Author Topic: Foreign words  (Read 5684 times)

Lin

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Re: Foreign words
« Reply #15 on: December 15, 2012, 03:40:46 AM »
I don't feel italics will be necessary.


Lin

Offline Foxy

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Re: Foreign words
« Reply #16 on: December 15, 2012, 04:38:41 AM »
Convention is all foreign words should be italicised.
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Lin

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Re: Foreign words
« Reply #17 on: December 15, 2012, 04:41:47 AM »
Hi Foxy doesn't that depend on the context in which they are used though - just asking that's all?  I mean if it's in dialogue?  Anyway just found this:

http://grammarpartyblog.com/2012/02/23/when-to-italicize-foreign-words-and-phrases/

Lin
« Last Edit: December 15, 2012, 07:28:51 AM by Lin Treadgold »

Offline Foxy

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Re: Foreign words
« Reply #18 on: December 15, 2012, 04:57:27 AM »
The link you provided answers your question.
My novel, Trinity, available from Amazon.
UK http://tinyurl.com/7fq8rzt  US http://tinyurl.com/7ecvkom

Blog: One Loose Cannon http://wp.me/2fgNI

Book Covers and artwork: http://patrickfox.crevado.com/

Twitter: http://twitter.com/PatrickFox_

Offline 510bhan

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Re: Foreign words
« Reply #19 on: December 15, 2012, 07:13:39 AM »
Some fantasy/science fiction stories use words and terms, which despite their 'English-ness' are tantamount to a foreign language. :o

Offline protekme

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Re: Foreign words
« Reply #20 on: December 15, 2012, 01:02:15 PM »
Hi Foxy doesn't that depend on the context in which they are used though - just asking that's all?  I mean if it's in dialogue?  Anyway just found this:

http://grammarpartyblog.com/2012/02/23/when-to-italicize-foreign-words-and-phrases/

Lin
[/quote


I used hors-d'oeuvre and maïtre d' with no italics (purely by instinct). I did not know such a list existed. Is there one for German words? They seem to aim at vocabulary that has been adapted in English. I would doubt that Mrs,, Miss and Sir would belong to that category though. I guess it would not be a faux-pas to use italics in my case. On the other hand, would regular print be easier for formating?

Thanks for your assistance.

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Offline Vienna

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Offline 510bhan

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Re: Foreign words
« Reply #22 on: December 15, 2012, 04:38:04 PM »
Great links, Richard. ;)

Offline Dawn

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Re: Foreign words
« Reply #23 on: December 15, 2012, 04:56:16 PM »
I'll repost them in Authors resources, Richard.
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Offline protekme

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Re: Foreign words
« Reply #24 on: December 16, 2012, 01:56:58 AM »
My story is in Germany too so I thought about this also.
Less is more. Don't bother giving the German when the English is clearer. Kaffee and Kuchen is so banal, why bother using German? The setting, character names and plot give the German flavor to the story.
Herr, Frau etc are common knowledge so use them. Also a special word relevent to the story might be okay. For instance, my protagonist calls all young women liebling --no italics.

More challenging is how dialogue sounds in English.  Trying to make characters sound "German" is usually awful.
So don't worry about German words.  You have much bigger fish to fry!




As you say, a special word relevant to the story is okay. You use “liebling”, which gives your protagonist a unique character. The term “Kaffee und Kuchen” is far from being banal. It fits perfectly within the context, especially in Berlin where “Kaffee und Kuchen” is such an important tradition. We can compare it to the “cup a tea” in London. The term would be used only to name the event of having it. I would not say we will drink Kaffee. That’s not the idea.

The dialogue will not be crowded with German words. The book is meant for English readers. A few relevant words, which are easy to understand, would bring a little more flavor. It's not my intention to make the characters sound German. I would have to write with an accent, and that would be difficult and inappropriate: I vil nut do zat.

I have decided to write military titles in English, except the high ranking officers. Because the names are known, it is not complicated: SA-Gruppenführer Göring.

One name that I am tempted to keep in German is: Reichstag for Parliament. It would be more authentic, don’t you think? But I’ll think about it. Many readers might not have a clue of what it is. Wanderer said that he might be lost. I wouldn't want that to happen.

Thank you. I appreciate your comments. Is your book a novel?
-- People are usually more convinced by reasons they discovered themselves than by those found by others 
-- I have made this letter longer than usual only because I had no time to make it shorter
              Blaise Pascal

Offline protekme

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Re: Foreign words
« Reply #25 on: December 16, 2012, 01:59:35 AM »
-- People are usually more convinced by reasons they discovered themselves than by those found by others 
-- I have made this letter longer than usual only because I had no time to make it shorter
              Blaise Pascal

Offline protekme

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Re: Foreign words
« Reply #26 on: December 16, 2012, 02:08:41 AM »
Hi Foxy doesn't that depend on the context in which they are used though - just asking that's all?  I mean if it's in dialogue?  Anyway just found this:

http://grammarpartyblog.com/2012/02/23/when-to-italicize-foreign-words-and-phrases/

Lin

I had never seen that list before. Very useful. There are a few mistakes though: mainly accents and hyphens. Also tête-à-tête is written with "e".

Is there such a list for German words.
-- People are usually more convinced by reasons they discovered themselves than by those found by others 
-- I have made this letter longer than usual only because I had no time to make it shorter
              Blaise Pascal

Offline TwoSuns

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Re: Foreign words
« Reply #27 on: December 16, 2012, 06:58:17 PM »
I don't see the problem, with stuff I have read they have included foreign words and references to things only the person from that culture would know about (the novel I am actually reading now does this), there has also been poems which have had whole stanzas in a different language (I know you are referring to prose but I'm just saying it has been done :P) and there are no translations - however the poet does use this for a certain effect. I personally wouldn't have a problem reading it, it depends on who you want to read your work I suppose and you can always use footnotes :)

Hope this helped (I know you already had a lot of input)

Will x

Offline Annmarie

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Re: Foreign words
« Reply #28 on: December 17, 2012, 02:30:40 AM »
I would not say we will drink Kaffee. That’s not the idea.

Ok, I understand how you're using this. I agree that would be fine. I'd also use Reichstag in context. It may not be common knowledge for readers who don't know anything about Germany, but it should be. I use a few specialist words like Schieber and Spitzel for scenes on the black market. Sprinkled into the scene in context and always explained so readers don't have to guess what I mean. I put military titles in English. Too much of a mouthful in German and I don't want a glossary.  :) 

My book is a suspense novel set in postwar Essen (and one chapter in Berlin). What's yours?

The fantasy series I'm reading now has all kinds of made-up words and they're not all italicized, they're just used. Doesn't bother me at all. I think we should do the same with real languages. I don't see the point of signaling with italics that something is a foreign word. People will see that right away.  The Chicago Manual of Style seems behind the times here.

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Lin

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Re: Foreign words
« Reply #29 on: December 17, 2012, 02:50:27 AM »
I use the Norwegian word 'elskling' in my novel.  My male character uses it a couple of times and the MC likes the sound of it but doesn't understand.  Only later she asks him in a more close up and personal moment about about the meaning.  He tells her it means 'darling'.  It is then that she feels closer to him.  She didn't like  to ask him before.

Lin x





« Last Edit: December 18, 2012, 04:13:17 AM by Lin Treadgold »