1. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    In which language do you write?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Tesoro, Mar 21, 2011.

    This is a question for you non-native english speakers on this forum. When you write, which language do you use? Your own or english (in hope of getting it published in an english-speaking country)? Some of you might come from countries where english is a second language and that would be interesting to hear too. Im asking this because I got the impression that many of you non-english/americans still write your stories in english, or am I wrong? If so, why? As for myself I write in swedish because as far as I have heard it's hard to find a publisher here that would want to publish anything else. But it also comes easiest to me. Writing in english would be a nice challenge, but that will have to wait some more, I think :)
     
  2. Thanshin
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    Thanshin Active Member

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    Wow! you sent this exactly while I was writing my thread about writing in English or Spanish.

    To answer your question, I usually write in Spanish, but I'm trying to learn to write in English too. However, in my case it has nothing to do with being published. I just think it's much easier to be read if you write in English.
     
  3. Tesgah
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    Tesgah Member

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    I'm from Norway and I almost exclusively write in English just because it feels better to me. I've still got a lot to learn, but I have time and will learn as I write and read. When the time comes, I won't have any troubles publishing my book in the UK/US as long as it's good enough:rolleyes: The Norwegian market is very small anyway, especially for Norwegian written fantasy.
     
  4. spklvr
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    spklvr Contributing Member Contributor

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    Same here, but it's easier for Norwegians, considering we're taught English since second grade. My first long work was a fanfiction, so I kind of had to write it in English, and because it was a huge novel in the end that I spent years on, it suddenly became really weird to write in Norwegian. But I fully intend to study in England for a while, and try to get published then rather than trying to publish something English in Norway.
    I am writing a story for my cousin in Norwegian now, and it's effing difficult. It's like, don't we have any words at all! Reading translated Anne Rice books is really funny though. Because we don't have that many words for the same thing in Norway, the translations either cuts out entire sentences or use the same word over and over. I never realized how repetitive she was before.
     
  5. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    Tesgah: How would you go about having your novel published in another country? Im asking because I have no idea how I would do that myself. It seems like Swe is good in the way that it's not a must to have an agent in order to even get the publishers to LOOK at your manuscript, I've got the feeling that lots of writers here doesn't have one. And while it seems hard enough to get published in a small country, getting published in the US seems almost impossible, because of the zillions of writers from all kinds of places wanting the same thing. I mean, its not just the american writers,(although they are already quite a few) english-writing writers from all over the world seem to try to have their work published there as well. I wish I had your confidence in my writing, I would certainly need it. So you write fantasy?
     
  6. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    spklvr:
    I have the same feeling with writing in swedish: it feels like im using the same X number of words over and over again!!! Gaah! :eek: Maybe I should give writing in english some serious thought? Hopefully it would even improve my english skills... :rolleyes:
     
  7. Leonardo Pisano
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    Leonardo Pisano Active Member

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    Interesting question.....

    I have ESL, but write immediately in English. I am sort of disadvantaged, because:
    1. I can come close but some words have specific meanings in context, which are difficult to grasp for a foreigner. This holds true especially for British English in which what NOT has been said, or the words that NOT have been chosen, convey an important message...
    2. My vocabulary in English is less than in my own language.
    3. Body language in particular is difficult to describe, but in a foreign language it's even more of a challenge.

    My main reason for writing in English is related to the subjects I am writing about (dangers of centralisation for individual freedoms). I know the subject from English sources, not from sources in my own language. Background information is easier to obtain in English (Internet) and this outweighs (imho) the mentioned disadvantages.
     
  8. Tesgah
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    Tesgah Member

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    Yes, I write ya fantasy. It's my prefered genre, possibly because I have such a wild imagination:)

    I suppose I would go about it as if I actually lived in the UK. I query agents, if they are interested then I send them my manuscript. It might be a little bit more difficult to get an agent, seeing as I live in a foreign country, but if my idea/book is good enough it won't matter much. Do not mistake me, however, for I have no illusions that I will get to publish my book. I write because I enjoy it, and should I be so lucky as to get a publisher then I would consider that a bonus.
     
  9. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm Danish, writing in English. For no other reason than English words are scrumptuously chewtastic and the constant over-use of apostrophes makes my head spin in such a wonderful, detached manner.

    Well, one more reason might be that my own language, Danish, is about as widely spoken on this planet as Volapük.
     
  10. Alvaro
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    Alvaro Member

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    English is not my first language, but I have lived in the UK for over five years now and English comes more naturally to me now. It is a great language to write in. Lovely words!

    A. :eek:)
     
  11. KillianRussell
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    KillianRussell Contributing Member

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    I write in Ebonic, Yat, Philadelphian,and United States Southernese. Been trying to write "Uptown," the polar opposite of "Yat."


    Yat is the unique dialect of English spoken in the less well-heeled sections of Greater New Orleans.
     
  12. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    I agree, english is way more various and creative than most scandinavian languages.
     
  13. Porcupine
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    Porcupine Contributing Member

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    I write about 90% in English. I also read about 90% in English. English is not really my native language, but I can speak it like a native. I think I prefer English because I was basically taught reading English, and only read very little in German when I was young. This has stuck. I feel uncomfortable writing fiction in German, it flows much better (and reads much better) when it's in English.

    The rest of my writing is done in German. Apart from German, I read a little French, Italian and Russian every now and then, but not much beyond newspaper articles or similar length stuff.
     
  14. FictionAddict
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    FictionAddict Senior Member

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    Having ESL is like feeding a weed. You get the seeds planted in your head when you're really young and the thing starts growing silently until it sinks its roots and scramble your brain to force itself into acknowlegment.

    The moment my MC popped into my head, I instantly knew he was British. I started to write his story in Dutch, but it came out... er... unnatural. It was the English language creeping into me, forcing me to stretch its space in my brain. The writing wasn't flowing, so I finally gave in to the evil weed's force and everything got better (story-wise).

    Joking aside, I've always loved English. 98% of the books I read are in English. I seek it in my leisure hours, and am forced to use it in the working ones routinely.

    Of course writing in English has it's struggles, but I find the challenge will make me come out better in the end.

    As someone mentioned above, I've also thought about publishing in the U.S and/or in Britain. Hopefully the fact that the story is written in English will gain me some points, but I believe what really matters is the story itself. I don’t know anything about agents or editors in the U.S. or in Britain. This’s something I’ll get worried about later, if I decide I’m even going to try publishing it. What matters now is that I’m enjoying what I’m doing and that I’m learning more and more as I do it.
     
  15. FictionAddict
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    FictionAddict Senior Member

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    Same problem here. I just learned a new word here in the forum the other day: flounce. Looking it up in the dictionary I quickly found out it's meaning, but it was in the forum that I discovered the word is almost exclusively used when talking about women. This is the kind of thing that makes me worked up. It makes me wonder if the millions of words I've learned in the last months are being used wrong.

    What do you do to get around those problems?

    Does anyone here have the same issues?
     
  16. OrangeInAir
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    OrangeInAir Member

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    Sorry, this is slightly off-topic...

    As a native English speaker that doesn't know any other languages, I was really intrigued to read about the language differences that I had no idea about. I know that English has a lot of synonyms, but I (perhaps naively) had thought that other languages were similar (or hadn't considered that the synonyms weren't normal). Spklvr mentioned about translations and that was really interesting.
     
  17. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    I saw that particular word the other day too, but looking it up didnt make me any wiser...maybe you could illuminate me? :rolleyes:
     
  18. FictionAddict
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    FictionAddict Senior Member

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    Flounce is the way Ruby Rap (Chris Tucker) walks here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DK8ednS0sk (starting on 0:10)

    And that's why the word is only used when talking about women. Oh, and gay men, of course. ;)
     
  19. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    .....
     
  20. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    I couldn't see the video :( There was something wrong with it...
    but thank you anyway, your description made me understand more or less anyway :))
     
  21. FictionAddict
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    FictionAddict Senior Member

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    Oops... Sorry. I think I erased something from the adress before. Now it's working. Check it out:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DK8ednS0skQ
     
  22. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    LOL! that looks like Jay Alexander in ANTM when teaching the models how to walk, hehehe.
     
  23. senkacekic
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    senkacekic New Member

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    In my mother tounge there's a huge difference between written and spoken language. In written language we commonly use another tense than in spoken language. There are also so many levels of formality... Then there's the fact that it feels quite strange to read colloquial speech and absolutely strange to read dialects/accents. Writing things like gotta, wanna, dunno, ain't would seem just so strange in my mother tounge, as such colloquial speech is not written down, mostly.
    Then there are so many wonderful words in English, especially describing mimic, gestures and sounds. I love that.
    I work as a translator, so I spent pretty much time studying these differences... and basically (if you're on an equal level in both languages) I'd say its easier to write in English.

    Writing historical fiction or high fantasy works quite good for me, but as soon as I do some Science Fiction or "modern time" stories I just have to switch to English instead... especially the dialogues are so much better to write and you have more possibilities to vary your character's way of talking...
     
  24. Still Life
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    Still Life Active Member

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    I'm multi-lingual and generally write in Japanese and English, the latter being my second language. However, the other half of me that I've spent twenty years hiding, is of Cambodian-born Thai descent.

    I'm attempting to learn both Khmer and Thai and plan to write in both once I've got a good grasp of the grammar. In Thai, because I'd like to unravel the prejudice that Cambodians are simply uneducated, gap-toothed fools. And in Khmer, because there isn't much that constitutes as literature in post-war Cambodia that isn't a folk-tale or thinly-veiled pornography, which may be due to the horrendous lack of funding for any literary competition and a writer (no matter how good) would starve on the proceeds of his or her work.
     
  25. Bay K.
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    Bay K. Contributing Member

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    You don't write in English? ... Could o' fooled me! :)
     

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