use for my technical blog posts? On one ...
1
vote
3answers
128 views

If I am writing from the first-person perspective of a non-English speaker in first person, what should I do?

I have a character in a book I wish to write in the first person; however, one of the main characters who narrate lives in China. He speaks only Cantonese and Mandarin, so it's a problem, but it is ...
5
votes
3answers
106 views

How to write long extracts in a foreign language?

In my writing there are eight groups of people, each with their own language that they speak. Do I put large amounts of writing into their language or english? Do I write it first in theirs, then in ...
4
votes
4answers
159 views

How can I introduce languages that will be spoken in the long term?

My story is a little bit weird because it starts in a Spanish speaking country and then moves to Japan where everybody speaks japanese and I don't know how to introduce this new language that will be ...
4
votes
2answers
206 views

How do I remove Nikkud (vowel marks) from a Word 2016 document?

I am working on a commentary on Ethics of the Fathers and I want readers to be able to read sources I'm quoting in their original Hebrew. I am getting most of my sources from sefaria.org and ...
1
vote
4answers
78 views

Introduce new English dialect

I'm willing to introduce a new character who speaks a different English - he uses all the words with -ed in the past and past perfect tenses and he doesn't use the continuous tenses: "Eh, they ...
5
votes
1answer
38 views

What country to buy an ISBN when your language is different to the country you live in?

I live in France, so to obtain physical copies of my book (which is in English) for selling in book shops or giving away it is too expensive to order from Amazon because of high postage charges. So I ...
5
votes
2answers
378 views

Bending the rules of the english language for effect; sentence fragments and run-ons

I believe it is a time-honored tradition, in fiction, to bend rules for a literary effect. I'm printing a short story for my critique group tonight. One critique-er is a very by-the-book kind of ...
6
votes
3answers
144 views

How does one gauge the strength of any particular adverb?

I am now editing for adverbs, as silly as that may sound to some people. :-) I have learned, 'by ear', that the advice to 'avoid adverbs' is actually not bad advice. But I am also learning that ...
4
votes
2answers
149 views

Do I always need to use linkers and connectors?

I have a question on linkers and connectors. I'm from Spain, so I learnt English at school and all my English teachers have told me throughout secondary school that we always have to use linkers to ...
4
votes
4answers
537 views

Is it dull to have a world where all characters cannot speak properly?

I am thinking about setting my story in a postapocalyptic world where all art and literature are gone, and people are mostly illiterate. People lost the ability to formulate deep thoughts, became ...
4
votes
2answers
203 views

What font should I use to write alien language?

In my story, I'm using the font WingDings to represent the language for the alien race. Should I be using something different or am I ok with using WingDings to represent a constructed language? Any ...
2
votes
1answer
57 views

What to do if my writer's brain functions in English but my target readers are those of my motherland?

As a reader I have spent far more hours, well... years reading in English than my natural Portuguese mother language. Now that I am writing, in Portuguese, I find myself fishing for words I know ...
0
votes
2answers
72 views

What language to use as scientific without exact its naming?

Hard to say why scientific language on Earth is greek, with touch of latin or not (instead ). But may it be. And probably answer on this question would be answer to my question too. But my question ...
3
votes
1answer
157 views

Bilingual Characters

In my current work in progress, I have characters from India, Ethiopia, Somalia, and so on meaning they all speak Hindi, Amharic, etc as well as English but as someone who only speaks one language (...
0
votes
0answers
48 views

Needing some language advice [duplicate]

I would like to know how to transition between english and other languages or if i can 'cheat' and make dialogue notes in the writing itself so that people know its a transition but don't have to flip ...
4
votes
3answers
166 views

Southern Californian slang/vernacular

I'm playing around with story ideas involving university students. Most of them are locals but I wanted to include a foreign character as a sort of outside view. I also decided to make her ...
0
votes
0answers
70 views

How to invent a new language in writing? [duplicate]

I'm inventing a new planet with a new species and I don't have an official language for them. I need help with how to give them speech.
3
votes
4answers
270 views

Use of Regional Diction in Writing

Let's say a piece of writing is being composed. That piece of writing can, of course, be crafted with a slew of different techniques and artistic choices, but, one of those is the language used. How ...
5
votes
6answers
707 views

Credibility of using English in non-English-speaking worlds

In the Magic Tree House series, two ordinary English-speaking kids travel to different faraway lands through a portal. Every character they meet, whether it's ancient Greece or ancient China, speaks ...
10
votes
3answers
195 views

What are the pros/cons of writing in English in a non-English country?

I live in a country that doesn't have English as its main language. I have two choices in writing, either write in my mother language or write in English. Why should or shouldn't I write in English? ...
2
votes
5answers
186 views

Is there a way to improve my grammar without so much cost? [closed]

I'm definitely poor at English and I always have grammatical errors. After posting a question about what apps can I use to start writing my stories, I searched in this site if how can I improve my ...
9
votes
2answers
169 views

Naming non-english folklore creatures

I'm working on a novel that involves folklore/mythological creatures from mainly the Norse and Scandinavian myths, but in the world of the novel, there exist beings from all cultures. I wish to write ...
6
votes
3answers
602 views

How do you convey a term or idea that exists in the modern world, but not in the setting of the story?

When writing Fantasy, Historical Novels, or even Science Fiction - language patterns and terms are incredibly different back then (or in the future), then we have now. How can you properly convey an ...
1
vote
3answers
183 views

Writing in English, from the viewpoint of a non-English-speaking character, how can I convey a language very similar to the character's own?

To provide a little background, I'm writing a novel set in a fantasy world, within which there are multiple languages. I'm applying the rule that any speech the viewpoint character (I'm using ...
3
votes
5answers
329 views

Can I use “fuck” as a non-vulgar verb in a fantasy/steampunk world?

I've been sending my fourth-ish novel through the my writing group. It is about a trio of teenagers running away from some mercenaries. One of them (Maris) is a girl who has only had a year of formal ...
5
votes
5answers
215 views

How far can insults go in a “Young Adult” novel?

In a Young Adult (>12 y. old) novel, once the obviously bad words (F-word, C-word, N-word, etc.) taken away, how far can rude language go ? For example, can I use insults like : "Go sit on a rusty ...
0
votes
1answer
196 views

A single English word for “not chaos” [closed]

Pretty much what it says in the title. A single English word, that can preferably be used as a noun. Are there any antonyms that use chaos as a root word?
0
votes
1answer
90 views

New style of first person pov

I was thinking about my own style of writing. Turn out, in every role play I've written, I have a good writing style when I use the first person pov. I'll add some "voices" to the main character. (...
0
votes
2answers
68 views

Describing the differences between languages

To help create descriptive differences in the way my characters talk I am looking for a list of how each language sounds. For example the German language has lots of clusters of consonants, and could ...
2
votes
4answers
5k views

Describing a Traumatic Silence [closed]

I am finishing a short story by describing how the silence of a deceased character is more unnerving than that character's cries before he died. Is there a simile to describe a traumatic or gut-...
3
votes
2answers
135 views

Is Polari too familiar and recently used to “steal” for a cant in a fantasy setting?

I am writing a fantasy novel and I wanted a few of the characters who speak a secret language. I didn't want to create an entire language from scratch. So I started looking for real secret languages ...
11
votes
9answers
555 views

Swearing in a book, within a context. Too offensive?

I am currently writing a science fiction novel. The characters are almost uniformly pirates and/or miners in the asteroid belt. Having worked in the mining industry, and grown up around mining towns ...
0
votes
2answers
77 views

How to help reader visualize the environment in a story?

In a story where there is 1) only one character 2) doesn't talk to anyone 3) don't know where he is 4) and is narrating his story
5
votes
5answers
703 views

Can I use already used fictional language?

When creating a world where there are either aliens or fantasy races, you know that they should speak their own language. But the truth is, that for story purposes, such races will speak their ...
4
votes
4answers
331 views

Can a foreign language novel have English character names?

Situation: My main character is born and raised in a foreign, non-English speaking country. After his 18th birthday he moves due to some circumstances in Great Britain, learns the language and lives ...
2
votes
1answer
286 views

Usage of archaic words

I am a non-native speaker trying to write in English. Due to my reading of chiefly dated English literature, my vocabulary consists of many terms that are regarded as being archaic nowadays. In the ...
13
votes
6answers
5k views

How to deal with a story that 95% of it takes place in a different language country and the protagonist speaks in it?

The protagonist is from a country, and then in a certain stage of the story he moves to another that speaks another language. The protagonist learns their language and talks with them in it. Movies (...
5
votes
5answers
802 views

Writing and proofreading a book in English - non-native speaker

I started writing a book. I wanted to write fiction books for a long time, but never really got around doing it. I decided to write in English rather than in my own language for many reasons, one of ...