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Questions tagged [language]

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

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Onomatopoeia for a noise people make when shutting someone up?

When someone wants to shut someone else up, they often make a noise that sounds kind of like "up-up-up," or "ah-ah-ah," often while putting a finger to the person's mouth. How ...
Papa Solen'ya's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
85 views

How to correctly portray sign language between multiple characters

I am writing a book where one of the main characters only uses sign language to communicate, and all of the speaking characters communicate using ASL whilst also speaking aloud at the same time. Is ...
Dyllan's user avatar
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3 votes
4 answers
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What language could I use to write spells or names of things in my fantasy novel?

I'm writing a fantasy novel and would like suggestions. I would like to write spells/incantations in a foreign language, preferably a dead language such as Anglo-Saxon. I also would need a translation ...
Elle H.'s user avatar
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2 votes
3 answers
161 views

How do I write a story in which no one can understand each other?

I have this story I want to write where there's different species that each speak their own different language, but none of them can understand each other at all. Then the main character comes and ...
Violet Nightblaze's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
66 views

Writing an accent and evolving

Sometimes I read written accents in books, most notably maybe Hagrid in Harry Potter. I find it a fun way to add a layer to a character that sets them apart from the rest. Could you "evolve" ...
Slatuvel's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
83 views

Language of other countries

I write the little girl calls her grandmother Bunica Rose. The father calls her Bunica Rose also. In the narrative, I use the words, Grandmother Rose. Is this appropriate to do?Will my reading get ...
Jane Miller's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
160 views

Is it inadvisable to use a racial slur in my story?

I’m currently writing a story which is an erotic thriller/romance set in the music/TV industry. The protagonist is a Taylor Swift-type confessional songwriter who is the biggest popstar in the world, ...
tylerherronero's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
139 views

How to provide translations, moods, and registry in multilanguage dialog within an narration in English?

I am starting a serious writing project (a novel book from a story I once drafted as a TV show; I am not a script writer either). Furthermore I decided to write in English, which is not my native ...
Carlos Eugenio Thompson Pinzón's user avatar
2 votes
5 answers
467 views

Is it okay to use words from other languages as names?

I am writing a book that I planned out as a kid; I've completely changed it around so that only the characters have stayed the same. I love them a lot and I love the names I gave them back then, ...
Anny noumous's user avatar
0 votes
4 answers
303 views

How does American English sound to non-English speakers?

The scenario is that a person from our present time travels millions of years into the future. A catastrophic event caused the Continents to shift and reform, and wiped out near all life. Earth is ...
CoffeeSluggin's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
53 views

How to write dash after question mark?

I would have loved to buy her an expensive gift, but did I ever had money- for I was as poor as a beggar? Is this sentence correct? I am having doubts about when to use a question mark. Is it ...
CREATIVITY Unleashed's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
139 views

Using different spellings for different characters in a story

I'm writing a story with an American character and a British character. I'm contemplating having the characters use the regional spellings when it comes to words like realise/realize or favourite/...
Lluvia's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
949 views

What does the social idiom "not received" mean?

I am struggling with a use of the word "received" that I have never seen before, in conjunction with a social status in 19th century America. Specifically, in Margaret Mitchell's Gone With ...
Vogon Poet's user avatar
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2 votes
3 answers
112 views

What is good introductory book to learn scientific academic writing and publishing process?

I would like some help to find a good reference or textbook that covers the following points regarding scientific academic writing : What are the types of different publications and explaining their ...
AbdAllah Talaat's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
229 views

Does writing well in one language translate to writing well in other languages?

I have been trying to improve my writing skills. Most of what I write is in English. To what extent do you think that writing skills are cross-language? I am concerned about my time investment into ...
Nic Szerman's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
145 views

How should I include an English phrase that other characters have confused for a character's name (due to a language barrier)?

In a first person perspective story I'm working on the main character has a language barrier with most of the other people she meets. To such an extent that other characters have confused a phrase of ...
Joelle Boulet's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
193 views

Would an equals sign as secondary language exact quotes be misinterpreted in literary fiction?

I have chosen to show an accented English that is only comprehensible to speakers of the secondary language. The topic of translated sign language has been beat up and I accept that there is no ...
Vogon Poet's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
94 views

My characters speak a foreign language but I write them in English

There will be many scenes in my stories that would be akin to this: "He would like to meet both of you" - he speaks to them in a foreign language here. Is there a better way to write when a ...
faddllz's user avatar
  • 111
4 votes
1 answer
201 views

Is using Swahili inspired vocabulary and words similar to Japanese slang in my custom language cultural appropriation?

For context the species using my language are non-human with mostly human characteristics. This extraterrestrial race is called the Ilya and they differ from humans in the way that they evolved to be ...
Cheesecake183's user avatar
19 votes
8 answers
7k views

How do you explain that the people talking English in a comic book are talking in a language other than English?

How do you explain that the people talking English in a comic book are talking in another language that isn't English? Let's say that in panels 1, 2, and 4 the characters don't talk in English, but ...
Sayaman's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
634 views

What is this linguistic device called?

Consider these two sentences: I was considering taking a taxi, but realized that Uber was cheaper and more convenient, anyway. I was considering taking a taxi, but then I was like, "Hey, Uber ...
granby's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
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How to list complex Spanish names in Last + First order in an index?

I am writing a book that covers Latin American history, but is written in English. There are many Spanish names. Here I've listed some examples, and marked their surnames in bold: Francisco “Pancho” ...
Village's user avatar
  • 383
8 votes
4 answers
3k views

Interspersing German in English dialogue?

My situation is this: in the dialogue I’m writing, the characters speak primarily English but occasionally use a German word for lack of a proper English equivalent. German capitalizes all nouns ...
Lea's user avatar
  • 153
6 votes
1 answer
153 views

How to write in a way that makes it easier for an ESL reader to parse and understand?

This question recently began percolating in my mind after some conversations at work, and hopefully it's not been asked here before and is applicable to this site. After searching I wasn't able to ...
Sciborg's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
51 views

Where can I publish poems I translated to Pali?

I have been studying Sanskrit for 6 years, and have published short stories in magazines. I recently became interested in Pali and translated some classical English poems to Pali. But unlike Sanskrit ...
user52346's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
109 views

Is it acceptable to call my grandmother, nanny in my essay

I’m writing a senior reflection paper and I refer to my grandmother as nanny just as she called her grandmother. However I’m wondering if that is too informal for an essay. Also maybe a little ...
K.Bunny's user avatar
0 votes
3 answers
213 views

If I use symbols like '@#$^^' would this be able to replace the need for me to write out the curse word in the story?

In my earlier question Could I use strong language?, I was wondering if I could use strong language in my mid-grade book. This time I wanted to ask if someone could tell me is it okay for me to use ...
Artemis Silver's user avatar
2 votes
4 answers
146 views

Could I use strong language?

I know that some books contain strong languages that aren't appropriate in stories but in the end, I think my book needs them for extra violent highlights that would do well for the villains. I aim ...
Artemis Silver's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
105 views

Would it make sense to use words from other languages such as Latin?

By this I mean, if I used a Latin phrase or used a Latin title for something, would that make sense? For example, I was thinking of using a Latin title for an in-world book. Or a Latin species ...
user avatar
0 votes
3 answers
215 views

Writing Deep Things

Pleasurable to many is thought evoking language and words never heard in the past. So how does one advance to the level by which they can form them?
garbia's user avatar
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2 votes
4 answers
364 views

How should I include foreign language into my story if the main character/s is/are multilingual

I am writing a story in English and my main character is bilingual and of a different culture. The characters and narrator uses common words in the familiar language (e.g. Spanish). Do I need to ...
Shadow Kissed's user avatar
11 votes
4 answers
6k views

Is calling a character a "lunatic" or "crazy" ableist when it is in reference to their erratic behavior?

I am considering writing a line of dialogue in which character A calls character B (not to their face) "a lunatic". In the context of my story, it is clear that character A has a simplistic ...
Caroline A's user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
1k views

Any resources for writing in Anglish?

"Anglish" is a variation on modern English that avoids or replaces all words that have non-Anglo-Saxon roots. I'm working on a story where I'll need to convert a lot of dialogue (just for a ...
dweeblet's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
82 views

Explicit language in YA fiction

I'm writing a YA novel where most of the characters are in their teens or early 20's. One of my characters has some "colorful" language in certain situations, (e.g. she twists her ankle, ...
Bridgebot101's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
136 views

How to have a character speak pidgin without inducing cringes?

The character Lee in Steinbeck's East of Eden is a Chinese-American who speaks in pidgin — until he explains to his boss, in very articulate English, that he does so for reasons of his own. In my Gold ...
Shawn V. Wilson's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
528 views

How do I keep my character's gender a complete mystery?

At first my protagonist was going to be a female role, until I started having an inclination for male characters and the fact that I am a total BL (“boy’s love”, stories about male homosexual romance) ...
Crown English's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
42 views

How are the limits of regional vernacularism/slang should be employed in a novel that is true to the area and time?

What's an acceptable amount of non-standard English that can be used to depict the language of a certain area of the South (Louisiana) without turning off readers? My current work in progress has ...
La-V's user avatar
  • 41
0 votes
1 answer
91 views

Lack of Creativity with Language

I feel as though my mind is uncreative because I keep coming up with trite words and comparisons. For instance, I if I want to say something is the highest in some quality, I will simply say it is ...
garbia's user avatar
  • 1,552
3 votes
2 answers
193 views

Writing as a non-native speaker

English is not my first language, but as an English student, I'd always like to write in that language... I have many story ideas but my skills are not that good to be a novel writer where I usually ...
Nour Fourti's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
96 views

Should I write a foreign character's dialogue in their language? [duplicate]

When it comes down to story writing, it's always nice to have variety in characters. Such as a character who speaks Spanish more than English or is bilingual with both languages. But say if the ...
AcidicProgrammer's user avatar
12 votes
4 answers
2k views

Managing alien languages in Sci-Fi creatively

I’m writing a story where alien races are in constant communication with humans, but I don’t want it to be awkward or have to use language tags like “...he said in x language.” Maybe I could have a ...
GDPrinter's user avatar
  • 121
2 votes
3 answers
203 views

Would incorporating a constructed language into my story this way cause confusion later?

This is part of the story I'm working on: “Imikagaw” a feminine voice called out as she put her hand on the back of the man in cape. “Usamiakusta ow ihsataw aw amas Enna “Uoyustih ag imikagaw aw nah ...
calvin_0's user avatar
4 votes
5 answers
1k views

How to write a character who speaks with Russian mannerisms

One of my characters is Russian and speaks English as a second language. I know that people with Russian accents tend to leave out words like “the” and “a” because they don’t exist in Russian. My ...
Grace's user avatar
  • 1,006
15 votes
10 answers
3k views

I'm writing a prologue from the POV of a non-English-speaking character. How should I write the dialogue?

Picturing this in movie form would be easy. I would have the character speak their native language in the scene and place subtitles. But I do not have this luxury in writing. It would be weird to ...
Drask's user avatar
  • 163
2 votes
1 answer
2k views

Using "her/him" twice in a sentence

I'm an English learner, and I had a question about writing "her" twice in one sentence. For example, what would sound better for formal writing? (This is not an actual sentence that I'm using.) This ...
Iris Kim's user avatar
10 votes
4 answers
806 views

How do I write dialogue as heard by a POV character who isn't fluent in the language?

So I'm writing a story during the course of which my main, first-person-POV character learns another language, one used heavily in her surrounding. This generally works, but I regularly get stuck on ...
Tau's user avatar
  • 1,915
-1 votes
3 answers
80 views

What word would people with outdated technology make up for a plane? [closed]

In my story, my characters live in the wilderness, and they have no modern technology. They do see ruins from the past (from now) but other than that they have no idea how advanced other parts of the ...
Alexandra Eagle's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
159 views

Which language to choose: my native language or English? [duplicate]

I want to right screen play, but every time I think about writing, the first question that pops in my head is which one to choose: my native language or English?
user42614's user avatar
0 votes
4 answers
1k views

Capital lettering in old Italian names

I want to use the name Leonardo da Vinci name for a presentation, but I I can't fit his whole name and would only like to use "da Vinci" My question is...which is more proper, using "Da Vinci" with a ...
user6579's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
173 views

Is there a way to generate a list of the most used connector words and phrases?

I need to learn Spanish and German for my short novel and I need to learn the language fast. One thing I wanted to do is to learn the 100 most used connector words and learn to write short and simple ...
Sayaman's user avatar
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