Monday, January 23, 2006

She said what?...

I took French in high school and I learned it well enough to pass the college requirements so that I didn't have to take it in college. I know some Spanish, but since I took it in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades, I don't remember A LOT of it. Just enough to pick up words here or there and enough to find out where the bathroom was when we honeymooned in Mexico. I've even learned a little Italian. But since I learned from an Italian practical joker, I don't think the words she taught me really mean what she said they mean.

While working on my current wip, a sassy Italian fell into the story. I hadn't planned it, but there she was. And there, my problem arose. My Italian tutor is long gone and not trustworthy for that matter. I still think she taught me something perverted.

So I tried to find translators online so that I could discover terms of endearment. I've seen terms between a man and woman, but not between two women. And I don't call my hubby the same thing I do my best friend. On second thought, I call him sweetie and her sweetie too, so maybe I do.

Anyway, there are translation sites where you type in text and it translates it into what ever language you want. But it's a direct translation and it isn't what would actually be spoken by an Italian.

So, I considered changing my character's nationality. But she really wanted to be Italian. And then I found it. The website I'd been looking for. It's a message board really. A part of the Word Reference website, it's a forum where members from all over the world converse and help people with language issues. It seems geared towards writers who need help specifically. And you can find someone from just about anywhere and they're eager to help you with your language needs. I posted a query for the terms I needed and within 24 hours, someone had posted a full list of choices and details about how "good" of friends the two females would be if they used each.

Want to check it out? Here it is: Word Reference Forum.

Have fun!



Kayla said...

That's cool! I took Spanish for four years, and while I can generally decipher something written, I can't speak or write it. I wasn't that great a student, though not for lack of trying (the first and third year, anyway).

I've bookmarked the site. Thanks for posting about it!

Emma Sinclair said...

That sounds like a great reference!

I took German in high school. Not really the most attractive of languages with all the grunting and stuff, not to mention I don't remember much at all.

April said...

My hubby was born in Germany, but he didn't live there long enough to become fluent. So, his high school classes were the extent of his knowledge.

Ich liebe dich... isn't quite the same as Je t'aime or or T'amo, that's for sure :-)

Nicole Reising said...

April - Thanks for the site! I've done the same as you. I know some spanish and french and a splattering of Italian(yes I said splattering, meaning its quite literaly a hit or miss from moment to moment). I had to take the classes in school and then chose to later on but if its not used and if one doesn't truly apply themselves to begin with... it doesn't stay with you all that well. So doubly thanks for the site - the other places I've tried have been exactly like you described. Thanks! Cole

April said...
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April said...

I had a friend in high school who took French class with me. He'd spent the last twelve years living in France, so he thought the class would be a breeze.

But he kept flunking because there's such a difference between spoken/common French and proper "taught" French. He did great in English class because he'd learned all the rules in English class. While I kept dangling my participles. :-)

In the end, I tutored him in French and he tutored me in English...