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Apr 15, 2019 15:10:04

International Writings

by @basilesamel PATRON | 381 words | 384πŸ”₯ | 432πŸ’Œ

Basile Samel

Current day streak: 384πŸ”₯
Total posts: 432πŸ’Œ
Total words: 204806 (819 pages πŸ“„)

All of my family members - for the exception of my younger brother - are having a hard time reading me because I choose to write in English. French is my mother tongue. I fully understand Spanish (Castellano) but I'm having a hard time speaking and writing - my vocabulary is extremely limited. I started learning English at 14 in middle-school. I tried learning Mandarin for a year and Italian for another year. I studied Latin for three years. I also try to learn a few words to get by wherever I travel - Macedonian, Romanian, German, Polish, ThaΓ―, Portuguese - but I can only write acceptably in English and French.

Languages have their own soul, they carry the spirit of the people. I love writing in English because it's an efficient language. Global and inclusive. There is no such thing as grammatical gender in English, which is not the case in Latin-based languages for example.

However, French being my mother tongue I feel limitless practicing it. It's not that English is less expressive - not all words have an equivalent across different languages but there is always a way to find an equivalent expression - the style is simply different. I find English to be a bit rigid at times, whereas French, despite its many grammatical rules, can get quite fanciful at times - I have Rabelais and Rimbaud in mind for example.

It's a pity to find multilingual authors are a rare breed. Samuel Beckett wrote both in French and English for example:

"More and more my own language appears to me like a veil that must be torn apart in order to get at the things (or the Nothingness) behind it. Grammar and Style. To me they seem to have become as irrelevant as a Victorian bathing suit or the imperturbability of a true Gentleman. A mask."

- Why did Samuel Beckett write in French?

This observation is a delight to think about. Internationalization should be a default on the Internet. More and more people speak at least two languages, why can't we write an online post in two languages at the same time? When I started blogging last year I tried to create an editor where I could switch between English and French. Maybe I could adapt it to suit the needs of the writers on 200WaD.

From Basile Samel's collections:

  • 1

    @basilesamel I'm constantly thinking about if I should write in German (my mother tongue). But then I think about reader bases, if I write in English I can reach more people and probably get more responses. If I would write in German I could share my articles mainly along my family and friends.
    Writing in both would also be possible but I would definitely have to write the English version first as in my opinion it's easier to translate my English text back to German than otherwise.

    Philipp Haidenbauer avatar Philipp Haidenbauer | Apr 16, 2019 09:06:29
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      @phaidenbauer same! :D

      Basile Samel avatar Basile Samel | Apr 16, 2019 12:16:42
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    @basilesamel Language as well as dialect are also about self-identification in your surrounding environment. There are four different places according to my life stages -- where I was born, where I spent my childhood, where I suffered before college entrance, where I am grownup till now -- I have different languages or dialects. Maybe I could write such experiences in my today's posts.

    5plus6 avatar 5plus6 | Apr 16, 2019 09:33:37
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      @5plus6 Super interesting! Don't hesitate to document it.

      Basile Samel avatar Basile Samel | Apr 16, 2019 12:15:30
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    @basilesamel I am at the point where I question, what is my mother tongue? is it the one that we were born with? taught or something else? Because if it's something I was born with, I am not really fluent nor confident in speaking or writing. My family speaks a mixture of Indonesian with a taste of English vocabularies and the native language, which is javanese.

    In my case, despite being born as an Indonesian, I was learning arabic, indonesian and english, as little as three years old. Then, Indonesian, native language and English in my primary school. Followed by German in my highschool and other self-taught languages such as turkish, hindi, and some slavic languages. And, in university, I took English studies; Spanish and French were my side dish during my sophomore year. However, I am only confident writing in English, because I have more vocabularies than my Bahasa Indonesia. And, Ironically, I work as a translator English - Indonesia vice versa.

    Anyhow, that would nice, if users can write in two languages or more. Personally, that way, I can train my translating skill as well :)

    macchiata avatar macchiata | Apr 15, 2019 16:49:42
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      @macchiata wow thanks for the comment! It could have been a full reply :)

      Basile Samel avatar Basile Samel | Apr 15, 2019 17:37:38
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    @basilesamel This weekend I heard someone say, "The word 'potential' is actually a French word. It means 'ain't done shit yet.'" I found the amusing. Perhaps one day I will take you up on the offer of writing in a second language. For me it would be Spanish, but I have a long way to go to be comfortable.

    Brandon Wilson avatar Brandon Wilson | Apr 15, 2019 06:55:47
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      @brandonwilson It's the literal meaning yes! The etymological one is "that can acquire power in the future".

      It would be amazing to learn a language through a writing practice! Maybe I should try. Like, you learn some vocabulary and then you try to fit the new words in a paragraph of 200 words.

      Basile Samel avatar Basile Samel | Apr 15, 2019 16:15:30
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