Friday, August 28, 2009

Foreign Languages in Fiction

On Wednesday, Gary Corby blogged about historical research in writing a novel set in Ancient Greece (or any time period really), and I commented asking about how he handled foreign languages in his book. The Mediterranean of the period Gary's writing in was a happening place, if I remember my ancient history right, and a lot of peoples were flowing in and out of Classical Greece. Persians, Egyptians, etc ... so I was curious how, or if, he handled that in the writing.

I expected him to reply in the comments of the original post. Instead, he devoted an entire post to my question ... and then linked to this here blog. Which is pretty cool, I think.

Like I said above, this all stems from knowing the Classical Mediterranean had a lot of different cultures floating around, and from my own attempts to sprinkle fictional foreign languages throughout my fantasy writing. For one story I take actual languages and write mirror images of the words -- "Nyet" becomes "Tyen" for example -- and in the other one I decided I might as well use the languages proper. Of course, that's also because said WIP is a thinly veiled blend of Nazi Germany and the Spanish Inquisition (which wasn't as difficult as you might imagine).

So thanks for the response, Gary. And for the link too!

1 comment:

Gary Corby said...

You're very welcome, Matt. It's a pleasure.