Authors Answer 90 – Writing in Another Language

All of us are fluent in English. Most, if not all, of us have studied a language to varying degrees in school. But have any of us achieved enough ability in those languages to actually write books in them? Before you read on, take a guess. How many, out of ten people, can write in a language other than English? Let’s see if your guess is correct.  This week’s question was asked by Loren Killdeer.

320px-Modern-ftn-pen-cursiveQuestion 90 – Do you write outside of your original language?

Eric Wood

Seeing as I only know English and minuscule pieces of French, my original language is all I write in. Perhaps one day my stories will be translated into hundreds of languages?

Elizabeth Rhodes

I can only write in English. I don’t know nearly enough of another language to make the attempt.

Jean Davis

I have days where it’s difficult to write in my own language, so no.

D. T. Nova

No. If I ever publish in multiple languages I will need a translator.

Paul B. Spence

No. Rhyrhan is such a literal language, and difficult to spell with our alphabet…

S. R. Carrillo

How I wish I could~ I’ve been trying to spruce up my Spanish lately, and I’ve even attempted to read a book in Spanish, but I’m far from fluent. Maybe, one day, I’d like to be able to write a book in Spanish, I think. I may make that a life goal mwahah.

H. Anthe Davis

Alas, I’ve never been fluent enough in another language to try to write in it.  I’ve created fantasy languages, and I’ve dreamed in Spanish and Japanese while I was learning them, but I don’t know them well anymore.

Gregory S. Close

No, unless you count the fictional ones!  I do dabble in Aulden, Underkin and Ancient Andu’ai.

Tracey Lynn Tobin

Nope! While I did take several years of French classes throughout my education, I don’t know nearly enough actually write in French, and I only know little snips and random phrases from other languages. It’s English-only for me!

Jay Dee Archer

I’m a language enthusiast. I’ve studied French for eight years and lived in Japan for eleven years. However, I have not achieved a high enough proficiency in either language to be able to write in those languages. Even if I were conversational in either language, my vocabulary wouldn’t be enough to write well. It would also take an incredibly long and frustrating time for me to write in another language, unless I were fully fluent. So no, I only write in English. I would love to write in another language, though.

How about you?

Are you bilingual or multilingual? Are you able to write in more than one language well? Let us know in the comments below.

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10 thoughts on “Authors Answer 90 – Writing in Another Language”

  1. Dutch is my native language and even though French is als an official language of Belgium, I’m really not that good at it. I can write in English (as you can see 😁) though there are words I need to look up and I do make some grammar mistakes once in a while 😆

  2. The actual question for this week is, “Do you write outside of your original language?” I’m guessing the assumption is that, for the participating authors, English IS their original language.

    I could tell you a true story about a little boy who understood English perfectly well but didn’t SPEAK it because, until the age of four, he didn’t speak at all except to his deaf cousin. His “original language,” for all practical purposes, was sign language, which is very different from standard English in syntax, etc.

    1. That’s an interesting one. Also, my cousin’s kids are fully bilingual in English and French. My daughter should be fully bilingual in English and Japanese. But in both cases, their first language was not English, even though the fathers both spoke only English to the kids.

  3. Wow! I’m so happy you answered my question! Thanks a lot.

    Well, I’m fluent in english, and even knowing I make mistakes I started translating my storys. It’s different when your mother language it’s another than english because the world is ruled by it. I enter mostly to english forums and pages, so I feel that if I want people to read my work I would better try it in english.

    I also speak a little bit of french (un peu français, s’il vous plaît) and I’m learning german (genau, Deutsch!).

    1. I’ve been studying French recently. I want to get it back, since I studied it for 8 years in school. I also want to learn German, and studied it a little. Would be interesting if I knew enough to write in those languages.

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