Living in the United States, a writer can fall into the trap of writing only English-speaking characters. That doesn’t accurately reflect the country’s linguistic makeup and with social media sites like Facebook and Twitter it’s possible that you “meet” non-English speakers on a daily basis.
I happened upon this story about four students at NYU who were profiled in the New York Times for producing a Facebook-alternative. That’s interesting in itself but the real story is what they did when they got their press coverage…
Four NYU students were lucky enough to get some New York Times coverage for their would-be Facebook killer. But they seem to have helped slip a nerdy sex joke past Times editors, as well.
The joke, written on a blackboard behind the students in their Times picture, is a sequence of Unix commands that could double as a crude hook-up manual: “touch grep unzip mount fsck fsck umount.”
As an exercise:
What lanaguage does your characters speak? Is it a common language or something only known to a few people? Do they speak other languages? Does the fact that they speak this language help or hurt their cause?