World Mysteries and Thrillers discussion

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Random Chats > World Fiction- In English, but with other languages thrown in

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message 1: by Michael (new)

Michael Rubin | 2 comments Books in the world fiction category are from around the globe, but should a "world fiction" book in English contain at least some phrases or idioms from other language? Should a book set in Paris contain some French? A book set in Rome some Italian? A book set in Madrid some Spanish? Of course, there may well be translations of phrase in the novel, but should a second language be completely absent?

What do you think? Can it really be "world" fiction if everything is in English?


message 2: by Bill (new)

Bill (billinseattle) | 12 comments I'm glad you've brought this up.

I believe an author fails to convey a character and place when some of the native words and expressions are not sprinkled in.

It hit me recently with Water Blue Eyes. I don't think there's a word of Spanish in the translation, and British expressions like "crikey" are used instead. It took me right out of the setting and made for less than satisfying reading.

Most authors writing in their native English about foreign characters or settings (e.g., Jason Webster and Robert Wilson) seem to instinctively grasp the need to incorporate the local language.


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