Tuesday, 30 July 2019

Foreign Languages? Me?

Using other languages when I don't speak them myself can be complicated, especially when there are different forms for male and female... Is that la or le in French? Ami or Amie? Fortunately, in fantasy, I can avoid that problem because although my alpenfee might speak a kind of German and my courtfolk might call their parents Maman and Papa, the languages are not exactly German and French or Welsh, or Gaelic or Swedish... I can base a few lines on one of those languages and if I get it wrong... well, my characters are NOT Swedes; they're fjiordfee and as such they don't properly speak Swedish!

Here's an alpenfee madchen using a kind of pidjin German to an English speaker...

“Liebchen, I think I must have made that for the man-to-be. It has gathers and cuffs, so it can get bigger as you do. Do you like it? If not, I can make you one for the lad-you-are.”
“I like it this way. It’s dashing.
“I’m glad. I like folk to feel right in my clothes, even if they’re a kleines bisschen Zukunft.
He must have looked puzzled, because she laughed and said, “a small bit future.” Then she offered her hand as if he’d been a man already, and went to fit someone els

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