If you are blogging/writing in English as your second language, it is very likely that one of the first questions you will be asked will be; ‘Why don’t you write in your first language and then simply translate it into English?’ Because it is not as simple as it may seem. Or easy. Or sometimes even possible. Because any language is a living thing, with its sounds, cadences, expressions, word-plays and jargons. Moreover, as any living organism does; language changes over time. Last time I visited Croatia I noted some words and expressions that are new to me. They developed after my departure. Languages change with each generation of speakers.
In some of my earlier posts I attempted to offer translations and have texts in both languages (English and Croatian) side by side. I may still do that especially for poetry, but I know that my main stream writing will be in English. Like my daily life is in English. And this is the key; when you decide to transfer those ‘sounds’ and ‘colors’ of your experiences, your ‘dailyness’ into your blog posts or any form of writing; you bring them alive. What form that life will take depends on the language you use.
We all know that numerous literatures have been successfully translated into English from variety of languages. However, blogging or writing for internet is unique; it is a living, interactive medium. As a blogger you interact with your audience through comments almost immediately. And this is a beauty of blogging that no other writing medium offers. This interconnectedness is what makes blogging so attractive and so popular. And as bloggers – we just love it!
Writing in your second language will provide you with some serious benefits;
- You will acquire a valuable new skill – ability to express yourself in a language different to the one you started your life with. It will become easier and easier more you do it. It will become natural. That I can guarantee you; after all only some years ago I did not know a word of English;
- You will gain confidence. That I can also guarantee. In my next post I will write more about what happens when you do not have that confidence;
- Learning to write in a second language requires discipline, dedication, patience and perseverance – all the qualities you need as a blogger; consider it a bonus -:)) !
- Your writing will benefit from the whole new level of clarity. Clarity that comes from writing in a second language will be different to clarity you achieve in your first language. Not better or worse, just different. And you will be richer for it;
- You will widen your audience and through that gain insights into many cultures. I love to interact with people whose countries I may never be able to visit. The only way to do that is to converse in a language known to us both; in today’s world that language is English. Whether we like it or not. It is simply not likely that an Urdu speaking person and I can exchange views in either of our first languages. And I value the opportunity to learn what life likes in a country where Urdu is spoken.
To not make this post too long, I will stop here. In my next post, which will also conclude this miniseries, I will talk about those dreadful grammar/spelling issues that haunt all of us, and share with you helpful real life story.