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!
How do you write Japanese speech in an otherwise English written story? Do you use the characters. They use or English annunciation?
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