1. Eurlo
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    Eurlo Banned

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    Ok got a question for all of you....

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Eurlo, Feb 17, 2011.

    If I was to (IF) write a book on fantasy stuff would it be a good idea to make my own language for my characters to speak?
    And if I do (IF) would it increase my chances of being published or not?
     
  2. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    To be honest I don't think it affects sales either way - nor is it something that affects the quality of the story. In mine I have hints of an 'older' language called Hairenese and corrupt chinese to do it, but there isn't really one.
     
  3. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    I don't think it would increase your chances of being published. It can add to the book in a way that certain fantasy audiences will appreciate IF you know what you are doing. Creating a language that actually works and is consistent isn't easy. Tolkien is the example people generally point to, but he was a philologist and he put a lot of time into the languages (though they aren't fully formed "languages").

    If you can't do a good job with it and make a language that will stand up to scrutiny, I think you're better off not doing it, but instead maybe inventing a word here and there to give it that flavor.
     
  4. SeverinR
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    SeverinR Contributing Member

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    If using a few lines, it would probably be alright. But language is tough. Past tense, present tense, future tense, the inner workings of a language is tough.

    Making a language that works is tough. Tolken did create languages, I have heard he wrote his books, to use the languages. I believe his languages are copyrighted, so I doubt they can be used. Although many websights offer the phrases and translations, some even say you can learn to speak it.


    The last question is an interesting one, I will watch to see.

    Steerspike answered while I was typing, I think he is right. If it is believable, it will add, if not then it will detract.
    Maybe offer a phrase or two, like when someone that doesn't speak english gets angry they tend to rattle off thier native language.
     
  5. Porcupine
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    Porcupine Contributing Member

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    Just look at the problems we have finding a good way to display foreign languages in a book in the other thread. ;)

    Most likely, you will have to render it in the narrative language (English?) anyway, and then what's the point? :)

    But I don't want to discourage you. If you think it will add to the story, and are enthusiastic about it, why not?
     
  6. Peerie Pict
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    Peerie Pict Contributing Member Contributor

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    Do you mean in the way Tolkein interspersed English with various words from the languages of elves and hobbits etc?

    I would never try to up with a new language personally. The reader would be so distracted in deciphering the meaning of the speech that you'd have to strip away everything else down to the basics.
     
  7. Halcyon
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    Halcyon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Eurlo

    Hvetyr ftsjut dhouwb hgerpgo, traclyt dsut nretugawn bhyrsft. (Igtrepsu czrepgah) :)
     
  8. Peerie Pict
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    Peerie Pict Contributing Member Contributor

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    And your point being? ;)
     
  9. Halcyon
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    Halcyon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Jtutrog, Emma.

    Fdropawm btirfkal, srepgtyo nhtvsalpu.

    Jhytrivzekpe LOL!!!
     
  10. Peerie Pict
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    Peerie Pict Contributing Member Contributor

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    HOurhouehroeugg achh achh vershing lun mesicklhfoih, ok??

    Hooyablooowinany! Lol
     
  11. Halcyon
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    Halcyon Contributing Member Contributor

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    I really don't think we're speaking the same language here, Emma.

    Or maybe it's the Shetland accent that's screwing me up! ;)
     
  12. Peerie Pict
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    Peerie Pict Contributing Member Contributor

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    Actually, "Hooyablooowinany" is part of the English langauge. Look it up. It means 'poppycock'
     
  13. Halcyon
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    Halcyon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Legal jargon, huh?

    Well, all I can say is kjerstpulha!
     
  14. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    My novel has phrases in a language other than the main one spoken by the main character(s). There are brief instances of it use. But I did not extensively create a new language--not even close.

    Did the inclusion of the language help the novel find a publisher? I could ask my editor and publisher, but I really suspect it wasn't that important. It is a lot of little things that often add up to a quality piece.

    As I see it, if creating and implementing the new language makes sense for your novel and you have the ability to do it, it certainly wouldn't hurt.

    Terry
     
  15. joelpatterson
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    joelpatterson Member

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    My sister and her friends had one of those "secret code" languages that they would babble to each other in that was gibberish to me... "Hy-bu Ky-bu- Ry-bu..." Obviously it was about interspersing certain syllables into normal speech in such a way to blur it all, but if you understood the code, you'd have no problem following it...

    You could take the mother tongue and give it that treatment, it might be a good long while before any reader caught on...
     
  16. Terry D
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    Terry D Active Member

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    No plot gimick will improve your chances of being published. The only thing which will improve that is writing a good story, and writing it well. There are no magic bullets, or special techniques to getting a story, or book published -- just lots of writing, rewriting and working on your craft.
     
  17. Eurlo
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    Eurlo Banned

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    Ok I have read all your replies, thanks to all of you for advice and answers as for my language would it help to have a pronunciation guide?(IF I MAKE THIS SO CALLED FORIEGN LANGUAGE?)
     
  18. The-Joker
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    The-Joker Contributing Member Contributor

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    No not particularly. If you include a pronounciation guide, then the readers will be pronouncing your foriegn words the way you intended. If you don't they'll pronounce it the way it's spelt. Either way, what's the difference? It doesn't affect the story. It could add some authenticity and depth to your fictional world, but this is really something to consider after you've written the book. The way you've incorporated the language into the novel might guide your decision.

    But my answer still remains no. Just write the words the way you want them pronounced. Forget the pronounciation guide.

    Oh and my personal opinion on whether the inclusion of a made up language helps snag a publisher. Well it's nothing more than a gut feeling but I'd say absolutely not. You create a fictitious language because your particular story would read better with the added variety. Don't tack it on because you think it makes any fantasy story more appealing.
     

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