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Writing in your native language or not?

4710 Views 68 Replies 24 Participants Last post by  Joe Vasicek
I'm curious about how many here are writing in English as a foreign language. :)

I'm one of them.  ;D

Anyone else out there who also struggles with the syntax of a foreign language?  ;D
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My native language is German, but I've been speaking English since I was five and am quasi-bilingual.

I write mostly in English (except for some non-fiction), but I have translated some of my stories into German for a bit of extra money and exposure.
Bilingual? Now that is one useful trait to have. :)
Me!  ;D

I believe Nathalie, Chrystalla, and Cora are also non-native English writers.

And yes, I sometimes struggle with the language when writing, but reading lots and lots of English books does help. In fact I believe I read more English stuff than Chinese (my native language)--I find a lot more variety, especially when it comes to genre. And a lot of our bestsellers are translated from English, so I prefer to read the original whenever possible.
I have the same thing! I basically learned English from TV and movies, we got subtitles here, and then moved to reading almost exclusively in English for fun at age twelve. With Dutch being my native language, I can assure you it is easy to go for the English literature as ours kinda sucks, and translated versions often lose their magic in the translation.

English is my native language, but I would absolutely love to write Arabic poetry.  Right now, I can barely read it, so that dream is a long ways off...but one day, I'll get there...
I'm originally Swedish but bilingual in Swedish/English. I actually think English has become my dominant language.

I tried writing MOST LIKELY in German once...


Becky beschleunigt und zieht Energie aus einer inneren Reserve. Lucie gefunden eigenen Ausbruch von Energie und schaffte es sogar Aufenthalt mit Becky, als sie die erste Kurve eingetragen. Becky hat der Innenbahn, wie sie die Wende abgerundet, in der Hoffnung, vor ziehen und fertig Lucie aus, aber die sophomore blieb tot sogar.

Sie ist besser, dachte Becky. Als sie die weit dehnen eingegeben, aufeinander abgestimmt sind Schrittlänge für Schritt, hielt Becky ihr Tempo. Sie reservierten ihre letzte Anstrengung für die Veredelung ab. Wenn Lucie schrie: "Nein, nein, nein," jedes Mal, wenn sie ausgeatmet, wusste Becky sie gewonnen hatte.

Die letzte Kurve stieg um sie zu treffen und sie schenkte alles, was sie hatten in den letzten Stoß. Sie zog vor. Da der Klang der Mannschaft jubelt erreichte ihre Ohren, verblasst Lucie zurück und aus der peripheren Sehens Becky ist. Als sie die Ziellinie erreicht hatte, führte sie durch zwei volle Fortschritte. Sie verlangsamt und ging aus der Flucht. Sie drehte sich um, um für Lucie suchen. Die sophomore schien bereit zu kollabieren. Becky ging auf und umarmte sie trotz der Blasenbildung Temperatur.
(Actually, that's Google Translate, not me...) ;)

Which may explain my old theory: Germans love David Hasselhoff!

That said, I'll leave you with this to ponder:

A fost odată o fată din Nantucket,
Deținută o bluză, dar ar putea niciodată să o abordeze,
Deci, ea a comandat de la Sears
mie sutiene
Pun pariu ai crezut acest poem va termina diferit.
As Aya said, my native language isn't English - it's Greek. I'm Greek Cypriot, as is Stella Samiotou Fitzsimons, also on Kindleboards (author of The Plantation).  :)
Native English, but I'm very big on language learning, and one of my main reasons for actively learning foreign languages is to be able to eventually write in them. I love exploring the different ways of telling stories, and switching languages allows me to do that. I'd always get a couple of native speakers to proofread my work, of course.
I speak and write in three languages
Professional Corporatespeak
Rural Pennsylvania Dutch
Biting Sarcasm with fangs
but they are all English.
As Aya said, my mother tongue is French, but I studied languages and civilizations at the University.

I can read/understand/speak English just fine.
As a matter of fact, I hate reading English books translated in French, I have to have the real deal. And I cringe every time I have to watch a movie or TV show in French... event though they are not as bad as in German or Italian!  ;D ;D ;D

I was once quite capable in German but I haven't had the possibility to practice it for twenty years, so... yeah, you forget stuff.  ;)
My time working in Düsseldorf is a great memory. <3

And I'm fluent in Italian, I've studied it, worked for an Italian company in France, and went there on holidays/had a lot of Italian boyfriends.  ;)

I wouldn't trust myself to write in another language without someone to correct me. That's why I hire my editor, who is great to work with! There's always minor stuff to edit...

But I rump dance when she tells me she doesn't think anyone would think I'm not a native speaker if I didn't tell them.  :D
(__\__) (__|__) (__/__) (__|__) (__\__) *cha cha cha!*
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Another non-native here. I'm Dutch but I've been writing in English for about 6 years now.
My mother tongue is Afrikaans, but I'm pretty much bilingual. I read mostly English.

Chinese, Malay, Indian background. Once pretty good at German and Russian but have forgotten so much, it's embarrassing. I dream in Chinese, write in English, talk in ******* Roofing (entirely a different, colorful kind of yelling your mama and papa never wanted you to learn).
I'm Czech, so my native language is Czech and I instinctively understand Slovak, because we used to be the same country, the languages are extremely similar and you still hear Slovak here on daily basis, but I don't write or speak in Slovak. Then I learned German well enough to translate on a professional level at highschool (mostly business and corporate translation), but when I (mostly self-)learned English, I stopped using German for years and just like Nathalie said, I just forgot to speak it. I still understand quite well though. I then studied Japanese studies for 4 years as my university mayor, but my Japanese is really bad, just suitable for basic conversation and sometimes not even that. It's the language I'm forgetting the quickest.

So, right now, my head is a mess of languages and since I have been writing and translating in and from English a lot, English is becoming my major language and when I'm trying to figure out a word, mostly the English variant comes first, then Czech and then, for some reason and if I can remember it, the Japanese. The Czechs think me absent minded, lol  ;D

I'm extremely self conscious about my English writing, because I feel that I am lacking words, slangs and phrazes that I would be able to use in Czech and always worried that my English stories would read like something a middleschooler wrote.  :-[  Actually, I have been debating posting a piece here on writer's cafe for people to evaluate.

Oh and I have a proofreader who edits my texts, she's wonderfull.
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Chrystalla said:
LCE anglais? (that's what I studied, in Toulouse!) :)
Yes ma'am!
In Toulouse Mirail too! ;)
Nathalie Hamidi said:
And I cringe every time I have to watch a movie or TV show in French... event though they are not as bad as in German or Italian! ;D ;D ;D
Nothing like Ava Gardner or Humphrey Bogard dubbed in German to make your day. ;D
Well, we moved from Czechoslovakia when I was 7 and spoke Czech to my parents for most of my life, but I consider English my native language now. My English is gooder than my Czech now.
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