Here is a technique for the representation of foreign speech chosen by Hemingway in For Whom the Bell Tolls. Not often imitated, it is notable for its unconventional and mixed methodologies including 1) Archaisms, 2) Anglicization or direct translation of idiomatic elements, 3) Italicized foreign words.
Here’s an example:
As they came up, still deep in the shadows of the pines, after dropping down from the high meadow into the wooden valley and climbing up it on a trail that paralleled the stream and then left it to gain, steeply, the top of a rim-rock formation formation, a man with a carbine stepped out from behind a tree.
“Halt,” he said. Then, “Hola, Pilar. Who is this with thee?
“An Ingles,” Pilar said. “But with a Christian name–Roberto. And what an obscenity of steepness it is to arrive here.”
“Salud, Camarada,” the guard said to Robert Jordan and put out his hand. “Are you well?”
“Yes,” said Robert Jordan. “and thee?”
“Equally,” the guard said.
The effect here is to create the atmosphere of foreignness in the representation of Spanish culture. It works in a lot of ways too. One almost feels that the main character is among a distant, alien culture. Of course, some problems linger.
The first is that the archaism (Who is this with thee?) is distracting even after many pages of use.
The italicization ( “An Ingles,” Pilar said.) while typical, is only necessary with words that are uncommon.
The last example ( “Equally,” the guard said.), the literal translation of cognates, draws the ire of some readers who expect a greater degree of fidelity to foreign languages. The “equally” is reminiscent of the Spanish “Igualmente” but awkward in the English.
That may be the point, however. Awkwardness is a kind of otherness.
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