I’ve run into a conundrum. It’s kind of a good conundrum – betas are loving Fire in the Woods… until they get to one point.
I partly expected the responses:
“This is confusing, but if no one else says anything, ignore me.” And “This is distracting. Is there another way to do this?”
So, this is my problem. Fire in the Woods is told in “First Person” (the “I” Point of view)
There is a large sequence where people around my main character are speaking another language, and she can’t understand them. To keep the continuity of the story, I wrote the whole sequence in English. Then I went back and translated it.
I figured there would be some people who wanted to know what they were saying, so I subtitled it. I also figured people who wanted to stay in Jess’s confused POV would not even glance at the subtitles. So far, this seems to be backfiring.
So, this is my question: How should I handle this scene? I don’t want to keep saying over and over “they spoke in their weird language” or something like that, but I obviously can’t leave in all the foreign dialect.
Have you ever seen something like this done well in a published work? Have you read a passage where characters are speaking another language, and the POV character doesn’t understand them?
I have an idea what to do, but before I do a lot of work and screw things up, I’d like to see an example of someone doing it WELL.