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Subject: Re: Multiple Languages - How to? (And this site really needs backspace protection!)
Author: jennifer   (Authenticated as jennifer)
Date: June 13, 2012 at 4:53:10 PM
Reply to: Multiple Languages - How to? (And this site really needs backspace protection!) by Lopus H. Etterie
I'm using multiple languages in a story I'm writing too. Basically, you need to make sure that the reader understands what the characters are saying, even if it isn't in the reader's L1. (Native language, I work with students who are learning English as their L2- second or any foreign language). Here are some excerpts from my story that could help you. The family knows a lot of languages. Mom is from Bulgaria, Dad is from Spain, daughter was born and raised England up to the move to USA. They all know Bulgarian, Spanish, English, and some Catalan.


“Mila,” Andon said once he saw his daughter. “Kak ste?”

“I’m fine, Bashta,” Elitza said. “Are we moving?”


The instruments were out and sitting on their chairs. Ariadne was the first violin, since she was the oldest. Beatriz was second violin, Sergio played viola, and last was Elitza on the cello.

“We have the songs listed in order, so keep up,” said Ariadne. “Kreutzer Sonata and Rosamunde. U, dues, tres.”

Ariadne, Beatriz, and Sergio started playing. “Hold it! Hold it! I can’t find the music,” Elitza interrupted.


“Can you send me a picture of you?” George typed.

“I’m trying on clothes,” Elitza typed back.

“Elitza. I thought I told you to put your phone away,” Anisia said.

“That’s okay. You can send me one from the fitting room,” George typed.

Elitza turned beet red.

Anisia grabbed the phone. She read George’s comment. “I’m calling his parents.”

“Majka, no,” pled Elitza in Bulgarian. “I wasn’t going to send him a photo.”

“Hello? Richard? It’s Anisia,” Anisia said, having woken up the King of England. “Do you know what your son is texting my daughter? I’ll send you a copy.” Anisia forwarded the final text message to Richard.

Elitza hid her face in the nearest rack of clothing.

Anisia turned Elitza’s cell phone off and put it in her purse, “You aren’t getting this back any time soon.”

King Richard called Anisia back on her own cell phone.

Elitza could hear him screaming on the other end of the phone. She felt like her father could hear King Richard on the University of Wisconsin Green Bay campus without a phone.

“Elitza will have all communication devices taken away from her for an undetermined amount of time. Andon and I will discuss how long this evening. Elitza will call him back when she is allowed on the phone,” Anisia said. She turned her phone off and put it back in her purse.

Please yell in Bulgarian, please yell in Bulgarian, Elitza prayed. Don’t let anyone else know what you’re saying.


You should be able to figure out what foreign words are.

This message was edited by the author on June 13, 2012 at 4:53:26 PM

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