~~ The Non-English Speaking Writers' Society ~~

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by seizetsu, Mar 24, 2003.

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  1. seizetsu Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 20, 2003
    star 2
    Welcome to this new instalment in the FFWRF. I've seen the one social thread after the other popping up around here lately, such as the "20-something fanficcers thread" and the "Over 30 SW writers club". Thus, I thought a thread for the writers around here that don't speak English as their first language might be a good thing to start up as well. I'm not quite sure as to how many we are around the Fanfic Boards that speak other languages when we're not here, but I figured it had to be some people.

    Now, let's face it people. We, the Non-English speakers generally have a harder time getting our fics really good and getting all of the gramar and spelling right. I know this may not apply to all of us, but I'm sure many people experience some difficulties when writing in a language they do not fully master. And so, I thought we might want a place to show each others our fics and getting the help we need with our writing without having to be embarresed by asking what might seem as "stupid questions" about what is right and wrong when writing in English, and then, of course, it would be a nice way to get to know some of you better :)

    Well, I hope I've raised some interest and I hope somebody picks up on this idea. May the Force guide your fingers when writing!
  2. Queengodess Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 18, 2000
    star 4
    *stares at Seizetsu* Hey! I had NO idea you used to hang around here! That's the kind of stuff you really should tell your sire! Bad vampire! *shakes her head*

    Anyway, I really know what you're talking about it - it's not easy writing in English. It's actually VERY frustrating, not being able to fully express yourself the way you won't. Although my beta is doing wonders (Force, I love that girl...!) it's still a hinderance. The way I write in when I write English is very different from the way I write in when I write Swedish...

    So, good initative here, Sei! *proud*
  3. Enji Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 14, 2002
    star 6
    You didn't know, Kee-loca? :p

    Anyway, I agree. It's sometimes very difficult to express yourself in english, and then you read all the other stories here and see that they use a lot of words and stuff I could never dream of mastering.
    But I try not to think of that, and instead simply use words that I am familiar with. Better to do that than try to use all those fancy words that you're not really sure of... :)

    Oh, and I haven't yet posted a fic here, I will as soon as I can find a name for it... :)
  4. seizetsu Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 20, 2003
    star 2
    Sire! I bow at your feet, sucking the blood out of your toes. Forgive me for my not telling you of my activities in this region.

    Back on topic though, I quite recognise what you're talking about as well. The way I write my Swedish texts in is rather different than the way I write my English texts. The Swedish ones always end up much more alive and passionate(don't get that wrong ;) ) A beta might help, as you suggested, thank you, Sire :)

    Now, let's hope that more people find this thread before it sinks to the bottom of the Forum Sea.

    EDIT: Ah, yet another vampire joins in. I hope we will get some non-vampires in here as well, eventually :D
  5. Daughter_of_Yubyub Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 2002
    star 6
    I'm English speaking, but I can identify with the situation you guys are in. I have to take my history class in French because of scheduling problems, and I find my essays just aren't of the same quality, since the grammar doesn't come as naturally. Then a lot of the feeling gets lost while trying to remember the right words.
  6. seizetsu Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 20, 2003
    star 2
    Ladies and gentlemen, well, just ladies then, we have some compassion :D

    I can imagine you have a hard time writing in French, Yubyub. English and Swedish are both languages of the one and same origin, or so I think. French, on the other hand is a language springing from Latin. Thus it is harder for us to learn. I'll tell you, if I were to write an essay In French I wouldn't even understand it myself. And I've been studying French for 5 years soon :)
  7. Daughter_of_Yubyub Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 2002
    star 6
    I've been studying French for twelve years, but I still find my writing is smoother in English. :p
  8. VadeyFan2002 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 30, 2002
    star 4
    Hi there,
    I'm German and my English grammar isn't bad for a German out of school since moore than 20 years,still I have my problems with it.
    Most of it the interpointation and irregular verbs one doesn't use that often as the main ones like read,put,write and so on.
    You get the picture.
    But of course I have problems to find the on expresion I am looking for at the right time.
    I have a much larger vocabulary for speaking than writing English. Cause then I speak,I don't need to know the correct writing.
    And sometimes I don't find the words I have in mind in my dictionary, cause I don't know the right translation. Plus there are many words that can't be translated into an other language,you need a whole sentence instead.

    Vadey ( no vampire)
  9. seizetsu Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 20, 2003
    star 2
    Ah, I just knew a non-vampire person had to come along at some point :D

    Welcome to the thread Vadey, I hope you'll enjoy this in the way I thought it would be enjoyable :)
  10. Queengodess Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 18, 2000
    star 4
    Non-vampires? Hey, I can sire people if that's wanted? :D

    Waiting eagerly for a reply from my beta - if my readers knew how much I do for me, they'd lose all respect...*sigh*

    Love your sig, Sei... [face_love]
  11. seizetsu Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 20, 2003
    star 2
    Dear sire, you know I'd like a good turning ceremony as much as anybody, but I think we'll have to wait with that. We don't want to scare everybody off right away, now do we? ;)
  12. Queengodess Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 18, 2000
    star 4
    Hey, what's so scaring about biting people...? I was just trying to be nice...*innocent smile*

    A shame it doesn't help us with the English, though. :(
  13. Daughter_of_Yubyub Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 2002
    star 6
    Incidently, if you guys ever need help with English, I'm here. :p
  14. AlrikFassbauer Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 2, 2003
    star 4
    Hello, everyone.

    I'm german, and I'm thinking of publishing my short storoes here, too.

    However, I don
    't dare translating them (from german into english), because all of the subtle things and feelings will be lost, I fear.

    I just wonder whether it might be possible to publish stories in our native languages ?
  15. Elfsheen Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 9, 2003
    star 5
    Now this is a good idea. I didn't know this was here. Count me in!
  16. sabrelight Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 21, 2000
    star 4
    Hi guys! Nice idea of starting a non-english speaking thread. Glad to know-at last-that there are people out there who seem to be having the same problems.


    I'd sum up the problem like this. I have a picture in my head, a million color picture but due to my lack of words or uncertainity of using them I end up with a 256 color pic.

    The end product is never like the one in my head. And it takes me two to three hours to one post.

    BTW I'm from Asia. The languages, the culture, religion and everything here is just too different from most of the west. For that reason I'm stuck most of the time, thinking whether this particular line will be misunderstood or whether it might offend someone.

  17. bobilll Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 8, 2002
    star 4
    Is it possible to post fanfiction here in a different language? Maybe discuss translating some of them here...

    And sabre, you're from Asia? For some reason I always thought you were from Britain...Which country?
  18. AlrikFassbauer Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 2, 2003
    star 4
    • Lando Calrissian's Ship, the "Lady Luck" :
      The translation of this name (more of my personal opinion on translating ship names in general later) is quite difficult in the german language.

      Reason: In German, there exists no "Lady Luck".

      Explanation and Implication: In the german language, there doesn't exist any kind of personification of "luck" as it is in the english language. And what's even worse, in the german language there doesn't even exist a neutral form of "luck", as it exists in English. In German, there do exist only "Good Luck" -> Glück and the opposite "Bad Luck" -> Pech. We simply don't have in german a neural form called "luck".

      And since the Lady Luck (or simply "the Lady" in Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels) as a personification doesn't exist, the name is - as it is in the original form - not translatable. Except, if with the "Lady Luck" explicitely the "Good Luck" is meant.

      Example: In a novel, the ship's names was actually translated into "Glücksdame". Look above about what I've told, and you can figure out what it should mean. Apart from that, this translation sounds very clumsy in the german language.


    • The people from Ryloth :
      I have used this title, because of the name these people are usually given.
      Two appendages are hanging from the back of their heads, and these appendages are called (plural form) "lekku".
      There are two of them, therefore these people are called by outsiders "twin-lekku" or in short : "[]twi'lek[/i]".

      However, I've found out how to properly translate them into german :

      We also have the prefix "twi" in the german language: "zwi". I don't know how and when the T became an Z , but it seemingly happened once in the last hundred years. There are more words where this happened, if I remember correctly.

      However, this prefix appears several times in both languages :
      Twilling -> Zwilling
      Twilight -> Zwilicht

      Therefore, the proper translation of "Twi'lek" into german should be : "Zwi'lek".


    • My own, personal opinion on translating ship's names in general:

      In my humble opinion, I'd prefer translating these names into german.

      Why ?

      I think, the names in the novel's original language - English - imply some kind of information. Without thranslation, this information is lost.

      What do I mean ?

      I'll give an example. Let's take a Star Destroyer called "Devastator". This name is designated to impose fear and terror. But only in it's original language.

      People capable of the English language are able to "translate" this name into their native languages, and thus keeping the "information" intact, but people not capable of the original language will treat this name like a symbol without understanding it.

      I'll give an example in form of a small dialogue I've once made up:
      Two boys are chatting after having seen Episode I.

      1st boy : "If I was playing one of them, I'd become someone really evil !"
      2nd boy : "What do you think of ?"
      1st : "I wanna be someone evil - A Vice !"
      2nd : "A vice ? What's this ?"
      1st : "Don't you remember those guys from the trade federation ? One of them was a Vice ! I don't actually know what a vice is, but he must be somone very evil ! I wanna be like him !"
      2nd : "But he's also very slimy ..."

      (Here we break up this little dialogue...)

      This is a good example for word with implied information which isn't saved throughout the process of wandering from some place - here it is a movie - into another - into the audience.
      The boys in this dialogue simply don't know what a "vice" is, but from deducing by seeing the movie, they guess it must be someone evil. What a *real* vice is, this piece of information is lost or was never explained (we all know what a vice is, because we once learned this).

      This might well happen with not translating ship's names : The original names of the ships are kept intact, but the implied information is only accessible for those capable of the o
  19. sabrelight Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 21, 2000
    star 4
    I'm an Indian citizen. But because I've not spent more than 7 years in any one place (I've grown up in over half dozen Asian countries) I can't claim to be a genuine citizen of any one country. At home we speak four languages simultanously and the food and culture in my family is unique too. For this reason I say that I'm an Asian.

  20. Queengodess Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 18, 2000
    star 4
    I always thought you were American or a Brit...well, there you see, no good making assumptions. :D

    As to translations...well, I have a problem with that...right now, I'm writing scenes for my fic taking place on Honoghr - the problem is, I've only read the Thrawn trilogy in Swedish (baaaaad translation, btw...!) and now when I'm supposed to write in English, I don't know how to translate different names - it's annoying. Fortunately, Enji borrowed me her copy of Dark Force Rising, but I have no idea what I would have done without it. Life ain't easy for us. ;)
  21. Obi Anne FF admin Celebrations, Europe

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 1998
    star 7
    Ok, how come that you haven't told me about this!!! I think I will have to slap two of you on Saturday, since the third one isn't even showing up. hmmmm,

    I try to write the same way in English as I do in Swedish, and I don't have that much problem with it, my problems are more with the vocabulary. I have quite a big vocabulary in Swedish and like to toy around with words, then when I'm writing in English I can't really do the same and I feel that my language is so much more simple then I would like it to be. That's one reason why I don't write it in Swedish and then translate it, because I wouldn't be able to do that and get satisfied with the result.

    I so need to get a beta for my next fic.
  22. Queengodess Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 18, 2000
    star 4
    Well, we didn't tell you because...hm...we wanted to give you a chance to find out for youself? Or rather, in my case, I thought you knew, but didn't show up because you're a big bad admin and don't mingle with small people like us... ;)

    Agree with you...toying with words just doewsn't work the way I want it to in English. But betas are just lovely...dunno what I'd do without mine. She's perfect. :D
  23. Enji Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 14, 2002
    star 6
    Poor Kee... but you know, you can borrow my books whenever you feel like it. :)
    And any translation that translates Wedge's name (Kilen... please!) is just crap.

    And OA, well... we just forgot telling you. Sorry, won't happen again. But you forgot to hit me... hehe. ;)

    Anyway, I often find it difficult with the nuances. English has so many word, many more than Swedish, and sometimes it's very hard to know whether a word is suitable or not. I mean, English can have like fifteen words for something we in Sweden only have one word for, and then it's really difficult to understand the difference between these words. And of course, you want to use a varied language, so you try to use different words, but sometimes I just feel lost in the nuances...
  24. jodiwent Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 11, 2000
    star 4
    I thought I'd take a look at this topic because it looked different from the other ones here. I had an idea that people who were not pimarily English speaking would have problems with understanding the details of some fan fics written in English, but was surprised by the ones brought up by AlrikFassbauer

    Words like Twi'lek are not really English either they are just made up Si-Fi names so I don't know why they would need traslating. I would assume that species names and planet names would stay the same.

    The guy from the trade federation was a Viceroy, a govermental position, how that got translated in the little boys mind to just vice is kind of cute.

    I also don't know why names (except nick names) would need to be translated.

    Anyway as some one who only speaks and writes in English I would like to ask non-English speakers two questions :

    How do you deal with reading spelling errors? I tended to have a lot of them before I got spell checking.

    -and-

    If someone uses a word in your language as a character name do you find it pleasing, humorus, or annoying?

  25. Enji Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 14, 2002
    star 6
    If someone uses a word in your language as a character name do you find it pleasing, humorus, or annoying?

    Normally I just chuckle at it, and then read on. I do not get annoyed, because since I'm reading in English I'm not really thinking in Swedish, I think in English and therefore I don't see the words as Swedish words. Well, I do sometimes, I notice them, but I don't let that stop me from reading on and enjoying the story. It also helps that the words usually are pronounced differently in English, even if they're spelled the same, so it doesn't feel that much like a Swedish word.

    Of course, when you encounter names like Jag Fel for the first time, and you're swedish, you can't help but grinning, since the translation of that would be "I Wrong"... :D

    And Baron Fel is of course "Baron Wrong"... [face_laugh]

    Anyway, it does not disturb me in any way, not any more than the fact that a word like gift has two very different meanings in Swedish and English. (In Swedish it means poison...) :)
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