Being a non-english writer writing english.

English: (Green) Belgium. (Light-green) The Eu...

I am here (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have a confession to make: I’m actually not someone who speaks English in his daily life. Please no gasps all around, I’m not a scooby-doo villain and I had no reason to hide it. In fact my “About Me” page carefully states I am from Belgium.

So why English? First of all: I’m an anglophile. Nothing English is safe from my love. Though I might find it hard to find affection for the recent surge of boybands. I sip tea wearing a deerstalker while watching Doctor Who. I love the English ways. The comedy, from Monty Python over Rowan Atkinson and A bit of Fry and Laurie to people like David Mitchell. The BBC One watermark is burned in the corner of my television. The Union Jack hangs on my wall (right side up!) and I know everything about the Daleks, The Timelords, yes even the Ice Warriors. But enough about nerdy stuff. I also think English is, currently, the #1 language to communicate online. I know very little websites who don’t have a “English” option in their menus. The Dutch language limps behind.

The Union Jack with a white border.

Because I like to be heard and I’m arrogant enough to believe a larger audience will enjoy listening to me, I write in English. No easy task as for one: English is a very hard language. Luckily for me, I hear it all the time. On the radio, on television and in movies English is everywhere and learning it is vital to understanding our current pop-culture.

After spending a few years being quite fluent in English, I decided to go study a Bachelor in English. This turned out more

hard work than expected. I had basically soared through every English test in Highschool with as little faults one can manage. But here I actually needed to work.

Oxford English Dictionary

I never knew I could hate a book.(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

First of all British English is the way to go. I had a bit of both going on. I used to type in American English and I talked with the accents I heard on in movies and tv-shows. This needed to be exorcised out of me. Every u had to be added to color, every hyphen had to be added. My ugly accent had to for a posh British accent I can still not manage. On top of that I had to learn about Great Britain. I needed to absorb the polticial, geographical and cultural situation of the land beyond the channel. I did and I enjoyed every minute of it. But boy was it hard work.
Now it comes to writing. I’m still a first year in my class. Therefore my English is not perfect. My syntax could use a lot of work, as I’m sure you have noticed in this entry. I put words not in the wrong, but in the awkward place. It is very frustrating for me.
All I want to say is: forgive me if I sound a little awkward or make a little typo. Life is hard as a non-english writer. It is a trial I have to face. The Dutch e-book market is too small to justify writing in dutch. I enjoy English too much.
Now if you’ll excuse me I need to go watch an episode of Top Gear.
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~ by Sander on September 10, 2012.

3 Responses to “Being a non-english writer writing english.”

  1. You’re doing a great job with the English language, Sander! Much better than I could achieve speaking Dutch. 🙂

  2. You’re doing well so far — keep it up! Like 365Things says, ‘much better than I could achieve speaking Dutch.’

  3. I feel absolutely identified with what you wrote. We are passengers of the same class. You see, I’m from Uruguay in South America, my native tongue is Spanish and any English speaking country is thousands of kilometers away, but I can only write in English for all the reasons you wrote. I’d just add that English has become my inner language. I kind of consciously and unconsciously decided to at least have my way in one aspect of life. I’ve been through two surgeries in the past 3 months and doctors told me I woke up from the anesthesia speaking in English and not understanding their commands in Spanish.

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