1. Onoria Westhrop
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    Onoria Westhrop Contributing Member

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    How do you punctuate this?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Onoria Westhrop, Jan 4, 2007.

    (The word 'kuruma' is Japanese for 'car'. It's just an example of the kind of problem I'm having with more complex Japanese words in my historical novel set in Japan.)

    The car or kuruma left the station.

    I gather it's a non-defining relative clause.

    The car, or kuruma, left the station.

    Is this right?

    And if I want to write a shorter sentence?

    The car, or kuruma.

    ????
     
  2. danHQ
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    danHQ Member

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    The car, or Kuruma, left the station. Would be correct.
     
  3. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    danHQ is quite correct.

    Dan, I know my affirmation wasn't necessary, but hey, you helped a fellow writer out and deserve a bit of recognition. :)

    Terry
     
  4. Fantasy of You
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    Fantasy of You Banned

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    It's correct, but why do you need it? The 'or' gives the sentence an essay-type tone and you're writing a novel.

    I don't know how necessary it is to have Japanese in your narrative, I mean you could just have someone refer to a car as kuruma. Just because you've learned the stuff, doesn't mean you have to throw it everywhere.

    But like I said, I'd don't know how necessary it is. I'm sure the prose could do without it. Simply having a few simple phrases peppered in the dialogue would be enough.

    - FoY
     
  5. Bluemouth
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    Bluemouth Contributing Member Contributor

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    That's certainly the way to go about it, I'd say. Whenever I'm writing fiction that contains anything historical or is set in another country I make sure I only reference to certain things in the dialogue. If I suddenly write a sentence like here: "The dog, or chien, sat down" I make sure to take the chien part out as I think it looks as if I'm trying to teach the reader something that isn't neccessary and can be picked up through dialogue. It also takes the reader out of the story for that brief second as it is more factual content.

    But this is only a minor example and not too much of a problem. Some Michael Crichton books that I've read go on for pages trying to teach everyone about the topic, and I constantly find myself detached from the main story.
     
  6. Onoria Westhrop
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    Onoria Westhrop Contributing Member

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    The same question, but with the below sentence. I can't get WORD to recognize the grammar, but I suspect that this might have to do with it not recognizing the subject-noun (MacCleod).

     
  7. Bluemouth
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    Bluemouth Contributing Member Contributor

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    Isn't there another way to word the above though? It makes sense but I don't like how it reads.
     
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    why don't you simply make the translation a parenthetical?... or use em dashes?... would be much simpler and self-explanatory...

    'The car (kuruma) left the station.'

    'The car--kuruma--left the station.'
     
  9. TheNewEyes
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    TheNewEyes Member

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    I wouldn't write it either way.

    I would establish the translation in dialogue.

    "Kuruma. Kuruma!"
    "What?"
    "The car--it's leaving, hurry" She grabbed his hand.
     
  10. Bluemouth
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    Bluemouth Contributing Member Contributor

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    I like that approach NewEyes
     
  11. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    it's much better writing, imo, to let the reader 'get it' that way, than to duplicate the word with translation...
     

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