Do you read/write exclusively in English (as a non-native English speaker)?


Hey all!

I was talking to a friend about the fact that I would take up an English version of a specific book any time of the year over a translated or original book in my native tongue. All written media I consume is almost exclusively in English and I even get annoyed at stuff that gets translated at times :sweat_smile: It just kind of sounds stupid in my head…
I’ve tried writing in my native tongue several times and found out I just couldn’t get myself to actually do it.

Was just wondering if there’s other people out there that have kind of the same “issue” :smiley:


My native tongue is… very, very, very uncommon. There’s also the problem that I was never taught to write in that language either. The only language I am fluent with writing is English, which is my third learned language.

I do have ideas on translating my works in Lithuanian, Slovak, German, French, etc., but it feels like a hassle and it does drive me crazy. I may as well focus on finishing and making them better first before doing everything else.


Do you get the chance to read in your native tongue though? And if you do… does it kind of bother you to read in your native tongue? That’s kind of what I have :yum:
Will you go for a book in your native tongue if let’s say you go to a shop and literally see the same book; one in English and one in your native tongue?


The problem is, I don’t know how to read in my own native tongue either, haha.

I am completely illiterate in my own native language, but somehow a third foreign language works for me the most. My grammar is still pretty bad though, haha.


It’s not often I read anything in my native languages anymore. Some things I do enjoy in my native languages - like books originally written in them.

But for the most part I read in English.

I exclusively write in English now. I used to write in Danish, but I found it very limiting as opposed to English which has a billion synonyms and it just flows better for me. :smile:


I can see how that’s a problem indeed :stuck_out_tongue:
I guess I’m kind of the same in a less uhm… “hardcore” sense. I speak Dutch, French and Spanish due to where I live and family, but I’m better versed in English when it comes to writing (and talking) than those 3.


That’s a good point actually! It’s just kind of more interesting to read/write in English


I agree with you, in translating a text you put a great deal of pressure on the translator to catch the vibe! I remember reading books like the twilight series (blushes in shame at her 14 year old self) in my native tongue, and it was cringe worthy! Probably because the translator couldn’t care less! Nowadays I try to read anything in it’s original language, even YA-books turn out better then :blush:


Indeed, me too, haha.

English just seems better because it’s a language commonly spoken as a second+ language. So, even if they aren’t completely fluent with the language, it just seems like a good language to start off with.


Yes I write only in English. It just come easily to me this way. Weirdly, writing in french seems weird to me. And there is also the fact that you can reach a way bigger audience by writing in English. And as mentioned in the other comments, some things get lost in translation and can ruin the atmosphere you meant the reader to be in.


I read and write a lot more in English than I do in Dutch. At this point I only read Dutch for school and in magazines and newspapers. I guess Dutch has just become kind of boring because I have always been pretty good at it. When I write in English I keep discovering new ways to say things and that adventure is half the fun of writing, I guess. My grammar is terrible though.


It’s indeed quite interesting to find new ways to to say something. And grammar becomes better as you practice I suppose!


I get that too, but what about let’s say when a French author gets translated to English? The same could be true then and things might get “lost in translation”.
I would personally gravitate more towards an English translation of a Dutch book rather than read the original… just because for some reason to me it feels weird to read in Dutch :stuck_out_tongue:


I am from India and we have a lot of languages here. I can read and write 2 of them but I’m not very good at it, and it would also end up not making much sense if I tried to translate. I cannot read or write my mother tongue. I’m quite comfortable with English and as someone pointed out, it’s easier to cater to a larger audience when you write in English.


Haha, fair enough. I just lived outside of my country for so long and the main interactions I have in my everyday life are in english, plus the fact that I watch movies/series and read book in english ; and all that while I constructed myself as an adult (I don’t know if I make sense lol) make me more confortable to express myself in this language.
But of course if there is a french book that i want to read, I’ll read it in french and not in english. The all point is to devour the original words of the author.
Btw, I’m in no way “hating” on translations, I think it’s a very complex and interesting job. Also it gives the opportunity for readers all around the world to enjoy art so that’s clearly awesome.


omg i’ve been reading and writing so much in English this last year that trying to write my native language (as stories) feels like I’m back in kindergarden.
vocabulary - gone. how do sentences work? i don’t know anymore. do we have a word for this like in English? NO!


Haha, I totally relate. Even talking in my language with my family is weird, I’m searching for the easiest words. They somehow sit at the tip of my tongue, not living my mouth :rofl:


I am Italian and I exclusively write stories in English (I really can’t in Italian!). I read a lot in English and mostly I don’t make difference between Italian and English, in fact I often forget in which language I read things :smiley: But if an English book is translated in Italian, I definitely pick the English one :smiley: I like reading in the original language


The very reason I started writing in english is that the native language is too restricting. Also most of the topics / genres I’m interested in is very underground, not available as translated - so yes, it’s only english, most of the time.

Furthermore, it’s simply more ‘natural’ due to various reasons, for example growing up reading english in the form of older, dialogue-heavy cRPG’s. Companies used to make games with quality writing - believe it or not - back in the day.


i hear your pain, most of the times i write better in English than Spanish… I have tried too, and make a work that was actually kinda popular but i took it down because reading it out loud was just cringeworthy

I really rather write in english, there are some things that just sound better

Though, if i read a classic of the spanish literature i get really jelous. I think it’s clear to me that I write better in english because i have practice more, i guess that if i started writing in Spanish i would eventually get to the same level