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16

It is certainly not easy, but I'd like to point to a possible advantage of coming from a different culture with a different language: it might also give you an edge! When I read manga (japanese comic books) for instance, I always gravitate towards the type of manga which draws its inspiration from western culture. The manga that talk about eastern culture, ...


14

How much of this language are you going to use? Single words? Phrases? Sentences? Paragraphs? If it's just a few words or phrases, make up a few, be consistent in their usage, and call it a day. If you're carrying on entire dialogues in this tongue, I would first recommend "Don't overdo it." For the purposes of your question (and I Am Not A Linguist, so ...


12

I would always seek help from a professional translator, no matter how proficient I deem myself in the target language. A professional translator has studied the intricacies of both languages (and probably a few more); he has linguistic tools at his disposal I might not even imagine existed; he can look back at years of professional experience; and he is ...


11

If you have the time to do so, and there is a want for the translation, I say it wouldn't be a bad idea. By being able to do the first translation yourself you can be sure all the little things that make it through, that way some important piece of characterization doesn't get lost. Though in the end, it's also about time. If you don't have the time to do ...


9

A good parody requires a similar structure and a similar melody while altering certain words and, thus, the intention of the work. In the case of the posted verse, the syllable distribution disrupts the flow of particular sentences. Hey Verve, if you could see me now | Hey ma, if could see me now "Verve" is potentially too bulky to replace the simple ...


9

It's stylistic. You can use either. "Said" isn't wrong. Some writers feel very strongly about "bookisms," which is using words instead of "said" which tend to be more elaborate and give some action to speaking. (hissed, crooned, muttered, sighed, barked, laughed, snarled, grumbled) Personally I'm fine with them if they are used appropriately and ...


9

Scientific and other non-literary publications are usually required to employ standard English. Spivak pronouns are not standard English usage, so would most likely not be accepted by most publishers, unless the publication deals with questions of gender-neutral language specifically. In scientific publications the master rule for style is to write clearly ...


8

If you want to establish a language with a foreign touch in your story, the "cheapest" way to do it, is using an already existing one as reference. I did something similar. I invented a language for using magic. I took Latin as base and transformed the words, so that they were not directly recognizable as Latin, but still give the reader the touch of an ...


7

You can eliminate many inappropriate metaphors by asking yourself a question: "Will the people in this audience understand this metphor?" I can't tell you how many American sports metaphors I've wanted to put into my presentations, only to take them out after a moment's pause to consider my international audience. Ask a few members of the audience for their ...


7

I think that translation is an art in itself, not unlike writing in that it's also a creative endeavor. If you want to do it because you think you'll get something out of the creative experience, I'd recommend you go for it--with help from a professional translator. But if you just want your work out there, I'd recommend someone who is a translator because ...


7

Ask your teacher. I had one who didn't mind, and the others suggested ways to write around the problem (variously, use the "universal he," use the "universal she," alternate he and she, recast the sentence as plural). Each teacher will have different preferences. It doesn't hurt to ask upfront.


7

This is a complex question requiring a complex answer. What market do you aim for and what is the language of that market? If you write in English, you are obviously writing for speakers of English (because writing in English and having the book translated to your mother tongue makes no sense). But is your subject matter of interest to them? Or would you ...


6

It depends on the narrator. Is the narrator a character in the story or not? If he's not: If you're trying to foster the idea of an unreliable narrator, it helps to use slang. If he's more of a classical narrator, don't. If he IS a character, then just write how he'd talk. Done and done.


6

Writing style, in that a huge portion of it involves choice of how you word things, varies greatly from language to language and culture to culture. For example, I meet many people here in the US who have serious issues with my letting my son read "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" by Mark Twain, because it uses a word for persons of color that was normal and ...


6

Agreed that it all depends on who the narrator's supposed to be, and, frankly, what tone you're trying to bring across to the reader. Two of my favorite opening paragraphs of all time: When age fell upon the world, and wonder went out of the minds of men; when grey cities reared to smoky skies tall towers grim and ugly, in whose shadow none ...


6

Knowing some native speaker/writers, I'd say it's certainly possible. What kind of writing are you doing? I can see pros and cons for literary versus genre fiction. Literary fiction is, I think, much more dependent on the words used to get the story across. I think of it as long free-form poetry, a poetic prose. Perhaps others would disagree, but the ...


6

Ditto Neil's reply. A lot to be learned from a master of migrancy literature, Salman Rushdie. While The Satanic Verses is written in English, the narration itself, not just the dialogue, utilizes Hindi, Arabic, and Urdu. Jokes within the text rely on the reader's understanding of multiple languages, but the plot doesn't; Saladin Chamcha is called "Spoono" in ...


6

I'm a South-American-born Chinese and I write novels and short stories in English. I'm not familiar with poetry rules, but I think that's the easy part. The difficult part is to write like a native speaker (or at least, good enough to be taken seriously by native speakers). These are some methods I use: I read everyday (e.g. two novels a week) I write ...


6

Because it's less intrusive. Anything you speak is something you say; "asking" is merely a more specific description of how the thing is being said. Some writing wisdom holds that using "said" is lazy/boring, but always using specific descriptors like "asked" when the questioning tone is obvious from context can be equally disruptive to the flow of ...


6

If you are writing the essay for a class in gender studies, or if the teacher is an extreme feminist, I would say yes, go ahead and use synthetic gender-neutral pronouns. If the essay is about sexism, maybe. Otherwise, no. Very few English speakers are familiar with any given proposed set of gender-neutral pronouns. There are dozens of such proposals out ...


5

Probably the greatest example of a non-native speaker who wrote in English would be Joseph Conrad: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Conrad. Also, Oscar Wilde wrote in French (Salome) as did Samuel Beckett (after Waiting for Godot). My recommendation would be: listen and read. Hear as much spoken English as you can to get the rhythm and flow; read as much ...


5

The resource that most conlangers point to is the venerable Language Construction Kit. It's quite extensive. It mostly concerns the linguistic aspects of making your language, but it does address some of the issues about making your conlang believable.


5

Ultimately, this is going to be a personal choice for you. There are a couple things you could think about when making your decision: Do you have the time to write two blogs? Are you proficient enough in English to write a blog with minimal errors where native speakers won't have many problems understanding you? Is it worth the effort you'll need to put into ...


5

In general, it's my opinion that a story should pick a language and stick to it. Even though many people speak multiple languages, having a book in more than one language means you're limiting yourself to a subset of possible readers. Ask yourself: What purpose does it serve to the story and characters to quote them speaking in more than one language? If a ...


5

When you say Old English, be aware that another term for that is Anglo-Saxon, which is English from before the Norman Conquest. Here's an example: Ic eom weorð werum, wide funden brungen of bearwum ond of burghleoþum of denum ond of durum. Dæges mec wægun feþre on lifte feredon mid liste under hrofes hleo. Hæleð mec siþþan baþedan in bydene. Nu ...


5

Read a lot of old books, prereferentially related to the topic of your own story. Get a sense of the idiom, like a sailor referring to himself as an old salt. Get it under your skin. If you constantly need to consult a phrase book, a grammar or a style manual, I'm afeared ye can nae pull it off. In other words, if you don't feel you can write the original ...


5

A good primer on stylistic conventions is Strunk and White's Elements of Style, at least for writing in US English. It follows a prescriptive convention, which may be helpful to beginning writers. It can apply to many different types of writing, including essays, stories and letters. At its base, it helps to develop a clear and concise style, which I believe ...


5

One of the characteristics of the kind of prose you are referring to is a very dull and dry approach, there is often quite unnecessary pompous savant words and an obtuse language, there is also a general miasma of boredomness and triteness, a sure way to spot the culprits in an entirely wholesome and objective way is the length of the sentences used which ...


4

Public library is the cheapest source. In other words: read, read and again - read. Reading books, newspapers and magazines is the best way to improve someone's language usage. Any language. Try to avoid web resources, particulary twitters, facebooks and other shout-and-bark sites. Even most of weblogs are utilising some bastardised mutation of language, so ...


4

I have the same problem, Hebrew being my native language. I chose to blog in English, because by blogging in Hebrew I limit my audience to those who can read the language. I believe that by using English you will address a larger audience. Writing two copies of the same blog entry will probably tax you to the point in which you will drop one language, or ...



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