Torn between two tongues – bilingual blogging: Guest Post by Helen


Guest post by Helen Bogun

Thanks to Sharon to give me the opportunity to write a post for her.

I blog. Not long since I have started, got my feet wet in July.
I blog and I love it, and I write either in German or in English.

Some told me that this is unique. I don’t know. I just do it the way that I feel is best for me.

I am a German girl living in Berlin with many friends around the world.
Somehow I think it would be rude or impolite to exclude my friends, who are not able to talk and understand German.

Interestingly the critics on my habit are usually born Germans. They don’t think that it is appropriate to write in a language, which is not the mother tongue.

Really?
Or is the advisor in this case just the German aspiration of being somehow perfect?

I think it is this way.

You can watch it, when German children start to learn a second or third language.
When I was in school, I started to learn English in grade 5. Was about 11 years at that time.
It was special for my mom and my dad. They hadn’t been able to learn English at school.

Now their daughter – learning English.
I remember, coming home from school one day, they had had some visitors and my mom asked: “Say something in English!”

Oooops, bad question mom.
I didn’t dare. My mouth was closed.
11, nearly a teenager, taught to be perfect, and now I were supposed to talk English? No way.

I didn’t realize that nobody would have judged me, since they would not have been able to understand.

But I would have known about my faults. And this is a symptom of Germans and foreign languages. (Applies for math etc. too) They don’t dare to talk unless they are perfect.

But you will never be perfect!
Never!

I am born German, got a good education, have been at university, read good newspapers and books on a regular basis. I am doing anything to improve my language. Am I perfect in German? No I am not. I will never be. There are people in Germany whose grammar and spelling and vocabulary is better and of wider range than mine.

There are people on this world who are in every way better in English than me.

But I don’t think that this really matters.
I am using the languages I am able to talk for the purpose languages are made for: to communicate.

I want to communicate, with my friends, with my costumer, with the teachers of my son, with my family, with everybody else.

When I started blogging, I thought that now and then there would be a post just in English or other posts just in German. The last month I recognized that it is not really possible. I serve both languages, nearly every post.

So I hope you don’t mind, if the language is not perfect all the time. I just love to communicate so much, that I have the feeling somebody is cutting of my arms or legs, if you want me to stick to one language.

It opened a new world to me, fascinating people entered it. People I would have never met, if I had not done what I am doing.

Maybe now and then a preposition is wrong, or grammar not perfect. Do you really mind?

No matter what language you are using, and no matter how perfect your neighbor thinks you are, never ever stop to communicate!
Communication is the key to understand each other.

We need this more these days than ever.

What languages do you use for communication?

Thank you for reading!  If you have enjoyed reading this post please share it with others who may be interested and I always enjoy receiving feedback and comments 🙂

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9 comments on “Torn between two tongues – bilingual blogging: Guest Post by Helen

    • Indeed Andy! Which is a blessing for bilingual writers whose first language isn’t English – as we know what they mean if even their sentence structure isn’t quite perfect! 🙂

  1. Pingback: Deutsch and English « Helz-Design

  2. It never occurred to me to blog in another language and I speak Spanish, not perfectly, but perhaps as well as you, Andy, speak English. How brave you are to put yourself out there when you know you will make mistakes. More power to you! I admire your ideal of not excluding someone because they don’t speak German. I would not have had the pleasure of reading your words nor the benefit of you opening my mind up to the idea of writing in Spanish if you hadn’t made this choice. You have made a difference in my day and I thank you!

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