1. kiedisticelixer
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    kiedisticelixer New Member

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    Style Do you write in your first language?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by kiedisticelixer, Jun 15, 2015.

    My first language isn't English, but in order to get critiques over the Internet, like right here, I guess English would be prefered, wouldn't it?

    Just want to hear your opinions on this :p
     
  2. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    I write in English, but only because no one on this site understands the subtle nuances of Tkling.

    Despite its considerably smaller vocabulary.
     
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  3. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    English is my first language, pero, como soy puertorriqueño, también hablo español. I usually write Science Fiction and English lends itself better to this genre - I find - than Spanish. Your mileage may vary. :bigwink:
     
  4. Komposten
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    Komposten Insanitary pile of rotten fruit Staff Supporter Contributor

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    My mother tongue is Swedish, but I do write in English. There are 3 reasons for this:
    1. I love the English language.
    2. Fantasy and sci-fi sound so ridiculous in Swedish (probably due to English influences).
    3. Way wider audience.

    If you want to write in English I suggest you do so, but you should write in the language with which you feel the most comfortable.
     
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  5. Rhys
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    Rhys Member

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    I'm welsh, and technically we have our own language, and welsh street signs, shops etc. but everyone speaks English so it's my first language. And yes, I write in it. I can barely speak welsh, let alone write it.
     
  6. izzybot
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    izzybot Human Disaster Contributor

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    You should totally make this a poll! What an interesting topic. (Can you edit a poll into an existing thread? >.>)

    I write in English, which is my first language. And only language. I'd like to learn German and Russian and it'd be awesome to become fluent enough to be confident in writing in one of them, but I'm not holding my breath on that one.
     
  7. ToeKneeBlack
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    ToeKneeBlack Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm English, and I write in English. I did learn Spanish at school, but that was over 16 years ago, so any attempt I would make to write in Spanish today would be a complete mess.

    To those of you who know more than one language well enough to write clearly in each of them - you have my respect!
     
  8. matwoolf
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    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

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    Aujourd'hui, seulement en Anglais mais un jour tous le monde sauront ma nom est Matthieu. Oui, la langue Francais est parfait pour le parler les mots tres sexy, mots comme chou-fleur, tigre papier et ferme la fenetre, cherie.
     
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  9. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    English has become my mother tongue, though technically Chinese is the one I actually learnt from birth. But since my parents didn't make me pursue any Chinese education after we emigrated, no, I unfortunately cannot write in Chinese anymore :bigfrown: I can write the words, but the grammar's lost on me and my range of active vocab's too limited to actually write with. I can read well enough though, so at least that!

    But yeah, I write only in English unfortunately!

    But since several people have contributed some phrase in whatever other language they speak, I might as well write something in Chinese too :D

    自從八歲時移民去英國後, 再也沒有學習中文了. 真有點可憐 :cry: (and no, I don't know if it's perfectly grammatically correct lol)
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2015
  10. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    Oh is that what we're doing? Okay then.
        
    Oh. Hmmmm
    [​IMG]
    There we go.
     
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  11. Stacy C
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    Stacy C Banned

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    I write in my only language, English, unless you count PHP.
     
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  12. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I can only write humorous stuff in my first language. Usually stories about badly dressed small-town people. I'd like to pretend they are written with love, but it's really just about digging into that dark, dank place of shame and impotent horror-rage that is deeply rooted to watching the sun set into the barely rippling lake while surrounded by mosquitoes and empty beer bottles with folk songs about wasted lottery tickets and puking punters at the end of a rainbow playing in the background.

    That third, horrendously long sentence works much better in my first language. It's made for stories like that. But 'cause I like to write fantasy and sci-fi, English just felt like a more natural choice.
     
  13. Vellidragon
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    Vellidragon Member

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    I'm a native German speaker, but I write in English and always have done so as it's much more widely spoken. It's also easier; even as a native speaker, writing in 100% correct German can be tricky, particularly after not one but two official spelling reforms for the language. I sometimes find it unfortunate, as German is a very poetic language and some things sound better in it (or at least can be made to sound better) than in English. On the other hand, there are also things that sound positively awkward.
     
  14. Aaron Smith
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    Aaron Smith Contributing Member Contributor

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    No. None of you can read Danish. So no point.
     
  15. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    My father once suggested that Germany lost WWII because everything took longer to say in German than in English, and the resultant inefficiency was, ultimately, the difference. At the time I took it as a dig at the language, rather than a serious theory. Until about a month later, when I read a report that German multi-nationals were insisting that all meetings be held in English...because it takes about 30% longer to say something in German than in English, and they were trying to boost efficiency...
     
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  16. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    @Shadowfax - that's hilarious :supergrin:

    @KaTrian @Komposten - when you first started reading, did you read sci-fi and fantasy in English initially? Just wondering how come those genres feel more natural in English cus I would have thought it depends on what you were originally exposed to. Like, I only read manga in Chinese cus English looks and feels awkward to me in the medium, and despite writing exclusively in English prose, I used to write manga exclusively in Chinese and still would now if I ever drew manga again.
     
  17. Mocheo Timo
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    Mocheo Timo Active Member

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    My mother tongue is Portuguese, but I've fallen away from the language because of the grammar, and because of a very annoying teacher I had. I consider English my foster language, and I prefer writing in it, simply put because I like it better! (and I can't write 3 sentences in Portuguese without at least a hundred grammar mistakes :superwhew:)

    I love speaking in Portuguese though. Alguem ai fala Portugues?
     
  18. nrextakemi
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    nrextakemi Member

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    Absolutely not, I hate my native language.
     
  19. Vellidragon
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    Vellidragon Member

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    Not sure of the accuracy of that. Some things are more complex, but then there are things that take much longer to say in English. "From the day before yesterday until the day after tomorrow" is "von vorgestern bis übermorgen" in German, after all. I think by natively speaking one language and almost exclusively using the other, I'm noticing a lot of the situations where either one of the languages just seems way too complex compared to the other.

    Just for fun, I tried translating the above to German (with some bias towards sounding natural over being word-for-word) and counted the syllables, and it had about 117 syllables as opposed to 111 in English, counting the ones that would be swallowed when saying it out loud, so I don't think it's that drastic. My general impression is that German has longer individual words while English requires more complex grammatical structures.
     
  20. B93
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    B93 Active Member

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    Like most Americans, I was never properly educated with another language, and can only write in English.

    Oh, I had a few semesters of Spanish, but never got to the point of really being able to follow a newscast, or read a newspaper at normal speed, much less write well, and that was decades ago.

    (curmudgeonry)
    Unfortunately, our culture just doesn't make the effort that most countries do to broaden people, for which we should be ashamed. Somehow the rest of the world is learning English and we hardly speak it properly ourselves.
    (/curmudgeonry)
     
  21. daemon
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    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Except for homework, I have only written substantially in English (my first language), although sometimes I translate my writing into Spanish for fun.

    Excepto la tarea, solo he escrito cosas sustanciales en inglés (mi lengua materna), pero a veces traduzco mi escritura al español para divertirme.
     
  22. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Speaking of length, it's funny when you put Chinese and English together. We have these bilingual Bibles where the two languages are side by side and so often you'd find half the column on the Chinese side blank, cus the passage is done, but the English version is still going lol.

    For the phrase 'from the day before yesterday until the day after tomorrow' is 6 or 7 words in Chinese, which means it also has only 6 or 7 syllables.
     
  23. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    You just have to remember 40,000 or so characters vs English's 26 yeah? :eek:

    I am English and wish I spoke / understood other languages as I love it. Obviously write in English.
     
  24. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi Vellidragon,

    I was just quoting something I read in the news, probably twenty years ago.

    As you say, there will always be situations where one language is more wordy than the other. However, I think your example is a little artificial.

    From the day before yesterday until the day after tomorrow (17 syllables)

    von vorgestern bis übermorgen (9 syllables)

    From the fifteenth to the nineteenth (8 syllables)

    I can remember a churchman defending the calculation of the date of Easter by putting up a similar straw man of Easter Sunday is the third Sunday in the fourth month after the shortest day in the preceding year as being more complicated than Easter Sunday is the Sunday following the Paschal Full Moon date for the year, rather than speaking natural English and saying Easter Sunday is the third Sunday in April. And, of course, that's assuming that everybody knows when a Paschal Full Moon is! Certainly, the Eastern Orthodox church has a different view from the Western church as to the date of Easter (the two churches last coincided in 1990).

    But don't just take my word for it...http://blog.lingo24.com/long-winded-languages-the-problem-of-text-expansion-in-translation/
    quotes German as being 28% wordier than English, although Arabic, Chinese and Japanese are more compact.

    There's quite a strong culture in the UK that, because we've got a belief that all you have to do to be understood is speak English slowly and loudly, ALL other countries are polyglot. It came as quite a shock to my wife when we first went to France and she found out the French were speaking French...and on the campsite where we stayed the first night, the only person who spoke any English at all was the landlord's daughter, and that very much schoolgirl English.
     
  25. Gonshi
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    Gonshi New Member

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    My first language is Swedish but I still tend to write in English.
    Mostly because I usually write Fantasy or Sci-fi and well, Swedish sounds like a pile of horse shit in these contexts.
    But I do write in Swedish whenever I write Drama, Sob-stories etc.
     

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