Following the enormous success and rapid responses to my first question thread, here is another one. When a book is written in one language (let's say English), it occurs frequently that character dialogue is in a different language (let's say, French). I have observed so far several distinct (though often mixed, even in one book) ways to render the foreign-language dialogue: - Frequently the author writes the whole dialogue in English without any regard for the linguistic peculiarities of the foreign language, i.e. simply as if the dialogue was taking place in English. This implies the inclusion of English idioms, proverbs, and expressions that don't even exist in the language the characters are supposed to be using. - In some cases, the foreign language dialogue is identified by transferring certain linguistic peculiarities of the foreign language into English. This could mean using Ye Olde English instead of modern English, changing the order of words to make the sentence sound "foreign", or adding foreign idioms and expressions, but if overdone, the result could potentially be a broken dialogue that is incomprehensible to anybody but those fluent in the foreign language, who would have to "re-translate" what they are reading to get the meaning. - Then there is the possibility to single out individual words and write them in the actual foreign language, which one can assume that the educated reader either knows or can deduce from the context. So a part of a dialogue might read "Merci, but I won't be able to come on Saturday". "Non" and "oui" are also clear candidates for this treatment, amongst a few others. - Finally, something I have been thinking about, is putting foreign language dialogue fully and entirely in the foreign language and adding a translation as a footnote. This would preserve the original dialogue in its intended form and add a decent amount of realism. Frenchmen simply talk differently from Englishmen. EDIT (a fifth option, also popular): - Some author's don't reproduce foreign language dialoge at all and simply write something like: "The Frenchmen started babbling to each other excitedly in that effeminate language of theirs." This latter option has severe disadvantages, of course. For a reader not fluent in the foreign language, it will quickly become tedious to switch between footnotes and text if there is too much dialogue, so dialogue in this language has to be kept to a minimum. Even for a reader fluent in both languages (the narration language and the dialogue language) switching languages back and forth all the time while reading a dialogue could become mentally exhausting. So my question is - what do you think is the best option, and what do you think of the fourth one, the one I am experimenting with at the moment?