Random Ramblings: Diverging Discourse

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Random Ramblings: Talking about random thoughts on books, blogging, myself, the world, etc. Anything under the sun~

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Okay. I’m not so sure about that title, but basically, I want to talk about foreign language in English literature – novels, short stories, etc.

I think we’re all familiar with books that are set in different countries, or the characters have a foreign lineage, or they meet foreigners, etc. All these different kinds of settings allow for authors to include foreign language in their writing. But is it always necessary?

Personally, I think that there are good ones and that there are bad ones. I don’t really know other languages apart from English and my countries language. I know basics of French and Japanese, but I don’t remember much of those. Some other languages have phrases that are commonly used so those are quite easy to understand too. I want to learn languages. But honestly, when I find them in books, I don’t really remember the foreign words or sentences unless they are repeated a lot of times, which doesn’t really happen. Also, a lot of authors don’t even bother translating the foreign speech. So there are times that I don’t even bother looking up the phrases because I’m reading lying down and I don’t really want to get up to look for the meaning. Oh, and there are also those pop culture slangs I’m not that aware of. I live under a rock. Or rather, I live under a pile of books. I’m not always updated with those things.

In conclusion, there are times that we don’t fully get the message of the written material. Or these phrases are forgettable. I guess I don’t have anything against them, but it would be nice if translations were always provided, and these foreign languages are used well. Maybe it’s beneficial for those who actually read the language, but other audiences should also be considered. Or I should find an App that translates everything.

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2 thoughts on “Random Ramblings: Diverging Discourse

  1. Interesting post! When I first encountered foreign words in YA, I desperately wished they put a glossary in the back of the book. Pronouncing them in my head was near to impossible and the only way for me to know what they mean was to Google.

    Now, I don’t mind it so much. I don’t know why I had a change of heart, but I did. I may not understand what a character says when they speak in their native language, but in my mind those words have meaning them. Plus, if I’m curious enough to look it up, I find it fun learning new words in different languages (especially when they’re endearments because those are cute).

    • Hmmm. I guess they can be good sometimes. There are just times when they’re important to the story and I really want to know what it means, but they don’t bother to tell me so I end up using google translate, which I sometimes forget to do so I end up not knowing.
      Are there any free apps I can use to easily translate foreign phrases? XD

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