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Including a foreign language (Spanish) in a story?

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Hi all,

I have a story that I'm ready to submit, but two lines aren't in English. How do I handle this? Do I leave the lines as they are? Do I add an author's note at the end of the manuscript that contains a translation?

I know I've seen foreign language in Cricket Media and Highlights fiction before, but I'm not sure if there is some industry standard for what I should be doing.

(The language is Spanish, if that makes a difference.)
#1 - February 06, 2018, 09:17 AM

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Can you do something like this within the text? It's what I'd do.

I told her I didn't want to go. No quiero etc etc etc
#2 - February 06, 2018, 09:58 AM
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I do what Jody does--have a translation right before or after. Ex. Mom made rotis--a flat bread.
#3 - February 06, 2018, 10:05 AM
BOUND (Bodach Books, 2018)
TEN EASTER EGGS (Scholastic, 2015)
www.vijayabodach.blogspot.com
Author of over 60 books and 60 magazine pieces

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I like being like Vijaya.  :yup
#4 - February 06, 2018, 10:38 AM
PRUDENCE, THE PART-TIME COW, A CHIP OFF THE OLD BLOCK, BUSY BUS series, EMERGENCY KITTENS, and more!
Twitter @jodywrites4kids

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 :cheers 
#5 - February 06, 2018, 10:57 AM
BOUND (Bodach Books, 2018)
TEN EASTER EGGS (Scholastic, 2015)
www.vijayabodach.blogspot.com
Author of over 60 books and 60 magazine pieces

Thanks for the feedback, Jody and Vijaya. I would normally do what you suggested, but it's a patterned text. Like:

A: "I like dogs!"

B:  "I like cats."

A: "I like dogs!"

C: "I like llamas."

A: "I like dogs!"

D: "Me gustan las vacas."

Does that make sense? Adding an immediate translation would throw off the pattern, so I was hoping that a note at the end might suffice. (And should it be published, they could translate in a sidebar thing.)

(Also, my story is much more interesting than the example I gave, I promise!)

I'll keep thinking.
#6 - February 06, 2018, 12:20 PM

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Oh, I see. Will it be illustrated? That would make it very obvious. In books where there's a lot of a particular foreign language, many authors have a glossary. Even in chapter books.
#7 - February 06, 2018, 03:08 PM
BOUND (Bodach Books, 2018)
TEN EASTER EGGS (Scholastic, 2015)
www.vijayabodach.blogspot.com
Author of over 60 books and 60 magazine pieces

It's for a magazine, so I'd imagine that there would be some flexibility?

(I'm doing a whole lot of worrying about something that still needs to be accepted! Dream big, I guess.)
#8 - February 06, 2018, 04:41 PM

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Kelsey,

I included Spanish words and phrases in my MG novel, OOPS-A-DAISY. I placed the phrases in italics like you did. I also tried to make the meaning clear by the surrounding text. BUT a glossary of Spanish words and phrases is included in the back of the book with the English translation beside it.

I had seen things like this done before, so I, and my publisher, decided to do the same.
#9 - February 06, 2018, 06:31 PM
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How it would be handled in the final product is a style decision. It's up to the publisher. You could include a note in the text (Note: Vacas means cows.) or just leave it. The worst thing that happens is they ask you to change it. It's not a big enough portion to cause other issues. Do make sure this text needs to be in Spanish though.
#10 - February 06, 2018, 06:53 PM
Website: http://www.debbievilardi.com/
Twitter: @dvilardi1

Thank you all for the feedback. I've learned a lot!

I think I'm still not making myself clear, though. My question is about how to handle the foreign language in the initial submission to the magazine editors. I think I'm just going to go with my initial instinct and add footnotes that contain the translations.

Thanks, everyone.
#11 - February 07, 2018, 04:51 AM

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Kelsey, I think you should handle it however you think they would. For Cricket, a footnote is probably the right choice. A simple note for the word likely to cause confusion could also work. After all, from your example, kids will assume the beginning of the sentence matches the other sentences, but they won't know vacas. The illustrator could resolve that though.
#12 - February 07, 2018, 06:12 PM
Website: http://www.debbievilardi.com/
Twitter: @dvilardi1

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