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Q&A

Posts tagged language

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Q&A Using accents while staying legible

My character is using a hardly legible accent, or simply an accent which is not comfortable for a reader to read. For example: “Ye've caught us in th' middle o' supper. Seein' as how yer no bleedi...

2 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by Prahara‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by rodeng‭

Question language characters
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Q&A How to train readers in Argot or Slang

I have a character which is typical street thug, criminal and did his time in jail. He is using a lot of underground Argot and thug slang. Example below At the end we got the ice, gravy train if y...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by Prahara‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Canina‭

Question language characters
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Q&A Choice of words on writing

Novice on writing here, except few academic reports. I've got an idea to write a blog about my travel experiences, Although I speak Queen's English, I wish to write this blog for anyone interested...

2 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Vishwa‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Secespitus‭

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Q&A How to convey that the POV character *does not understand* what's said in dialogue?

The general advice is often to focus on the content of what's said in dialogue and just write it in the reader's language, largely whether the characters would use that language or not in-universe....

4 answers  ·  posted 9y ago by Canina‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Amadeus‭

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Q&A What innovative techniques can make a textbook for learning a foreign language "pop"?

One of the biggest obstacles I've encountered learning Chinese is the incredibly dull and boring textbooks. Yes, the grammar in them is important, but it's so boring! Typical writing reads like: ...

5 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by becky82‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by johnDanger‭

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Q&A Writing slurred speech

One of my characters gets drunk and accidentally kills another. He has a couple of lines where he needs to sound obnoxiously, falling-down drunk. Is there a good way to accomplish this? What sound...

6 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Evil Sparrow‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by aparente001‭

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Q&A How I should handle gender-neutral pronouns in technical writing?

I am writing API documentation for a mobile loyalty program and I am not sure which of the following is better wording: 1) When the user requests for their visit and order to be registered in thei...

3 answers  ·  posted 7y ago by Manmohan Singh‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Amadeus‭

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Q&A How to use professional jargon when writing fiction?

The military, the medical professions, police, etc. - they have their professional jargon. One noteworthy characteristic of this jargon is the extensive use of abbreviations. Those abbreviations ar...

3 answers  ·  posted 4y ago by Galastel‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Monica Cellio‭

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Q&A Indicating multiple different modes of speech (fantasy language or telepathy)

All the viewpoint characters in my story are orcs and speak Orcish as their native tongue, but some are bilingual: they use English to talk to humans. Additionally, the main character has a magic p...

3 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Robyn‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Switching languages within dialogue [closed]

I'm writing a story which requires frequent switching between languages, sometimes in the same sentence. I thought about writing the foreign language in italics, but the problem is that I already ...

2 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by romebot‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Formatting multiple languages while avoiding italics for native speakers in their POV

Looking at this question, I was trying to figure out how to format a small family of novels and short stories that use a number of languages. My original approach went with the above question's sty...

2 answers  ·  posted 5y ago by dmoonfire‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A How to handle translation of a language in a comic, while preserving a sense that the language is significant?

I am producing a comic in which a fictional language is frequently spoken. This language (and which characters are able to speak it) is significant to the plot, so it's important that the reader ...

4 answers  ·  posted 6y ago by TheTermiteSociety‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A 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...

3 answers  ·  posted 6y ago by Invoker‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A 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 exists beings from all cultures. I wish to wr...

1 answer  ·  posted 6y ago by sororicida‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A How to Explain the Pronunciation of a Conlang Within the Text of the Novel

In novels which contain a constructed language (conlang), there are areas where the rules of pronunciation can be specified. These areas have the disadvantage of either being before the story and r...

1 answer  ·  posted 6y ago by Thomas Myron‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A 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 subj...

1 answer  ·  posted 6y ago by TheTermiteSociety‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A 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 form...

3 answers  ·  posted 6y ago by dmoonfire‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Writing scenes that involve two languages

(I realize there have been similar questions before, such as this and this, but the answers to those unfortunately did not help much with my specific issue.) I have three characters. Sally speaks ...

1 answer  ·  posted 6y ago by Summer‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A 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. (...

1 answer  ·  posted 6y ago by Guildias‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A 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 co...

1 answer  ·  posted 6y ago by Jimmery‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A How realistic should dialogue and character voices be?

I've heard a lot of conflicting suggestions in the past regarding dialogue, so I'm hoping I can get a solid answer here. Some people have told me that the best way to go about dialogue is to make ...

4 answers  ·  posted 7y ago by Summer‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Constructed Language - how to spell words that will be mispronounced in English

I wasn't sure how to phrase the title, so it may be a bit confusing. Feel free to edit it if you can phrase it better. This question may be better suited for Worldbuilding SE. However, it is abou...

1 answer  ·  posted 7y ago by Thomas Myron‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Methods for creating slang

I am interested in creating slang or a vernacular for a particular group in my story. I want it to be distinctive and a definite marker for in-group/out-group, but not incomprehensible. I'm not loo...

2 answers  ·  posted 7y ago by Lauren Ipsum‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

Question language
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Q&A Constructed Language - spelled like it sounds?

Note: This may be more suited to Worldbuilding SE. I believe it belongs here, because it is about how to write a conlang, but if not, please feel free to move it. I am constructing Elvish. In my ...

2 answers  ·  posted 7y ago by Thomas Myron‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Writing dialogue for a non-English speaker in English?

I am writing a story that features an illiterate Indian woman. Of course, while there are things only Hindi can satisfactorily express, I was wondering what would be a good way to construct dialogu...

1 answer  ·  posted 8y ago by Kuchiki Byakuya‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

Question language dialogue
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Q&A Is it considered faulty language to use Spivak pronouns in an essay?

High school level essay to be exact, but I'd like to also know if Spivak pronouns could be used in papers or publications. Should I just eliminate this option all together, never think about it aga...

2 answers  ·  posted 8y ago by marumarsu‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

Question style language gender
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Q&A Referring to sign language in conversations

I am writing a story in which one of the main characters is Deaf, and therefore communicates with other leads using sign language. Not being a native speaker of English, I am having trouble with co...

1 answer  ·  posted 8y ago by visakh‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

Question language dialogue
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Q&A How do I make an ESL character sound realistic?

I have to write an assignment in which there's an English character talking with a English as a Second Language (ESL) character. It is turning out really, really badly. I have a general idea of wha...

3 answers  ·  posted 8y ago by Ice-9‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Is it okay to mention a person's nationality and accent only once or twice in a story?

For example, if you have a guy who is an Indian (from India), and you say something like, Sukant answered in his Northern Bhojpuri accent, "Yes. It is indeed true. Many people come into my ...

2 answers  ·  posted 9y ago by johnny‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

Question language dialogue
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Q&A How can I make a person sound sick?

How do you distort words into sounding sick, as in with the cold? I want it to be a really comical scene, but I'm not sure how to write it. Do I replace some letters with others or remove certain c...

2 answers  ·  posted 9y ago by Lostone‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Why do writers use "said" instead of "asked" when someone asks a question?

I often see writers use "said" instead of "asked" when their character asks a question. e.g. From The Hobbit: “Where else should I be?” said the wizard Is it a mistake that hasn't been caugh...

3 answers  ·  posted 9y ago by Tim Gradwell‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

Question language dialogue
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Q&A Should this introductory quotation be translated, untranslated, or dropped?

When I first wrote "Gawain's Guilt-Girdle" (14 lines of verse) I introduced it with a short (modernized/translated) quotation from the Middle English work Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. I think m...

2 answers  ·  posted 9y ago by Paul A. Clayton‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A 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? E.g. ...

3 answers  ·  posted 11y ago by HNL‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A 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 communic...

1 answer  ·  posted 11y ago by Lauren Ipsum‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A 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 lan...

5 answers  ·  posted 11y ago by Joze‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A 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 ...

1 answer  ·  posted 11y ago by J. Leigh Hunter‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A What's the benefit of using invented languages in-story?

I'm working on a fictional story set in a fantastical (although coherent) universe. I'm used to seeing invented languages in works like this: Tolkien's languages for The Lord of the Rings, or Paoli...

3 answers  ·  posted 11y ago by iajrz‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A 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? Persona...

1 answer  ·  posted 11y ago by srcspider‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A 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 sent...

4 answers  ·  posted 12y ago by Ralph Gallagher‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A 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 famili...

4 answers  ·  posted 12y ago by Alexey Shatygin‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A How can you make up a convincing dialect?

I often need to introduce one, if not several, made up dialects. We're talking about fictional worldbuilding: so any real world dialect is ruled out. They can be used as a source of inspiration, b...

0 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Liquid‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A English words in a non-english sci-fi novel

In the modern world, english is a well-estabilished technical and scientific language. Some terms have become so commonly used that they are accepted in my native tongue (words like "computer", "PC...

4 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Liquid‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A How to write Arabic in dialogue for an English piece?

I have a character who is a Syrian refugee to Canada. His first language is Arabic, but he's lived in Canada long enough that he's learned English and uses this as his primary spoken language. On o...

3 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Trynda E. Adair‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Using substitution ciphers to generate new alphabets in a novel

A substitution cipher is a method used in cryptography to encrypt the meaning of a text. In the most common form, a substitution cipher changes every letter in the target text with another, making...

3 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Liquid‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Is the sentence "Love not self - love no one" easily understandable to an English reader?

This question is not about syntactical correctness. I do not care about that. The only thing I care about is to be understood properly. That's why I'm asking it here and not ELL. The meaning of se...

1 answer  ·  posted 4y ago by rus9384‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Using real words from a foreign culture feels like 'Calling a rabbit a "smeerp"'

I'm working on a novel, that's set in pre-Islamic Persia, in the same general way that The Lord of the Rings is set in Britain. (Meaning, it's set in a world all its own, but there's this source of...

5 answers  ·  posted 4y ago by Galastel‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A How do i properly name a fictional species and describe it?

I'm currently developing a fictional species set in a fantasy world, and I want to name it, but I don't want it to sound too... scientific? For example, our scientific name is Homo sapiens, but we ...

2 answers  ·  posted 4y ago by Marcus Klein‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A How do I indicate that my character is speaking a different language than the one used for narration?

The main character I have in mind for a story in a fantasy setting will be in foreign lands for the entirety of the book. She will have a basic grasp of the spoken language, so her dialogue will us...

2 answers  ·  posted 4y ago by Pasqueflower‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

Question language
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Q&A What are the Pros and Cons of long names?

Background: I'm developing names for places/characters/races/etc. in my world. One example are a particular political sect. The sect are a group within a different species that are named (the spec...

8 answers  ·  posted 4y ago by FoxElemental‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Does it make sense to (partially) create a conlang that you don't intend to actually use in the story?

The story that I'm currently working on is in a very far future. Clearly, people will speak a different language then. Now, I wondered if it can make sense to (partially) create a conlang for the ...

2 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by celtschk‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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