No announcement yet.
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Languages

    I need some input on the use of different languages. Half of my main characters are Chickasaw
    Indians. At least one line of dialouge must be in the native language. I have that already thanks
    to the folks at the Chicksaw Nation web site. However, how do I explain the idea that for the entire
    rest of the story, my Chickasaw characters are speaking English or do I dig in and have all of their
    lines in the native language?

  • #2
    try a scripts forum search at
    on scripts board3 (most recent)

    it has been discussed at length over there


    • #3
      I highly recommend against putting too much foreign language in a script, assuming it's for an English speaking audience. (Especially, if the language is unfamiliar to a lot of people.) While you may want to give the audience a flavor for the language, you have to come up with a justifiable conceit for doing so. See The Godfather.

      For example, if you have an Indian family that generally speaks English at home, but they break into their native tongue on occasion, that makes sense. But be careful. It makes it all the more difficult if you haven't mastered the language or don't have a fluent advisor.


      • #4
        A movie which very nicely deals with this same problem is "The Hunt for Red October" (based on the Tom Clancy book.) At the beginning of the first scene inside the Russian submarine, Red October, only Russian is spoken (with English subtitles). Within the first couple minutes, Ramius (played by Sean Connery)is talking (still in Russian) to the sub's political officer and begins reading a key passage from a book. While in mid- sentence, Ramius switches from reading in Russian to reading in English--and it is English that is spoken by the Russians from this point forward. It's a very effective and smooth transition. See the movie if you haven't already. Not having read the script, I'm not sure how this language transition appeared in print. Perhaps someone out there might recommend a web site where you can find the script for this movie.


        • #5
          If it's needed put it in, but I think that there is fine line, tough call, but you've got to make it. As long as it makes sense, and doesn't confuse us or slow us down and is vital to the tone and puts us were we need to be use it. If handled correctly it's very imperessive.

          Roxanne Battle


          • #6
            I have seen "Red October" several times. You're right, the Russian to English transition is smooth.
            Like you, I haven't seen the script. I have access to a Chickasaw translator on-line, but the
            Chickasaws had very early contact with Anglo society, so maybe I need to trim a couple of scenes
            and leave it all in English except for my one pivotal line that I must have. Thanks!