I’m beginning to learn what the phrase “those who can’t do, teach” means. It doesn’t mean only people who are crap at something teach it. It means that if you do something instinctively, actually trying to figure out what you do enough to explain it to someone else is a process that might actually drive… Continue reading Those Who Can’t Do, Teach the Rest of Us Coping Skills
Your character is visiting a land where they do not speak the language, but they still need to communicate with the locals. In week one’s post, we talked about how much they will have trouble learning the language. Week two was all about the differences between languages and why one language might be easier to… Continue reading Sometimes It Pays To Be Silent: Language Is Not Always Helpful
Welcome to week three of my ongoing feature on writing characters dealing with a foreign language. Week one was what being plopped in the middle of a foreign language feels like, week two we talked about how languages differ. Today we’re going to talk about culture as it meets language. The fact is, if your… Continue reading Culture: Can’t Live With It, Can’t Pry It From Language’s Cold Dead Hands
I am not very good at giving gifts. See, I am one of those people who believes in practical things, high-quality things. If you say you hate the cold, I want to buy you beautiful mittens for your birthday, or if I notice you always complain that your cutting board is crap, you will shortly… Continue reading Scottish Gaelic Will Be the Death of Me
This is part two in a weekly series on writing characters in a foreign language scenario. Your character is visiting somewhere that speaks a new language: what happens next? Last week was a general overview of the sheer difficultly of learning languages in Your Character Arrives in a Foreign Land: What Happens Next; this week,… Continue reading Not All Languages Are Created Equal (Not Like That, Just Listen)
Your character travels across the mountains to reach a new country, or perhaps just the next village over. Hark! They speak a different language here that your character has never spoken, at least not outside a lesson! What does your character do next? Recognize their language as a bastard version of their own and begin… Continue reading Your Character Arrives in Foreign Land: What Happens Next?