Then again, I guess it would make sense that people think of it as bastardized (or 'bastardised,' as they'd like to call it), because America, as I've recently learned, is a nation of hicks.
I can work on sounding sophisticated later. Right now I'm focusing on being understood. Anyway, even in English I'm called too terse, so...Simple:
I should = Je devrais
Word to word translation is:
"Peut-être ne devrais-je pas écrire à 1 heure du matin."
And it sounds absolutely correct in French. You can say this, you will be understood, no problem!
But my suggestion is classier, denotes a more sophisticated way to express ideas, and is the mark of a true native French speaker.
So 'je devrais être' is better than 'je sois'?
I dunno, if half the length is enough precision to assemble that toaster, does it really matter if it's that much more precise?As a matter of fact, you would probably be better understood with my own suggestion. Because you know, French is a very precise and accurate language, almost unsurpassed in this category. While English will always remain very vague and approximative, no matter how you try to spell it.
Depending on the way you conjugate verbs in French, you have very precise informations about how, why, when an event occured. English have very similar tenses, but without the informations involved.
Thus, when we translate English in French, the result is often comparable to the way a child would convey its thoughts. Short, concise, but awfully vague, since the child live in a sort of continuous present.
Twice as long means twice the precision. But in French, you have the option to speak with short sentences, similar to what you will find in English.
The "shorter languages" are isolating ones, the shortest of all being Chinese Mandarin. And Mandarin is even vaguer, hazier and blurrier than English.
Well, I was going to try to learn Mandarin, too...
What about German? I've heard that I should stay as far away as possible, but then again, that just makes me more curious.