I wonder how many more writers here speak English as a second (or third or higher!) language? How much does your native language or culture influence your story?
It influences my story in a few strange expressions and other less used but which exist in english too (bas-relief, mise en abîme) and a lot of wrong uses, false friends and unintended sexual connotations. (Americans see sex everywhere, I swear) ^^
And poor grammar and lack of usual description expressions (which can be an advantage, it makes the writing less common)
By the way, I haven't translated much chapters yet...
It hasn't affected the story as such yet, but it has an influence on the writing itself. Sometimes a concept which in Dutch is a single word, doesn't have an English equivalent. The other way around also happens. I mostly think in English when I write, but occasionally those words make me take a mental detour, trying to find the word or description that has the right 'flavor'
As for influences... well, I think that I slip sometimes when sentence structure is concerned. Storywise, there are some minor influences and some of the character's names sound a bit Slavic as a little token to my rooths.
Of course my oral level is through the gutter. Never even speaks in my first language, so why would I talk in any other?
I also had Italian as my second language and Latin as my fourth originally, because of parents... wanting you to know 10 languages...
Obviously my brain said no, and after becoming fluent and very well versed in Italian and being trash in Latin, I forgot both in a matter of weeks.
Like I can't even put a sentence together anymore.
Learned that day that learning anything even for four years with forced dedication did not matter if you did not care about it.
I mean I went from being able to talk Italian fluently to... "Buongiorno!" (Yes I had to look that up in case I messed up, kind of tragic)
I hope that my hard earned lesson is useful to some of you. Only learn if you care at least a little, otherwise it's pointless, literally.
One thing I've noticed in native english speaker vs ESL is that ESL will have a tendency to be overly verbose and make use of obscure words that if translated litterally would be the more common alternative in their mother tongue.
For example, as a native french speaker, I will often use english words derived from it when writting in english (Forest instead of Woods / Chamber instead of Room / Salutations instead of Greetings / etc.)
That's obviously the more subtle ESL clues. Often time, lack of diversity in the synonyms used, disjointed sentence structure or unnatural dialogue (It always makes me laugh when I read a WN and a character addresses their sibling as "Brother/Sister". Not that I haven't seen Native speaker do it too, but when you add the unnatural dialogue structure, it becomes quite apparent) are more obvious clues.