Saturday, June 19, 2010

Resources for Writers #22: What Language Does Your Character Speak?

Looking to add a little ethnic flavor to your writing? Throw in a few foreign words and phrases—but be careful! You could embarrass yourself! To be sure that your characters “speak” accurately, look for these Langenscheidt’s Bilingual Dictionaries:

Chinese (Mandarin)                           Japanese
Croatian                                            Korean
Danish                                               Latin
Dutch                                                Norweigian
Finnish                                               Polish
French                                               Portuguese
German                                              Romanian
Greek (Classical)                                Russian
Greek (Modern)                                 Spanish
Hebrew                                              Turkish
Italian                                                 Vietnamese

People tend to buy these dictionaries for a specific purpose (like writing!) and pass them on when they’re finished. Some great places to find these gently-used tomes are Half-Price Books and online at ABE Books.

You’ll also want to check Lagenscheidt’s website for their offerings in travel guides and atlases.

So take your readers out of their usual habitats and travel the globe!

Disclaimer:  I have received no request to share this information or remuneration for same.

1 comment:

K9friend said...

There's a cool online resource (of course I don't remember it now) where you can type in a word or phrase and it will translate into whatever language you choose. It was very helpful for a character in my NaNo story who was Hispanic.