How Incorporating Foreign Language and Cultures Can Enhance a Story

Today, intercultural and multicultural stories are trending—whether the story is being told on television, in a movie, or in a book. There are some easy methods to enrich your story by incorporating different cultures into setting and characters. Other methods require a considerable amount of knowledge—such as understanding a foreign language. Sam Staley (SR Staley), award-winning author, film critic, and educator, says that foreign language is an untapped storytelling device. Foreign languages are containers for culture, so their existence in a story can immediately open access into another world. Introducing a new language also creates opportunities for tension and plot advancement. While it would certainly help a writer to be fluent in the language he or she is using, it isn’t entirely necessary. Staley elaborates on a few rules that allow authors to incorporate languages they don’t understand. In the clip below, learn how using a foreign language can engage your readers and open new markets in which to sell your book!

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