Speaking In Another Language


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 As Authors, we know that words define our character’s personality,  and traits that define their uniqueness.

When our characters speak, we recognize them by either the dialect, their dress, or the construction of their words or sentences.  Figures of speech create vivid images in your readers’ minds, and determine where the characters originated, the period of time, whether it is a period in European history, American history, or the 21st Century.  I refer to “Outlander” where all the characters speak either in the Scottish or English dialect.

To compose a path from our native English tongue into a target language, we must pay attention to the meaning of the original expression, the style of the target language, and the accuracy when written.

Every language has sources considered good in the target language. Seek out these in order to get the feel for the language.  Search for articles in the target language, or authors who write in the target language– or follow the philosophy of the target language by seeking similar websites. Notice the cultural references, and expressions that you would never find in a textbook, and make notes.  There are Grammar textbooks in most languages which will aid you, in writing the target language with the style and flow necessary to relay the substance of the story, and make your characters believable.  I find the Public Library the perfect place to begin.  With its vast selection of books and educational materials, you are sure to find such books, Dvd’s or Videos to help you learn the proper style of writing your target language.

Copying is not to be confused with style. Good translation is important.  Improper clauses that do not connect to the main sentence is a No! No!  Sentences must be balanced and well connected.  Remember, proper dialect will create vivid images in your readers’ minds, and if we do not use the proper terminology, your characters will not be believable, nor will your story move smoothly.

One other important fact:   Do not rely on your computer to correct your spelling and grammar when writing in your target language.

Happy writing!



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