View Full Version : language problem..
July 31st, 2007, 06:21 PM
I found out that publishers in my country (indonesia) aren't interested to storiest that doesn't had indonesian characteristics(world, civilization, background, etc).
Unfortunatlly, my styles aren't fit with that. I can make some storiest with indonesian characteristics but they won't be my best, felt like limited. Just like, this day I got idea that needs 'country which had well-developed technologies like western'.
So then, I thinking to just go to international/other countries publishers, might be from internet, I don't had money to go oversea.
My english, as you can see now, is limited for basic conversations. I did try write some stories in english but I can't figure out the RIGHT words for them. In the end, it cause the story can't make the readers stay, read, and fascinated.
What solutions I might had?
Thanks, and sorry to those who had helped me in my other two topics but I haven't say thanks for.. months. Sorry too because I stay only a few times in here and not responding to topics, not that I never read those but I don't know the best way to wrote out my comments or I just don't know what books u talking about (books that appear in indonesia only international best sellers).
July 31st, 2007, 09:05 PM
This is a common problem. I run into it a lot on screenplay sites...writers from India or Africa or Near East.
There's no easy answer. If you have good, powerful stories, you might be able to get somebody interested in writing with you.
Otherwise, you might be able to locate a translator.
Are your stories science fiction stories?
August 1st, 2007, 01:57 AM
You need to foster some relationships with your English speaking neighbours in Singapore or Australia.
The funny thing is, that if you did write SF with an Indonesian story base, then the stories might be more popular in Australia too. I'm thinking of writers like Canadian/Jamaican, Nalo Hopkinson, who writes Jamaican fantasy/horror. It's new, unusual, interesting, spine chilling.
I've always wondered why no Indonesians sold Indonesian-based horror/fantasy/sf into the Australian market. Those creepy garuda monsters, the elephant caves, the volcano myths, Komodo stories, and the mix of old cultures and religions (those Sumatran anamalists for instance, the long houses, these things are all fascinating to us) there must be tonnes of great stuff to write about.
Anyway, parts of Jakarta are modern. Can't you set your story in one such area? I know I was fascinated with the mix of modern shiny laboratories, factories, and other buildings, with open sewers and dirt roads running around them (that was a while ago). That mix of modern and ancient, expensive and poor is wonderful. Have you seen the Bladerunner movie?
If you do write science fiction, then who's to say that Jakata won't be the most modern city in the world in 20 years time? Set your story in New Jakarta.
August 1st, 2007, 09:36 AM
You are conversant with Indonesian SFF, rocket? Is there no end to your amazingness?
August 1st, 2007, 05:28 PM
I'm conversant with Indonesia because I spent 3 months there travelling between Flores and Sumatra (local buses and ferries), in a straight line mostly so missed the big northeastern islands, but I'll visit those too one day (remember, it's right next door). Climbed most of Indonesia's volcanoes. Met loads of different people (they're so different from island to island a hundred cultures all jammed into one country) and a few orangutans in the forest rehab centre near Medan and a few komodo dragons on Komodo island... evil beasties. It's a marvellous country, and I'll be sad when it is fully modernised. I heard they turned the Gilli islands into a huge resort for instance. I preferred the old bamboo huts complete with running geckos. I bet Lake Toba is a resort too now. That was so pretty and an ex-volcano that apparent had a huge impact on the planet.
The SFF stuff, I'm making up on the fly. I want to read more of it, but apart from a friend who writes "backpacker horror" set in Asia, there's not enough of it in english.
It's hard to write about a country you're not from and then if you want to borrow cultural myths and monsters, you get very paranoid about offending someone or getting it completely wrong. That's why it needs to be done by someone from Indonesia. If Rosedragon could find a way to integrate what pushes his/her buttons ie. technology, with the landscapes, myths and culture of Indonesia, I think he/she'd be onto winner stories.
August 2nd, 2007, 12:10 AM
The problem is what theme publishers expect from writers in Indonesia.
I usually wrote fantasy, my own version which also had future machine-artifacts altough my last idea where sci-fi.
The problem might not be on background but how I create the characters and the theme of the story. Since indonesian publishers prefer love as the main theme while my main theme is psychological. Could be said my style is like Dan Brown's when telling about people personalities.
The fantasy stories would take many cultures and personalities of the world as I can but for the sci-fi one.. it would had conspiracy and such which is not like characteristics of indonesia. I'm influenced more by international writtings.. a friend of mine even said my way of thinking isn't same like common indonesians LOL.
Anyway, I also smells that if a book published in here, you can't give it to another publisher, even outside except they permit you.
Translating is not a choice.. I could translate my own writings but all the words which makes people keep reading seems gone.. seems so plain.
I think I should try seeking a good job or scholarship and attend bachelor degree english class, hope it would be enought.
(gyahhhh.. so hard to describe these.. )
August 2nd, 2007, 12:49 AM
huts complete with running geckos
Yeah, I like geckos. My current digs have "art gecko" on the wall. There are some babies at the moment, about an inch long. Cute little suckers.
August 2nd, 2007, 12:53 AM
English classes are ALWAYS a good idea, rose. Classes in ANY language are a good idea for everybody.
But it takes many years to be able to translate INTO a language (translating FROM a language is much easier) What you want would be a professional translator whose first or main language is English. That can be costly, but maybe cheaper where you live.
You could try translating it yourself, then getting an English-speaking writer to improve it. I just did that for a short story by a Mexican woman.
August 2nd, 2007, 07:43 AM
Rosedragon, when you sign a contract for a book, you can sell the Indonesian and maybe Malaysian publishing rights and keep the World rights to yourself. It's just a case of taking a pen and crossing out bits. And then arguing with a publisher. :D
You know, in the future when Jakata is overrun by crazy Australians and Maldivian refugees, and Russian mafia, and Zimbabwean arms dealers... why can't you set your conspiracy novels there?
I would like to do something like that sort of translating one day, but I don't have the time at the moment, besides, my Bahasa is rubbish, I always muddle panas and pedas with terrible results.
Lin, I miss my geckos. Large fluffy spiders are all I've got... and they have babies by the thousands.
August 2nd, 2007, 11:45 AM
I always muddle panas and pedas with terrible results.
You'd better watch your step. They're starting to crack down on pedaphiles and panaphobes.
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