Foreign Language Enhances Realism of Fictional Characters
You can make a few words go a very long way in your fiction. You can go throughout a book, claiming that your character is French, but as soon as he or she says, “Bonjour,” you have sold realism to the reader. In fact, you might not even have to tell your reader from where your character originates. If you were to write a story about the American Southwest, a character that said “Si, Senor,” will immediately be assumed to be of Latin American heritage by your reader. Further, if you use Hispanic characters in your novel, it might be strange to never to hear a word of Spanish.
Foreign Language Adds Realism
A few foreign words will give your characters the realism you are looking for. A bit of research will help you to craft their words. Is your French speaking character from France, or is he or she from Canada or Switzerland? Learning the different nuances between dialects can add detail to your story that is undeniable. Writing that contains those kinds of details is often applauded for allowing the reader to learn something new.
Have Fun with Foreign Language
Don’t get tangled up in foreign language studies. If you have difficulty, just get what you need to enhance your story. You might have fun learning new things. If you enjoy what you find, you will probably translate your sense of interest over to your reader.