Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time.
(Click here for an update on the blog / comment system situation.)
Note: As most of you know, I do my best to keep this blog a semi-professional space. Controversial topics are kept to a minimum, and I very rarely use profanity here. Today, however, will be the exception to the rule. Read on to see why.
Hey there, ladies and gents! Here's this month's insecurity:
WRITING A CHARACTER OF ANOTHER ETHNICITY
Notice I didn’t say race. I believe we’re all descended from one race, which later varied with migration. #justsayin
Anyway, the main character of AS WE KNOW IT is a second generation Spanish-American. As such, I had to be careful to preserve her culture without getting too stereotypical--and it made me a nervous wreck.
Don’t get me wrong. I have a ton of Spanish-speaking friends, both Hispanic and Latina, who lent inspiration... but there was always that lingering feeling that I'd gotten something wrong. Bilingual outbursts, for example. After all, I only took four years of Spanish, and that was geared toward a completely different dialect than my character. I needed outside help.
I needed Penny Avalon Rickards.
Penny is a translator with family from the same area as my character (Asturias), so she was able to spice up my generic dialogue with more common, region-specific phrases--and by phrases, I mostly mean profanity.
What? I couldn’t put anything plot bearing in another language!
Plus, it was fun... LOL
Thus, for your entertainment and education, I’ve included three, loosely translated English/Castilian phrases found in AS WE KNOW IT:
3. I can’t stand here, listening to this mierda loca.
Contextual meaning: I can’t stand here, listening to this crazy shit.
2. Que te folle un pez espada!
Contextual meaning: I hope you get f*cked by a swordfish!
1. You know what, cabrón? ¡Me cago en la puta leche que mamaste!
Contextual meaning: You know what, asshole? I shit in the whore milk that breastfed you.
Yep. That's a thing. LOL
Question of the Week
What about you guys? Ever include other languages in your work?
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© 2011, Carrie Butler.