1. Eefje258
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    Eefje258 New Member

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    Need some advice

    Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Eefje258, Oct 19, 2012.

    Hi everyone,
    I actually need some advice.
    English is not my native language.
    But I read in English since 4 years ago.
    That's the way I learned it. I began to read before I had any English at school.
    So I really learned "Oh, 'I' means '...'"
    My family didn't believe I could actually read in English.
    Especially my older brother who kept asking 'Do you know the meaning of that word?', while picking a difficult describing word.
    Off course I didn't understand it, hello, I was a twelve year old learning myself another language.
    But I kept reading in English! ;) I've read many books since then (right now I'm reading the final book of the earth's children of J.M. Auel).
    I'm 16 now by the way.

    My dilemma: do I write my manuscript in English or in my native language Dutch?

    Yes, I know my Dutch is much better and I probably will struggle a lot when I'm at a loss for words in English.
    Not to mention the many mistakes I write (sorry for that :S).
    But it feels easier expressing myself in English, sounds better and all.
    I think regularly in English as well...
    What do you guys think?
    I want to write the story that's in my head.
    And as most writers I want to see it published someday.

    Thanks for helping me out!
     
  2. Fivvle
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    Fivvle Contributing Member

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    Welcome!
    I think you should pose your question to everyone in the General Writing section; that way, more people will be able to give their thoughts on your dilemna.
    Your English sounds very good. If you wanted to continue to write in English, I'm sure you would become even better. There's always the possibility of writing it in your native language, but if you wanted it to be translated to English, you would need a really good translator to make sure the English sentences work just as well as the Dutch ones.
    My advice would be to write in whatever language you feel most comfortable with.

    Hope that helped in some way...
    I hope you enjoy your time here!
     
  3. Gigi_GNR
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    Gigi_GNR Guys, come on. WAFFLE-O. Contributor

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    Welcome to the WF.
     
  4. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    Welcome to Writing Forums, Eefje258!

    I hope you find what you're looking for here, whatever your interests in writing.

    This forum aims to provide the best workshopping resources on the internet, and to that end we have a few rules which you should familiarise yourself with before you get stuck in. The main section of the site is the Writing Workshop, where members can post their writing in order to receive critique of their work.

    However, before we allow members to post their work, they must have met some basic requirements. Firstly, you must have been a member for fourteen days, and have made twenty posts on the forum overall (please note, posts in Word Games do not count towards this). This is so that members, when they post their work, have familiarised themselves with the forums and contributed to them (as well as hopefully learned something for themselves). Secondly, members must provide two constructive reviews of other people's work for each piece of their own that they wish to post. This is because we believe that the focus of workshopping should be equally upon giving reviews as receiving them, as they allow a writer to practice and improve their editing skills, which they can then apply to their own writing.

    Beyond the Writing Workshop, you will find that we have extensive forums for discussion of aspects of writing, as well as a community area for general discussion. We also run periodic short story and poetry contests, which are good for challenging yourself and expanding your skills.

    If you have any questions or problems, then the moderators (myself, Cogito, Lemex and Dante Dases) should be your first port of call. Any technical problems with the site itself should be directed to Daniel, the site administrator and owner. I would recommend you have a look over the rules so that you know what to expect, and what is expected. But aside from that, I hope you enjoy your time here.


    Banzai
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    you'll need to write it in whichever language you want to see it published in...

    if you want it published in the UK or the US, of course it will have to be in english, since no publisher is going to go to the expense of translating it, unless it's been a runaway bestseller in your own country and they believe it will sell well in theirs...

    but, if you can write more comfortably in dutch first and are capable of translating it into good enough to publish english later, then do that... it's up to you...

    i've worked with several dutch writers and though their english was very good, their work still needed a lot of 'fixing' to make it acceptable to agents and publishers... so you may need to hire someone to polish it for you... and good 'book doctors' don't come cheap... plus, you need to be aware that will most likely be money down the drain, since there's little to no chance of your book being published at all, or making enough if it is, to recoup what the rewrite/edit cost...

    that said, if you hire a good editor/rewrite expert-cum-tutor, the cost can be justified by her/him helping you to learn how to improve your writing to the point where you won't have to hire anyone to 'fix' your future works...

    for starters, after you fulfill the site requirements for posting work, i strongly suggest you post a page of your ms here in the workshop section, so you can get feedback on the quality of the writing... who know, it may be fine as is...

    meanwhile, welcome to the forums!

    love and hugs, maia
     
  6. Eefje258
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    Eefje258 New Member

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    Thank you guys!
    It really helps me a lot and I want as many opinions as possible, so I will ask the question again in the section of general writing. ;)
     
  7. B93
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    B93 Active Member

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    Based on your introduction, I'd say you write very understandable English, but it does not sound completely natural to a native speaker. Many native speakers do not use better English, but your story needs to sound natural to them. You will need someone to point out those things so you can learn.
     
  8. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I think you should write in the language that you want to write in - truth is, you're 16, both your writing skills AND English skills will highly likely improve - and maybe improve dramatically - in the next 5 years or so. You will then come back and polish it off. And if not, you can always hire an proof-reader, or perhaps get a native speaker friend who would be willing to look it over for you. Either way, it's not impossible.

    But writing in a language you don't really wanna write in or "feel right" in, that's gonna stunt your writing I think.

    However, I do wonder why you find writing in English easier. Do you read Dutch books/literature at all, or exclusively in English?
     
  9. Tassu
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    Tassu New Member

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    English is not my native language either, but I do all my writing in English - so I can well understand what you mean when you say it's easier to express yourself in English. Writing on a second language is not the easiest option, but if you keep writing (and reading) you'll get better and better at it. Speaking and listening English helps a lot too, so if you can find English speaking friends, or maybe sign up to a language school, that will soon give your writing a more natural sound.

    Get a good dictionary too (thefreedictionary.com is my favourite) and when you look up a word, spend some time scrolling through the synonyms. Your vocabulary will soon expand. You'll also need to spend some time learning the grammar and punctuation (I'm always surprised how much something as simple as comma placement can vary from language to language). But the more you learn, the more rewarding it will become.

    As for translating from your native language to English... I wouldn't recommend this. The way you express yourself depends on specific words, so your writing will have a different feel. I did write in my native language when I was younger and have sometimes tried translating my old stories. It just doesn't work. Even when I set aside the fact that my writing abilities have hugely improved over the years (and hopefully will keep on improving) the dialog especially is all wrong and clunky when translated.

    Just keep on writing and it will become easier and more natural.
     
  10. JJ_Maxx
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    JJ_Maxx Banned

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    Honestly, you have better spelling and grammar than most American 16 year olds I know. ;)
     
  11. Eefje258
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    Eefje258 New Member

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    When I was young I read in Dutch, didn't like it so much actually...
    Until I wanted to read a book that wasn't translated yet, I wanted to read it so bad that I read the book in the original language.
    After 3 books (it was a series of 4) I understood pretty well (not as much as I do know, I still learn words while reading).
    And when I go to England, I bring 10 books back from the waterstones, every single time. :D
    I still read dutch books for school.
    But the thing is when I have two books before me an English and a Dutch... My hand is just drawn to the English one.

    And you're right my skills in both languages will probably still improve, especially when you know I'm thinking about studying English and Dutch at the university.

    I have asked this question to Dutch writers as well and they are not so positive about it.
    They are right when they say that writing in your own language hard enough is...

    So I'm still not sure :( but I appreciate the comments of everyone, they really help to think this through!
     

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