We consider a one-dimensional elastic string as a set of massless beads interacting through springs characterized by anisotropic elastic constants. The string, driven by an external force, moves in a medium with quenched disorder. We find that longitudinal fluctuations lead to nonlinear behavior in the equation of motion that is kinematically generated by the motion of the string. The strength of the nonlinear effects depends on the anisotropy of the medium and the distance from the depinning transition. On the other hand, the consideration of restricted solid-on-solid conditions imposed on the string leads to a nonlinear term with a diverging coefficient at the depinning transition.