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Non-English words?

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Calantha View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Calantha Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Non-English words?
    Posted: 17 Oct 2020 at 3:47pm
So... the gods of NCY Midnight blessed me with Historical Fiction. 

As a South African, my mind went straight to Apartheid history...so now we're in a blacksmith workshop on a bench on Liliesleaf Farm plotting to overthrow the apartheid government. 

I digress. 

After 3 years of living in America and suppressing a good half of my lexicon, there are so many gorgeous Afrikaans and Xhosa words that would fit in my story. Of course there are translations, but has anyone got experience in using footnote translations of single words? 

Boep is such a great word for "beer belly", and impimpi is far more descriptive than "traitor"

Would it be too contrived to use them? 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote taaaylor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Oct 2020 at 4:30pm
I think you should run with his idea! I would definitely say include those words, but maybe give enough context that you don't need the footnote to define it? They seem like they would provide great texture and realism.

The footnotes might be a bit jarring, imo. I have seen some great novels from African writers (my mind is wandering to Ben Okri, even though he's Nigerian) where context alone could carry the definition of a non-English word.

Good words and good luck! I'm looking forward to reading your entry if you choose to post to the forums :)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote kolohe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Oct 2020 at 4:53pm
I wouldn't do the translation, just use the words in a way that the reader can at least make a good guess at the meaning based on the context. I used a number of Hawaiian words (not common ones ;)) in my round one hist fic and didn't do any translations, and nobody (judges or forum readers) had any negative comment on it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Calantha Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Oct 2020 at 5:13pm
Thanks that's really encouraging! And a good way to think of context clues. The linguistic breadth of a country with 11 official languages has my 9y/o character doing delighted cartwheels and bollemakiesies on the lawn in front of the manor house :) 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Lynne M Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Oct 2020 at 5:21pm
That sounds like a wonderful idea! On my last entry, I used a couple of Haitian creole words (even my title was due to the location being set in the French Quarter). The judges didn’t mark me down because of it (I only placed 10th, but that was because of poor character development). Good luck!!!
http://tinyurl.com/y9upqv9e] GoodLuck
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