Unnatural Nomenclatural II

I generally concur with this cartoon. It’s becoming increasingly intolerable to read some modern fiction. And so…

This leads me to wonder about the possible solutions when the setting in a book is a real place, albiet a foreign one. The author can try his best to write a book in say… English, but some words are untranslatable from the foreign tongue. And so the author is reduced to using the original word in the foreign tongue in his sentences, which are otherwise in English.

The result is that either the word sticks out like a sore thumb drawing the reader out of whatever literary vortex the author is attempting to suck them into, or in the case that it draws the reader in, it just comes across as shitty sci-fi/fantasy bullshit.

What to do?

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4 Responses to Unnatural Nomenclatural II

  1. zolltan says:

    I’m relatively sure there is no good solution to this problem

  2. zolltan says:

    By the way, the Silmarillion is the reason this graph doesn’t hit the x-axis.

  3. zolltan says:

    -I had also long assumed the Silmarillion would suck (/did suck, cause I tried reading it when I was like 8 or something and got really bored). It does not suck. I found it to be awesome. For one thing, it is a book that starts with the creation of the world. I think you’re either going to be incredibly annoyed by the fact that everyone and every place has five different names based on what they were called by different Elves, Men and Dwarves and Tolkien explains the meaning of the words and the borrowings from one Elvish language into another, or you’re going to love it. You’re either going to be annoyed by the English archaisms and learning words like fane and hame, or you’re going to love it. It doesn’t work as a novel much, because there are no characters in it. It is a chronicle, and as a chronicle it is great. If you like Genesis, you’ll like the Silmarillion. I wouldn’t necessarily enjoy reading many books like the Silmarillion, but I did enjoy reading one a whole lot.

    -Also, thinking about it, Anathem, a book part of whose conceit is the disorientingly large amount of totally unfamiliar words – and which actually does have Fraas – is pretty good, too.

    -Also, what do you mean by “It’s becoming increasingly intolerable to read some modern fiction”… Like what? That sounds crazy snooty, man.

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