I'm writing a story and I'm having a bit of trouble with styling conversations that take place in another language. I want the reader to be privy to this conversation, so it has to be communicated in English somehow. I've considered a few styles but I'm at a bit of a block.
Here are the styles I've considered:
- Direct quote, in original script: Useless if the reader doesn't know the language, which in my case, they definitely wont.
- Direct quote, in transliterated script, translation in footnotes: I do this for the first couple of sentences to introduce the fact that they're not speaking English, but this really makes the story unreadable for large amounts of dialogue.
- Translated sentence, in unquoted italics: This is what I've been using since it acknowledges that the translation alters what they're saying and introduces inaccuracies/idioms/colloquialisms. However, in long exchanges it doesn't look like speech.
- Translated sentence, in quotes: Flows most naturally and is what the reader is accustomed to, but I'm against quoting specifically because that's not what they're actually saying.
- Passive speech (e.g.:"Foo asked Bar about Baz."): I'm also against this because it's hard to develop a character when it's entirely up the reader how the dialogue unfolds.
Is there a preferred style to how this is done?