1. Angel-Eyes
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    Angel-Eyes New Member

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    Which language?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Angel-Eyes, Jan 3, 2010.

    I grew up in Holland so I speak Dutch, but I learned english by watching TV and reading English books. I read english books before I had one english lesson. I started speaking english more and then started to think in English. Last summer I spent a few months in America which only made it worse.
    I always think in English.
    But the problem is: do I write in English or Dutch?
    It is easier to write english because I don't have tot translate my own thoughts, but my english grammar and spelling isn't perfect so I'll make mistakes.
    And I'll probably never get published in a country that speaks Dutch if I write in English.

    What do you guys think? should I write in the language I think or in the language that gets published easier?
     
  2. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Don't worry about publishing or audience. Write in the language that you are most comfortable with.
     
  3. DvnMrtn
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    DvnMrtn Contributing Member

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    If you write in the language you are most comfortable with then your writing will be better. If the writing is good enough to be published then the publishers will worry about translations or marketing.

    However, the majority of the publishing world after WWII is targeted to an English speaking audience.
     
  4. rory
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    rory Contributing Member

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    These days, if the writing is good (or popular, not always the same thing), it could end up being translated into multiple languages anyways. If you are seriously planning to be published in the Netherlands, it would be an important factor in considering which language you initially write in. If you write just for fun, it makes no difference if you write in dutch, english, or gobbledegook.
    Like thirdwind said, write what comes naturally. If it is in english you could always try to get it published in another country if that's your goal.

    Good luck!
     
  5. Gallowglass
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    Gallowglass Contributing Member Contributor

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    Write in what you're comfortable with. If it's popular in that language, then it'll be translated. Sure, it might lose something, but only if the translation is bad (when this is essentially two very similar Germanic languages we're dealing with, and a lot of Dutch people speak English (or English vocabulary with American spelling and accents), that's not likely), and at least it would have had it to start with.

    The drafts of my books are in Gaelic, and one of them will be submitted to a Gaelic publisher before it goes south ;)
     
  6. ManhattanMss
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    ManhattanMss Contributing Member

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    Seems to me if you write in the language you "think" in, that has a much better chance of delivering the story you want to relate. Use it as a way to polish your English grammar and spelling and such. That way, when you do want to have your story translated into Dutch, you'll know the nuances and subtleties you want to remain intact, whether you translate it or a translator does. Of course, if you want to write a story to a Dutch-speaking readership, then publishing in Dutch might be what you're shooting for, in which case you could probably easily write it in Dutch in spite of the fact that you're thinking in English (and which may give it a multinational flavor). Write it in both, if you can (you'll likely be selling the rights separately anyway).
     
  7. Gallowglass
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    Gallowglass Contributing Member Contributor

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    Actually, that 'multinational flavour' that ManhattanMs was talking about could be interesting, if done well. I was speaking with someone I know who publishes a lot in Gaelic magazines in Scotland, Ireland, and is attempting to do the same in the Maritime Gaidhealtachd in Canada.

    Now, the similarities between Irish Gaelic and Highland Gaelic are like those between Dutch and British English (I don't know about American English, there are a few differences in grammar, but they're mostly limited to a few sentences). The theory that she's discovered is that if you write with one in your head, but for the other, then your writing will appeal to the popular culture, sayings, emotions, styles, etc. of both.

    It's not been tried with Dutch and English, as far as I know, but there's not that much to lose. You'll just go back to the normal plan.
     
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    it all depends on why you're writing...

    if only for yourself, then use the language you're most comfy writing in...

    but if write hoping to get published, then you must write in the language of the country where you want to see your works read...
     

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