What I’m working on lately… Writing in different languages

Writing in different languages is nothing that I think about a lot. Not during writing itself that is. Of course, I think about why I do so, why I can’t say things in German the way I would say it in English. Once I said to a friend that a feeling that I have experienced in one language never has touched me in my mother tongue before. Maybe that’s too abstract, maybe I have to give you an example, although I am very hesitant towards such as I think one gets too settled with it and tries to figure out the solution to this one problem instead of seeing the general cause.

For once, as I said before my mother tongue isn’t English. I was raised bilingual. Turkish and German equally. Unfortunately it swapped to being mainly German spoken at home when I grew older and by the time I finished school Turkish seemed like a foreign language to me even though I could feel the sound of it still resonating within myself. So I am endeavouring eagerly to improve my skills back to where I was years ago.

Anyway, lets get back to the Writing subject. I enjoy writing in English, it gives me freedom that the German language forbids me. I can feel in English. When I start writing I don’t tell myself: now you write in German, it just happens. When I go with the flow the words just start rushing and I don’t mind whether it’s German, English or something else. Sometimes I even write with everything mixed up, one word German one French and so on. I let it come to me instead of running after it. How I can work with it afterwards, that’s something I have to figure out when it’s time. One step at the time, that’s how I work.

Despite the ‘freedom’ as I called it there is something to my native language that I can’t deny. It is the way I can dive into it without struggling, it’s smoothness and grand spectrum of words, that allowes me to portray ever so precisely every little thing I encounter in life. There are things I have experienced, which I can only phrase in one kind, in one language, as I have made these experiences or encounters in life during a point where I have lived, where I was thinking in German. That does not mean I can’t express the same feelings in English as I do in German that just means things I have experienced and want to process within my writing will happen to be phrased in one language or another depending on which state of mind I was during this event. I do speak both languages, that doesn’t mean I write about the same things in either of it.

Hm, it feels like it’s getting complicated I hope you could follow my thoughts as I am struggling with it myself right now, sorry for that.

I appreciate every language, as it is a lovely thing, to be able to form and shift words into a delicate shawl that wraps itself around one as one discovers every fibre of it… Well so much for today!


Thank you for reading this. I’d love to know about your encounters with writing in different languages so tell me if you feel like it!


yours, Jasmin


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