Login

Lost Password?

Create New Account

Where to put the translations?

View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
MrsAnalytica



Joined: 24 May 2013
Posts: 23
Location: Belgium

PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2013 10:23 am    Post subject: Where to put the translations? Reply with quote

I was wondering what your personal preferences are concerning the translation of "foreign" languages in a story, like phrases in Quenya, Sindarin or Black Speech.
I'm currently writing a story that has quite a lot of Black Speech sentences, and I add a translation in cursive between brackets at the end of the sentence. I sometimes wonder if this disrupts the flow of the story and if it would be better to place the translations at the end of each chapter. What do you people prefer?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
NancyBrooke
Challenge Admin


Joined: 11 May 2003
Posts: 160
Location: In a motel 6 by the airport

PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2013 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with you that not disrupting the flow is paramount. I've included some Sindarin in my stories, and always added a translation at the end as a note. But these were relatively short phrases the meaning of which the reader didn't have to know as they read: curses, epithets, endearments, dirty pillow talk ... I'm sure you want to show off your good hard, fun translation work, but if these are fairly lengthy speaches, you might want to cut the reader a break and do something like 'they spoke in the black speach, saying ...' rather than send the reader scrambling for your endnotes or kind of reading the same thing twice. Unless the reader isn't supposed to know ...you might ask yourself whose perspective is the reader learning the story from?
_________________
NB Duchess of WHY TF Cant'chu Punctuate, First Duchess of F*&(ing &*ll yur comma placement sux!
Nazgul #3 in charge of ducking & sniggering

Garo golf a conu ned i eneth aran an ir ho delitha ad
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Sulriel



Joined: 06 Jan 2004
Posts: 286
Location: Imladris (or maybe Texas ...)

PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2013 4:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anything that pops the readers head out of the world and reminds them they're reading a story can be a "bad thing" (in general).

I tend not to use "foreign language" unless it is something that the point of view character (and therefor the reader) isn't going to understand anyway. and in that case I put the translation in a footnote (at the bottom of the page).

Another way I like to deal with that is by making the meaning clear in context.

something like:

"She is durehel!"

"No! She is not of the darkness. ... "

_________________
"May it be a light to you in dark places."
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
ZeeDrippyVessel



Joined: 11 May 2003
Posts: 138
Location: deep south

PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2013 12:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I put mine at the end. (I use a lot of Olde English for the Rohirrim) I do attempt to put enough 'action' around the foreign language so the reader can kinda sorta guess what's being said...
_________________
Zee
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Yahoo Messenger
NeumeIndil



Joined: 06 Jun 2005
Posts: 1091
Location: New York, USA

PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 1:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mine all go into author's notes at the end, with the foreign word in italics (when I can remember to code it). It's easier to skim over one italicized word you don't know and go back to it than reread an entire sentence that's simply a repeat of the stuff you just read.

Keep in mind, though, that using 'foreign' words in dialogue and stories is easy to overdo. I make exceptions for names, for words that have no direct translation, and cursing. Otherwise, I don't feel non-English (in our case) is usually necessary.

_________________
An Infinite Source of Pervy Wisdom.

http://embullybreedrescue.org/
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address
MrsAnalytica



Joined: 24 May 2013
Posts: 23
Location: Belgium

PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 4:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks a lot for the advice... The consensus so far seems to be to put translations at the end of the text, I see...

Quote:
Keep in mind, though, that using 'foreign' words in dialogue and stories is easy to overdo. I make exceptions for names, for words that have no direct translation, and cursing. Otherwise, I don't feel non-English (in our case) is usually necessary.


The use of Black Speech in my story is... well, mostly it's cursing (elaborate cursing though), but it actually has meaning for the storyline, and I felt it was important to actually use it, and not add just something like "and they spoke Black Speech". It's limited to single phrases though.
(I'm biased, I like translating too much -makes my family crazy- so I never know for sure when my story starts becoming a useless linguists's exercise too much...)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
NancyBrooke
Challenge Admin


Joined: 11 May 2003
Posts: 160
Location: In a motel 6 by the airport

PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 1:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another option is to get a beta reader's opinion of the actual text, rather than all this hypothetical opining.
_________________
NB Duchess of WHY TF Cant'chu Punctuate, First Duchess of F*&(ing &*ll yur comma placement sux!
Nazgul #3 in charge of ducking & sniggering

Garo golf a conu ned i eneth aran an ir ho delitha ad
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Sulriel



Joined: 06 Jan 2004
Posts: 286
Location: Imladris (or maybe Texas ...)

PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found what I think is a good example from one of my own stories (Taming the Wildflower)

**paste
... A sharp whistle sounded from the woods midmorning. Their horses answered from the stable. A rider charged into the clearing. "Ambarussa!" he called out. "'Arma roccolyar ar lopa!" His sweating horse screamed, tossed its head and stamped as he circled and stopped.

Between the first word and the third, the twins had splashed the mud from themselves and were belting on their swords. Their horses charged the yard as the three lords spoke. The twins mounted and were gone in a swirl.

What new trial was this? The newcomer approached Rhavloth in the sudden, unnatural quiet after the frenzy.

"My apologies, Lady, for stealing away your guard, I hope my single sword is an acceptable replacement." He placed his hand over his heart and bowed low. "Canafinwë Macalaurë, known as Maglor in these lands, at your service." When he smiled, she could see his brother in him. "You will wish to name me Cáno?"

Maitimo, she remembered laughing when Nelyo said what his mother had called him. Certainly she had misnamed them, for this was the pretty one. Although it wasn't possible for his face to be as pretty as his voice. He spoke with his hands; they captivated Rhavloth, strong and lean and elegant. She swallowed the treasonous thought that his voice had more resonance even than Daeron's.
*** end paste

The main character is Doriathian and by edict of her king doesn't speak Quenya. The SoF, of course, speak Quenya to each other, in this case, orders. It's not translated because the point of view character doesn't understand it. - also because it's not information the reader needs to continue moving the story forward. In the last paragraph I pasted in, the name Maitimo is (hopefully) translated in context.

If you'd like me to take a peak at about 1000 words or so, I might be able to offer suggestions as to if what you're doing seems to be working, or some other way to work it. my email is available in my profile here if you want to do that, you can use that one.

_________________
"May it be a light to you in dark places."
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
MrsAnalytica



Joined: 24 May 2013
Posts: 23
Location: Belgium

PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

If you'd like me to take a peak at about 1000 words or so, I might be able to offer suggestions as to if what you're doing seems to be working, or some other way to work it. my email is available in my profile here if you want to do that, you can use that one.


Thanks! I think I'll take you up on that offer... Wink
I sent you a bit of about 600 words, I hope it's not too horrible.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Sulriel



Joined: 06 Jan 2004
Posts: 286
Location: Imladris (or maybe Texas ...)

PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Got it!

I'm just settling in at work, but I should have time later this evening to give it a look.

_________________
"May it be a light to you in dark places."
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum