Quick Question #RiNoWriMo

Hey all, yes, I am hard at work with my writing, honestly!

But I came up against a little barrier, and wanted to get your feedback on it.

In my WIP, as it is based on a Sikh family, to make it authentic, there are certain words or phrases that have to be written in the lingo Punjabi to make sense, if you know what I mean.

My dilemma is this,

a) do I write the word/phrase in Punjabi and then the translation in brackets after?

b) do I include a glossary, which means flicking back and forth to see what something means?

Or

c) do I have little footnote translations at the bottom of the page?

I like the brackets idea because it is kinda straight away, but worry that it would ruin the flow of the text or speech.

The glossary is fine in a physical book but on an e-reader, it would be more annoying to flit back and forth

And the last idea, I could just about format a book to include this, but I think an e-book would be a nightmare, as if you adjust the font to your personal choice, the footnotes wouldn’t sit on the right pages!

There are some words that are repeated many times so once they were introduced, I would hope that the reader got the translation, but there are some that will only be used once or twice…

All feedback gratefully received!

#RiNoWriMo

81 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Nandini Bharadwaj
    Aug 03, 2017 @ 04:33:45

    As a reader, I’d say brackets the first time you introduce the word and a glossary of terms just for the sake of completeness. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  2. Tikeetha T
    Aug 02, 2017 @ 15:15:36

    I’m okay with foot notes.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  3. Judy E Martin
    Aug 02, 2017 @ 14:24:19

    This is a really tricky one Sis. My first thought was bracketss, but I think perhaps only the once and hope that the reader remembers it. Then do a glossary at the end 🙂 xx

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  4. Erika Kind
    Aug 02, 2017 @ 06:41:43

    I’d prefer the brackets. To me, the flow is kept up better because I don’t have to look for the translation! And in addition to it, it is easier to do for you too!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  5. You Can Always Start Now
    Aug 01, 2017 @ 21:32:13

    I like the idea of letting the context help readers figure the word out. I mean it happens in English books all the time when we (okay I) don’t know all the words. Or maybe if the word is hard in the context have someone else say it in English. If not I think the ( ) are the way to go on the e-book.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  6. pranabaxom
    Aug 01, 2017 @ 19:48:01

    Rintu, brackets might work but I would go with the flow. Introduce the Punjabi word and let the context or response explain the meaning to the readers. You may add a glossary if you like but does not work well with a e-reader.
    Balle Balle.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  7. Ruth
    Aug 01, 2017 @ 18:59:49

    Hmmm… If you can convey the meaning of the punjabi word or phrase through the context of the text, try to do that, and if not, use brackets to translate for the first time only – kind of like when using acronyms? And remember you can always write mostly in English but still using the inherent rhythm and cadence of Punjabi to give a realistic flavour and feel of how the language works – I’ve read books written that way and it can be quite effective. The reader soon picks up on the particular patterns of speech and it can flow nicely in our heads when we read 🙂 x

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  8. robbiesinspiration
    Aug 01, 2017 @ 18:26:30

    Personally Ritu, I would go with the brackets. Much easier for a reader. I often do this with business jargon in my non-fiction books.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  9. vanbytheriver
    Aug 01, 2017 @ 18:22:28

    Anything but the glossary. I wouldn’t flip back and forth to figure out a word, I’d probably just skip it and move on…the more immediate translation works better for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  10. Wendy Janes
    Aug 01, 2017 @ 17:45:36

    As a reader I’d ideally like the meaning to be clear from the context. However, I realise that might not always be possible, so I suggest Punjabi words in italics followed by translation in normal text in brackets. If you’re going to use beta readers, and you’re giving them a list of things to give feedback on, you might find it useful to add a question about this to your list.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

    • Ritu
      Aug 01, 2017 @ 17:55:46

      Wendy at the moment that is exactly how I have it when a word is first mentioned. I will still put a glossary at the back . But definitely something for beta readers to feed back on!

      Like

      Reply

  11. foodzesty
    Aug 01, 2017 @ 17:42:08

    Brackets 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  12. jjmonkeyz
    Aug 01, 2017 @ 17:19:22

    What did you decide? I like the idea of translation in brackets!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  13. TanGental
    Aug 01, 2017 @ 17:17:01

    In my book Salisbury Sq one of the 2 MCs is Polish. Whenever i had pole to pole conversations wrote the first srntence in Polish so it was clear and expected. I never translated and no one complained as the context told them all they needed to know. Equally what they said was simple stuff. Aftet that first sentence the rest was English. People got it.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  14. Aimer Boyz
    Aug 01, 2017 @ 17:03:36

    I’m going with D. Wallace Peach here. Just write the Sikh, let the reactions of the other characters put the meaning across.
    If you’re really worried, put a glossary of words used at the front of the book.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  15. willowdot21
    Aug 01, 2017 @ 16:47:11

    I would definitely go with brackets, I love brackets, they are the immediate answer. 🤗

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  16. D. Wallace Peach
    Aug 01, 2017 @ 16:45:59

    Oooh. I’m going to be different than everyone, Ritu. I don’t like it when an author intrudes in my reading experience. As a fantasy author, I often make up completely imaginary languages. The way I handle it is to keep the unfamiliar language as short as possible – never more than a sentence or two and preferably much shorter. Then I building the meaning through a combination of the context and the pov’s character’s thoughts and reaction to it. Harder to do, but worth it, I think. An appendix is fine as a backup, but I would convey the meaning through the story. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

    • Ritu
      Aug 01, 2017 @ 16:59:43

      I used italics for the Punjabi words. There aren’t too many to be fair. I’ll look into seeing if they can work without any translation. There will be one or two phrases that need translation though!!

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

      • D. Wallace Peach
        Aug 01, 2017 @ 17:15:26

        You can always have the pov character sort of repeat/paraphrase the words in his head. Something like:
        He mused over the words his mother had said long ago, that life was (English version here). When Sarah faced him, he looked her in the eye and whispered, “(insert original phrase here in the original language).”

        It’s a bit contrived, but better than brackets as the reader doesn’t leave the story. Good luck, whatever you decide!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ritu
        Aug 01, 2017 @ 17:33:59

        Thank you!!!!!

        Liked by 1 person

  17. dornahainds
    Aug 01, 2017 @ 15:42:59

    I would go with either options B or C.
    Aesthetically all 3 options are possible, but B and or C are used more frequently. 🌷🌷🌷

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  18. marionfs
    Aug 01, 2017 @ 15:39:48

    Ritu, my feeling for what it’s worth is put the translation in brackets the first time, and hope people remember. Would a glossary at the back be too boring and difficult? It might be helpful for people who are dipping in and out, and who won’t necessarily remember the meaning after a gap in their reading.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  19. Lisa A.
    Aug 01, 2017 @ 15:37:32

    I say brackets. Write the Sikh sentence first then in brackets the English translation. My book is kind of similar because I use words in Spanish or Spanglish (mixing up Spanish and English). I’ve done this also: The curandera or the natural healer began using her magic herbs to cure Letty.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  20. pensitivity101
    Aug 01, 2017 @ 15:36:58

    I’d go with asterisks where necessary and a glossary at the bottom of the post. Any help?

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  21. colinandray
    Aug 01, 2017 @ 15:36:38

    I like the brackets because it’s “there”! I very often run into terminology differences re UK and NA and always put them together so as to avoid the reader having to go elsewhere. Reading should be easy!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  22. desertcurmudgeon
    Aug 01, 2017 @ 15:27:18

    Good morning, Ritu. I think brackets would be just fine because for readers like myself who don’t speak the language, we wouldn’t be able to discern a flow of speech in the first place, and for those who do, the mind tends to skip over unnecessary info like a bracketed translation, so they would still be naturally reading it as intended. I look forward to reading!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  23. sonofabeach96
    Aug 01, 2017 @ 15:26:19

    I’d say use the bracket method, but only the first time you introduce a word or phrase needing translation. After that, no bracket for the next time the word or phrase is used. The reader should know it after the first translation and then the flow of the prose can continue unimpeded. Now, I’m not a writer. But, as a reader, I think that’d work better than a glossary or footnote.

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply

  24. Eli Pacheco
    Aug 01, 2017 @ 15:25:10

    I’d suggest writing the first sentence or phrase in English, and note after the comma that it was said in Sikh. For example:

    “I got us Rockies tickets for Saturday,” she said in Sikh. “You can buy dinner.”

    This way, with minimal effort, it’s clear what was said, and it’s translated, so the reader can just keep moving.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  25. Dorinda Duclos
    Aug 01, 2017 @ 15:23:48

    I’d go with the brackets. Flipping back and forth for translation would definitely affect the flow of the book

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  26. Mr. Militant Negro
    Aug 01, 2017 @ 15:20:59

    Brackets

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

My interactive peeps!

Peeps are reading in…

Flag Counter
Orienthailiving.

Phad Thai to Apple Pie

Love, Laughter & Truth

Stumbling through Divorce, Dating, Depression & Life - but don't let that put you off!

Judy E Martin

Author, Poet and lover of life

Always A Writer

Fiction/Non-fiction, Poems and Stories

The Reluctant Poet

A Discovery of Enlightening Insights, Information, Humor, Writings and Musings

tea & paper

mindfulness and simplicity

Erika Kind

Be the change you wish to see in the world - Mahatma Gandhi

A Ruky'z Life!

Because It Is Never Too Late to Start LIVING!

S C Richmond

Author - Crime & Mystery

%d bloggers like this: