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Ela Molina: Home

WARNING

WRITING IN SPANISH[1]

Writing well in any language is work, but it can be intimidating to write in a second language. As in English, effective writing comes from finding ideas worth communicating; explaining them carefully, and arranging them in an order that makes them clear to the reader.

                You may already have writing experience in English that will help you as you write in Spanish (or any other language). The more strategies you have to choose from, the greater your chances of developing writing process that works for you. In this syllabus you will find a range of suggestions to enhance and extend what you already know – strategies for getting started, writing the early drafts, and revising. The following are some general guidelines:

1.        NEVER WRITE IN ENGLISH, LATER TRANSLATING TO SPANISH. Do all of your writing –even your roughest drafts- in Spanish. If you translate from English as you compose, your Spanish will sound more like English than Spanish! Plus, most of the times, your Spanish sentences will make no sense. Remember that translations require specific training, and Translation Rule # 1 is always to translate ONLY into your mother or native language. Do not translate quotations in English, leave them as they are.

2.        REWRITE. Rarely will you get it perfect the first time in English, let alone in a second language.

3.        BRAINSTORMING. Getting started is often the hardest part of writing. You may not know what you want to say or my think that you don’t have enough to write about. Just make a list of everything that occurs to you about the subject without stopping to analyze or judge each idea. Try to amass a lot of ideas: you should end up with far more items than you can possibly use, perhaps ten times as many. DO IT IN SPANISH. DO NOT WRITE IN ENGLISH, LATER TRANSLATING TO SPANISH.



[1] Adapted from: Lisa Gerrard, and Sheri Long. Redacción y revisión: estrategias para la composición en español. New York: McGraw Hill, 1993. 4.

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