Questions tagged [language]

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

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7
votes
3answers
254 views

Is it a bad idea to use a culture-specific word in the title of a story?

I wrote a short story long ago called The End of the World. I thought the title was too common so I renamed it to The Kid with the Gigaku Mask and the End of the World. But then, I found that title to ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

An adjective relating to the circus? [closed]

I'm looking for an adjective which essentially means "of or relating to the circus." My context is: As they stood in the doorway, taking in the circus-like activities around them... But "circus-...
-2
votes
1answer
158 views

Writing in second language [closed]

I am an Indonesian but mostly write in English. Most of my poems are written in English. What terms and rules should I notice? considering that my idea comes to mind in English not my native ...
0
votes
5answers
3k views

Words in author's native language?

Why in some essays or articles there are words in the author's native language? (In other words, the essay is in English and there are some Spanish words spread out in the whole essay.) Does it ...
12
votes
1answer
416 views

How are multilingual scenes handled when the story's main language is translated into that of its minor one?

Say you have an English book in which there is a particular dialogue where one of a handful of participating characters is speaking French. In this dialogue the fact that he's speaking French is a ...
9
votes
7answers
7k views

How many different words are in the average novel?

I realize there's going to be a bit of variation here from one author to the next and depending on length of the novel, but the range shouldn't really be too large. The thing is, I really have no ...
5
votes
6answers
5k views

Believable (but easy) archaic English

Do you know any "shortcuts" to translating passages of my story into believably sounding archaic English? I mean, without taking a full school course? A crash course? An automatic service? A phrase ...
20
votes
3answers
2k views

How do authors incorporate languages they don't speak?

In many, many English-language novels I've come across characters who speak other languages, most often French for whatever reason. In many cases, such as with Ulysses and Lolita, this is a simple ...
3
votes
2answers
492 views

Which language to use when writing a multinational story

I'm Brazilian and I'm writing a book in portuguese. However the story takes place first in Europe, i.e. Italy, Portugal, and London. Of course this requires of me some research about the culture of ...
5
votes
4answers
3k views

Using Latin words in fantasy

I have seen at least a few cases of Latin being used in both fantasy and scifi, and I wonder how it is perceived and how much is tolerated. Being primarily a gamer, the first examples that come to ...
11
votes
5answers
1k views

How does one present spoken dialogue as a secondary language to signed speech?

I was starting to leave a comment on this excellent question when I realized I had come up with a second question which was equally intriguing. If you're writing a story where 95% of the ...
18
votes
7answers
14k views

How does one include sign language in a dialogue?

If one character is using sign language and lip reading while the other is speaking normally, how do you represent the lines of the former? Quotations with "he signed" attribution or italics?...
18
votes
6answers
2k views

How can I effectively invent a language?

I want to make a particular language that adapts to the story. And the language has to have x and y and e characteristics for example. Is there a protocol to follow on the process of making a ...
6
votes
5answers
4k views

Is it good style to use Latin phrases in English scientific literature?

I don't know how much and deep actual school kids in the US get in touch with Latin. In Europe you can choose it in many high schools and the use of it is common in mainstream media. For some areas of ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Italicizing and adding accents to Spanish words in an English novel

In my current novel I have a few characters who speak Spanish. The book takes place along the Texico border, so it happens frequently. I know that in more foreign Spanish, or when someone speaks a ...
2
votes
2answers
238 views

What free tools are there to help me improve my English?

I am in the process of writing a research paper in Computer Science. Are there any free tools/browser plugins/web sites/latex plugins that would help me improve my English? I am looking for some nice ...
4
votes
3answers
182 views

Analogies, pitfalls and guidelines

Analogies can be powerful tools in both explaining and misrepresenting a complex topic. What methodology works well for finding good analogies and how does one figure out whether an analogy is well ...
6
votes
3answers
441 views

Character with extreme manners

My objective is Victorian-style tea-drinking "upper class" lady characters. (It's more of a writing challenge.) Does anyone have any useful resources or tips for creating such a character? ...
27
votes
10answers
48k views

What's the best way to show a foreign language in a manuscript?

What's the best way to show a character speaking a foreign language in a fiction manuscript? Should the foreign words be italicized and include a translation? Should it just be included in the ...
8
votes
6answers
219 views

Should one blog in a few languages?

Greetings. I've been blogging for a while now and I do it in Russian. But, some of my English-speaking... AHEM "Internet-friends" are unable to read my personal blog, 'cause they're just not familiar ...
10
votes
8answers
994 views

How to handle foreign military ranks?

Suppose you have a character who has a rank in a foreign military - say, Feldwebel Hans. That's the equivalent of a Sergeant. On one hand, having people call him "Herr Feldwebel" gives some flavor ...
8
votes
1answer
810 views

When parodying a song, how important is it to replace words with homophones thereof?

I often decide to parody songs to adapt them to different contexts -- mainly for fun, for improving my English and causing an healthy amount of groans into people who read my creations. However, I ...
13
votes
3answers
6k views

Writing 19th century upperclass English dialog

I was recently rereading bits of Pride and Prejudice and the dialog is absolutely brilliant. How can I learn to write dialog that sounds like it is from this general era? For example are there any ...
14
votes
9answers
574 views

Should I translate my own writings into a second language I also know well?

Nabokov was very discouraged when he translated his Lolita into Russian. And he spent half a year on it. So should I try the translation myself?
29
votes
13answers
6k views

Could I reach the level of good writing style as non-native language speaker?

I currently write in Russian, but I think of switching to English to gain more audience and to play with both languages and linguistics. So could I ever reach the level of native English writers and ...
7
votes
1answer
341 views

Are different styles/storylines prefered in different languages/cultures?

I am German. Can I apply the hints for style or story-building given here, or by English authors, without a second thought to my own work written in German? Or are there differences in how style or ...
10
votes
7answers
2k views

Using slang as a narrator - pros and cons

Is it advisable to use slang and euphemisms as a narrator, in addition to the main characters who use it? Are there arguments for and against it? For example, if I were to write about street thugs ...

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