Change of personality.
Vocabulary for writer.
Multilingual day or life among languages.
Lethologica on daily basis.
Writing in a foreign language.
Reading in a foreign language.
Taste of language.
I didn’t became a polyglot.
Poetry in foreign language.
Passion to words.
When you became a multilingual writer you should be ready to ongoing process. Ideas will come to you in different languages and it will be difficult to change them from one language to other.
If you, like me, will be crazy enough to choose foreign language as creativity tool and you are not resident of country with this language – will be harder. Learn language and know language are not comparable activities. All books were read on native language and they gave you power of knowledge, with foreign language you will be always far away from others.
Best solution could be never start this. But if it’s too late one thing you could do – never stop. Every day you should remind yourself that you need to work harder than native, because you struggle to receive what they have for granted – language.
On other side you will never be enough and scary perfection will never touch your work. You never will be afraid about disappointing from your next work. On next work you will add new words which you learned – amazing gift for your struggling readers. When study you want to show results to others, you never will struggle with masterpiece.
There are times when I feel it’s more difficult that it possible to do. In such days I remember how editor of Nabokov said that she needs to translate his drafts for proper English. Who cares about her? I remember about Conrad and his novels. I remember about people who did it – change language for the art.
Language it’s just other tool and you should master it. Master endlessly, master when tired, master when seek, master when you have more interesting things to do. I don’t know from personal experience, but I think that writing is like playing musical instrument. You should practice till the pain in fingers, you should learn new, more complicate melodies and better if you do it daily. Because if you haven’t wish to do it daily – search for doing something else.
I was thinking about that I too much write about my language learning. I can't stop this activity. And I decided to return my multilingual blog, which started in August 2015. Again I write on two languages and I am back in status of bilingual or multilingual writer.
I don't know, it's usual for all multilingual writers. But because I don't live in country of target language I daily should battle with temptations. And this temptations are other possible languages.
To add Polish is easiest way for everyone who lives in Lviv. I could put there all Art Nouveau connected stories. It's much easy than Deutsch for Austria-Hungary possible stories.
There is only thing what stops me, from attractive easiness of Spanish per example, difficulty of creating artificial foreign language bubble. You should enter in language like in room where there are different rules to which you are ready to subordinate.
Helps to fight seductiveness of other languages are power of English. English destroys attractiveness and necessity of other languages. To learn Italian and Greek it's difficult, better to search for person who will speak English in both countries. I read that even in France now is possible to speak with native on English. Hurray from deepness of my never received B1 soul.
Switching from language to language in writing takes time, but it also bring you more abilities to write what you want. I am definitely come back to multilingual field.
When I became multilingual writer I was suffering from learning language. I could for hours tell how difficult it’s for me. Lists of books which I need to read, rules which I want to learn it’s all frustrating.
Rigorous, meticulous, hard work of finding on exact word which I need could delay editing process above one sentence to hours. I will check all meanings, nuances, collocations and synonyms. For the final draft I will return to it and will be thinking about decision. Nightmare? Not for me.
Despite my complex relationships with language I still like to learn new. Such ability couldn’t destroy all my teachers in school and professors at Uni. I like to study. This strange feature and stubbornness help me every day make my new life in different language.
I became happy when find new word which I didn’t know before, I could with pleasure read about formatting of adjectives. Yes, I know I could be a philologist, because think that stylistic of language is exciting topic. My speed in writing left many mistakes in texts and it’s inadmissible for linguistics, at least I was told about that.
I wanted to have a second high education in English philology. Now I connect this with my daily life. Writing something new and learning language like duty, like environment.
Don’t discover something new when I’ll tell that writer have to love language on which writes. Words have to be part of passionate relationships. In another way why use words when you didn’t addict to them? “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life. Confucius”.
I think I made 200 poems in English. In truth it's more than I wrote in Ukrainian and Russian or at least more than I left from my writing.
Poetry is soul of the language, tenderness of words and different heartbeat.
When at beginning I was stick in English language level I believed that all what I could do it's just write synopsis of my plays. Children's plays gave me hope that it would be manageable. Than I choose what is most difficult – poetry. I was glad that rhyme is not necessary and try it. Word by word unfamiliar language starts to open to me. I was searching for every word, now I write poems when have spare time.
Reading poetry on foreign language is different experience. On some sites poems could be heard, it's very helpful. See words and listen to them is amazing.
I know that not all poems are equivalent to each other. I believe that it's impossible to write 200 poems badly. It's like sketching, from time to time you'll have a sparkle of discovery.
Of course, if you are afraid of opinion from another people you could not put it on-line. At beginning you could write them for yourself. But it really helps to understand foreign language.
Daily surfing the net on English, listening, writing and editing left piles of list of words which I suppose to remember. It’s frustrating, I didn’t became a polyglot. Because of fear not finding proper word I also spend time on reading advice for ESL learners.
Idea of flash-cards I can’t stand since school, when we have activity of learning English verbs in three columns. 10 verbs for dictation. My results were catastrophic, I had awful marks in English and full disbelief in myself which daily rooted in a deep my teachers. I didn’t know that not for every one is good idea to learn words without context and purpose.
Reading in English was weak idea, because it was stressed not for me, not for my level and language learning is not for you. In dark years of language study at school I have admiration for people who know more than native language. I learned about polyglots. Deep inside my heart I never believed in my irreparable disability in learning language. I believed that English not for me but I’ll find language which could overcome. Notebooks with words were everywhere. My parents give me opportunity to try language expedition.
Remembering words was a problem, the same as to find self-study books and vocabulary. As I tried to enumerate all of them it was 28 with English among pile. Sometimes I thought that better to had in such quantity boyfriends to better CV. Ups, 29 I forget about Latin. Languages I choose with different purpose. Don’t laugh, but idea about Greek and Latin came to my mind after film “Bridget Jones” where lawyer, I think his name was Mark Darcy, played Colin Firth, quoted something in Greek. I thought it’s amazing to know such languages. It all became a big fault, in Greek I was absolutely hopeless. I admire lawyers starting since my reading of John Grisham’s books to their fluent knowledge of argumentations in speech, which sometimes I jealous. I like when in work main tool is brain, not to mention understanding of Greek and Latin or any exotic languages.
I didn’t became a polyglot, but it helped in my life. I learned how to learn languages. After such rough past I learned that changing languages doesn’t help to be fluent. I never tried to learn hieroglyph languages because failed at level of alphabet in Arabian and Aramaic.
Language after language helped me to forget about fear of not ability to learn language. Till now I throw away study books which left from that experiment. In every language you could be comfortable at first step and live all life there. Talks about weather, health, even two novels, it’s not enough to proclaim yourself a polyglot. Reading about “Fluent in a week, three months, year” give you such illusion and you go with a lot of effort in a wrong direction. Of course I read all that books. Some ideas are useful in mastering English. Magic trick you could repeat in every language, like I made with Norsk.
To be polyglot is to choose life inside small cup with ocean water and feel free. Every language is the ocean which scares you. You choose to became part of it or always stay on the shoal and never make big plans. I know that I sacrificed all languages to English, even my native. Time to time I have itch to became polyglot and have another cup where I’ll feel safe. I left resources for few languages which helps in relapse of learn another language. I know that cheating myself – I always start with English based resources. After a few days I stumble to the world which I didn’t remember in English and my hard work with main language repeats again.
Learning languages is a great hobby. You find new friends, could write Birthday and Christmas wishes, but you live like tourist which explore foreign land situated inside bus.
I read about polyglots, it’s still interesting, but it’s not for me. Fifteen minutes a day, instead of crosswords, nice hobby but results the same as solving of crosswords – zero. I believe in multiple polishing of language, yesterday I downloaded “English grammar for dummies”. In my experience, I’ll find few ideas which wasn’t mentioned in previous books.
I didn’t became a polyglot, but I became a stubborn language learner, at daily basic it has more benefits.
“Political Dehradance” is the play of which I am proud. I made what I wanted – show taste of language, Ukrainian language. Find to them proper names with meaning, which gave new dimension to understanding characters. I made untranslatable soliloquies with poetic and melody of Ukrainian language, clear as tears. Now stays only bitterness of life which didn’t give opportunity to play script with happy end. I was wrong with our people, I believed that humour will help. I tried not to notice problems among Russian and Ukrainian speaking people. I am fluent in both and never thought that opposition could have such scale.
I am non-stop learner of English, but still afraid of idioms. I could be wrong. Reading is not enough. I have to know how people talk in real life. For it helps scripts of TV-serials, which are like gift of heaven, but they are rare for UK based shows. American gives me confusion in vocabulary and grammar with a seasoning of idioms and slang which destroy hope for next level. Why not put scripts on-line when everyone already saw films? Rhetoric moan. It would be for educational sake.
Taste of the language is like smell of fresh coffee, you need to be near. Imitative immersion in language could give you an illusion like Matrix, and you have to daily choose blue pill “you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe”. Of course, I would prefer to answer Morpheus with red pill and learn “how deep the rabbit hole goes”. Even if it shows me how wrong I am in knowledge of English.
Taste of language is not only thousands of words you recognize. It’s how native will say that.
“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart. Nelson Mandela”. I think it’s the main problem for multilingual writer. She knows few languages, but to make it sound like voice of the soul, it’s a challenge. “There are hundreds of languages in the world, but a smile speaks them all.” That’s why when I try to understand language I begin with it’s humour. If I don’t feel the same, I went away. When I know that also can laugh at it I believe that was right. Because of that I try to write fun on English, I want to reach it soul, and souls of my audience.
“Reading is dreaming with open eyes”. Reading in foreign language is reading with one hand on vocabulary. I wanted to read in foreign language, for pleasure, to read in original Agatha Christie and another my favourite books. (Few words about Agatha Christie. For my stupidity I believed that every adaptation will be masterpiece if made in UK. I watched Partners of crime 2015 and after 10 minutes stop it with revulsion. Now I know, with lot of effort is possible to ruin each story.)
Now reading in foreign language is my main tool in researching for writing. I spend hours in searching for proper book. Worst enemy in such surfing could be free library on-line. I always lose my way and start to download books which I also would like to read, because heard of them or just like the annotation. In such activity only one thing could stop me – full 16 GB USB flash drive. In that moment I understand, it’s enough and change activity to reading.
I know about strategies of reading on foreign language: make prediction, use background knowledge, reread few times. Everything sounds like heavy study. It have to be pleasure of reading in every language which you choose. “Whenever you read a good book, somewhere in the world a door opens to allow in more light. Vera Nazarian.”
Benefits in reading in foreign language – to learn what author said, not translator and also many of books weren’t translated.
Of course, if you don’t enjoy reading at all, reading in foreign language could be a torture, but it’s a matter of taste. “A great book should live you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading. William Styron.”
Habitual advice for every writer is to be an avid reader. For multilingual writer it could be: read on every language in which you write and enjoy the words. “Reading takes us away from home, but more important, it finds homes for us everywhere. Hazel Rochman”
How it could be normal to live all live inside own and another peoples words? “Reading is my pleasure, writing is my passion. Joanna Weck”.
Good reading and many pages ahead.
Surfing inside internet could have some negative qualities. I read about learning vocabulary and spot an article about writing in a foreign language. I hoped for some tips and after it I was stumble for awhile. Like centipede to which was told that is extremely difficult to manage so many legs, during walk and centipede think and can’t walk further.
I felt the same. I was told that it’s extremely difficult and I need special strategies for that. Not for a day I forget about my struggle with English. Did I accept it as foreign language? Yes. But it’s different from topics of “Headway” which were for homework during courses when I was 17 years old. Now language is my working tool.
After Crime peninsula story in Ukraine I lost both languages – Ukrainian and Russian but I didn’t lost the ability to create stories. I panicky looked for language at which I could write – decision was English.
I will tell you terrible thought which came to my mind now, when I looked at my bookshelves. Why English? I know, main language of communication etc. Why not Polish? This thought came to my mind after fifteen month of work entirely on English. My tests of Polish knowledge had results near 87-95% on different sites. I had pitiable results in English grammar, problems with vocabulary and made my choice. Every revision and draft at beginning were torture but I didn’t retreat till now.
Could I call my work writing in foreign language? Absolutely. Made it difference in my writing. No. I just think in English and write in it. I live inside it and have dreams at night.
I think problem and solution is in me. I always read English based books in translation. I adore their mystery stories and detectives. When I start writing I try to write on my language plots which could happened in not our life. There were few successful writers in our country who made that with France and England. It could be manageable. I wrote “Translation” from my English based knowledge of literature. And when Fatum threw me at English I repeat to make what I done before.
Multilingual writer could write freely only when words came in mind on target language. Outlines, thinking ahead and all tips don’t help. Why? Because I think about this text on English and if I will try to write it on Ukrainian I will need another system of coordinate which would be understandable for my reader. With switching letters nothing will work. Was such illusion in Ukrainian linguistics: if we choose Latin alphabet everybody will understand us. Polish didn’t accomplished that with magic of how words are look like.
I didn’t write about how it became part of me. Because of huge stress – I didn’t notice. And advices of how to force yourself to think in different language was strange to me. If you didn’t want, any advice will be useless. If you haven’t choice wrong advice will make results.
“Lethologica describes the state of not being able to remember a specific word. This often causes you obsess over it for an entire day. The psychmind”.
“It’s on the tip of my tongue”. Yes, but I can’t remember that word. Problem which I face daily. With multilingual life it’s real hell. Sometimes I understand that can’t remember word on Russian or Ukrainian and my answer creates first place in English. Difficult to communicate, I feel myself as crazy translator who works 24 hours per day, 7 days in week.
Psychologists said it’s depend on age and not using particular words frequently. I also believe in stress and work among languages. It’s frustrating to try to find a word inside brain which refuse to cooperate. Especially, when you know that you have what you are looking for. Like with paper or a book which you can’t remember where you put. Yes, it’s also my style. If I can’t find something immediately I stop and try to think. “If I was me, where I could put it to have more easy place where to find it.” Most of the times it helps, even if it’s project for which I collected papers year ago. Words are not material things and you just can’t stumble upon them accidentally.
Researches advice to forget about that word and be happy when it comes to you spontaneously.
I know that the more you read, the less problem you have about remembering words. I even now try to read books which I liked one more time in English translation, very educational activity.
In such moments of suffering from lethologica worse is feeling of absolutely stupidity, which can’t be compared only with “l’esprit d’escalier” which also left in your mood feeling of displeasure.
Like internet assures it’s usual problem for bilingual, accustomed for multilingual also. Bilingual always see word in two different languages and for that need time to choose proper word.
The more languages you know the more words you forget how to name daily – my sad truth based on personal experience. No matter with problems. it’s worth it. Life more interesting in languages.
“You can adopt the attitude there is nothing you can do, or you can see the challenge as your call to action. Catherine Pulsifier.”
I like to explore language, in another way I think I can’t write and work with foreign language. Don’t be afraid about what I didn’t know, but better, to be excited of new information. “The English language is a work in progress. Have fun with it. Jonathan Culver.”
I know that still have problems with English language. I am optimistic and try to remind myself in times of despair that: “Rudyard Kipling was fired as a reporter for the San Francisco Examiner. “you just don’t know how to use the English language. This isn’t a kindergarten for amateur writers.”
Inspiring quotes helps in difficult moments. “Never make fun of someone who speaks broken English. It means they know another language. H. Jackson Brown Jr.”
Near a year like I stop to be a trilingual writer, I refuse writing on Russian and Ukrainian new texts. Despite all my effort as English language user I still multilingual person.
I have multilingual day and I understand that it’s not usual day for every person. Maybe, this circumstances have influence on my writing life. Devotion to English is on first place, but not everything such easy.
Morning I begin with news on radio in Ukrainian language. Frequently I leave radio on when do yoga. I know, better relaxing music but I need something to wake up. Of course, it’s not tabata, but music which helps to wake up. Songs could be at any language, so I don’t count this randomnicity. But some songs are dangerous, I start to dance, like when hear “Tortura” by Shakira.
English with grammar. I browse inside my English books to find dips in knowledge. English with a lot of new reading on internet and books. Reading ends with lists of words which I have to circle later in vocabulary and recognize next time when I see it.
English in writing posts and plays. I try to spend as much as I can with this language.
Than I have book on Russian, which planned to read long before. I read. Or it could be Ukrainian book and I read. And speak with people around.
Few articles in Polish.
All day among different languages. Without counting times when I feel guilty that I refused all different languages which I planned to learn, at least for reading.
I read, when you are bilingual it’s easy to learn another languages. Every language need life to learn it, but you can spend time to know “survival” level, it could be useful sometimes.
I haven’t special language for each activity. I could think about my post in every of three and than write it on English. I don’t spend time on thinking in which language I receive information. More important to me is message.
I had troubles when find out that can’t use quote which I liked on Russian or Ukrainian in my writing. Main problem is quote is not existed in reality. This problem I found also in English. Checking of facts haven’t anything common with languages.
Sometimes I have idea that it’s too much for one day. Such merry-go-round with languages. I quit some of them.
I understand that’s my way of life, I can’t live another way. I can’t spend even one day like monolingual. It’s like colour of my eyes, they are not black like dilated pupil, if look long enough could be noticed, they are dark brown. The same in every day, could be noticed another language in every work activity.
Could I advice that way of life? No. It would be stressful, when put word in language which you remember. Is it manageable? Like everything with certain force.
Overused words are always handy but too used to write good. Vocabulary of writer should be different from vocabulary of everyone else. Yes, we should impress with our inimitable knowledge of language.
Good was to be a Shakespeare, he invented words which now we have to know. Shakespeare 18000-25000 unique words, James Joyce 30000. What to do every one else: disappear in shame? Expand new vocabulary.
Reading what other write and try to put the same words in own story. Is it plagiarism? It is knowledge, like after drawing with black pen choose to add red, green and blue with after deep reflection also buy 24 colour pencils.
In English language for me, it went hand in hand with learning new words. Never ending process with lot of pitfalls. I tried to put words in vocabulary notebooks, they haven’t connection. More useful looked lexical notebooks where words were with themes. In this better picture dictionary which created another people. I prefer to circle word in paper vocabulary to know that I already meet them and in future will learn. At first was idea to circle every part of speech with different colour, but when it could be noun and verb it didn’t help.
Expanding vocabulary is painstaking work. Every book or article have surprise inside which at first prevent understanding the text, to became in future part of your own tool.
Games with words and crosswords are not my cup of tea. I became irritated when didn’t find proper word or misspell it, positive effect is levelled. I chose “Vocabulary in Use” and different learning materials, not only for writers.
Such race for more words could be worthless. When I write plays for kids it have to be less vocabulary. Words which will be known by them. It’s like learning name of all keys on piano and than use only two of them: black and white at the beginning. Good that when you write for children you have a pleasant feeling that could use more words than necessary. It helps feel confidently in daily work with foreign language.
Words is writer tool and big, enormous, scary and heartbreaking problem is English spelling.
Not to be proud about, but I make spelling mistakes in English, like in Russian and Ukrainian. Now I didn’t write on Ukrainian and Russian and don’t make them. English is main focus, because if you still want to have readers from all over the world you need work on English, like everyone else.
At first you spend time to learn grammar and vocabulary, than you are in trap of letters which try to transmit sounds which don’t exist into words.
After on-line search I found inspiring information that it is not only mine problem. If so, there are solutions and I, like everyone else could try and improve that skill. Absurdities of English spelling immortalized in many poems and jokes. I liked this: “Teacher: Can you spell “caterpillar”? Pupil: How long do I have? Teacher: Why? Pupil: I want to wait until he changes into a butterfly. I can spell that.” Yes, I unconditionally use this principle in first draft, because I could made such mistakes that not me, not any vocabulary can’t recognize what word was expected at the beginning. Sometimes spelling is crucial skill.
It could sound strange, but I like to learn something. Years in school and University didn’t destroy wish to learn new. Better now than later, but I will spend time to recreate my knowledge about English spelling and I know that will find something new.
Problems with spelling closed one interesting trick in writing – specific using of words or accent. I could freely make it in Ukrainian, widely using Lviv’s specific words. But only that, not any other cities. I think it is not a big loss for my work. Characters could speak in English without after-taste of certain town, even in simple English. Till it’s clear what and why they say it could be alive.
Lists of commonly misspelled words is everywhere in internet. I know, they are useful, but looks like list of sins. Problem is who spells good can’t explain how they mastered it. In my case, everything is easy, I read resources for learners of English and find myself in habitual environment of sufferers. We learned all this, but if it wasn’t our native language we can spend more time to receive appropriate result.
Some advises which will help me and everyone else, based on my experience. First, not rush as on fire when write. Just for a second try to think what word do you want. For easy to find your misspelled word in dictionary, in bracket (I write in notebook) write synonym or word in native language. Few times it saved whole sentence from delete.
Second, believe in dictionaries, not to spell-checker. In dictionary there is meaning and example of use. And occasionally it could be seen that was wrong word choice.
Third, edit your work yourself. I know, one person is not good. Very useful, after see the same mistakes you could see problem, which another person just will fix for you.
Fourth, don’t try to be flawless. You are human, not a dictionary, you could don’t know all words and make mistakes. Be happy about words which you know and don’t punish yourself for the wrong. Repetition will help and you never learn all words, every day you receive new, choose to feel it like endless activity. Activity, which can’t be mastered in one day, like workout.
Mastering of language is important part of work and it deserved some time to talk.
Today I start new blog about my experience as multilingual writer.
Learning languages always was my hobby. I wanted to be a polyglot like I wanted to be a writer. My history of learning languages was more interesting than my personal life.
I have no idea that I will be multilingual writer. It just happened. In childhood it was norm of life. I suppose to start school at Belarus, and it have to be Belarus language. It didn’t happened, I was back to Lviv and in school were Ukrainian and Russian. We wrote essays on both languages, I preferred Ukrainian because wrote more words with easiness. I didn’t count weak attempts with English essays it was awful, like little topics which we created on Deutsch. Yes. Four languages with different priority mark, without counting Polish which was always like background. Little Babel tower, you just used to live in it.
I read that some linguists suppose that multilingual people have different personalities. Should I begin to worry? I understand that answer could give only psychiatrist, but I believe – no.
I write on three languages, freely. Now I use only English in writing, with daily speaking, reading and listening on Russian and Ukrainian and sometimes on another languages. It’s still me.
No one will think that painter has different personalities if could draw in pencil, coal, oil and watercolour. Even s/he could also made some work as sculptor. Why multilingual have to be different?
When I wrote mysteries in Russian language, they take place in different countries of Europe, usual preference for person who wasn’t abroad, and characters had foreign names. Now I do the same, but use English language like new tool. I changed watercolour to coal or vice versa.
Of course, every language have own cultural influence which killing me deeply when I work with idioms. They are untranslatable and cause more problems than pros. What I learned for myself – chose idiom in target language and than think it’s suitable for your text or not, in another way it’s deadlock in writing.
Multilingual life not so easy like switching languages on computer. Personality stay the same, just thinking could came with inclusions from different languages. It’s big problem which won’t came if personality will be different. I read about it, like in bilingual families – one parent speaks at one language, another at different. I think parents should speak with baby on language of country in which they live. Later kid will learn bunch of necessary languages, but at first baby have to be comfortable in society.
Personality stays the same, but when I write first draft it had words in text in Ukrainian and Russian, which came to my mind. I don’t live in English speaking country, not every word I use daily, so it takes time to change proper words to one another. It takes more time, but don’t change a personality.
Language could add or correctly say, give opportunity to use few more facets of your character and your capabilities. English gave me chance to talk with whole world without waiting for translator. It’s freedom, not new me. All of thoughts had deep roots in my past and my experience. I just express them in new words. Like stories, they came in different, updated packing but recipient is the same. So any new personalities and games with imaginary you, who use specific language, it’s just work. It’s not an anomaly and such tale only pushes away people who wants to learn different languages.
More about my multilingual experience in next post.
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