WriterWoes #2 – What’s in a language?

As a Danish writer in my mid-twenties who, in my young age, was ambitious enough to pursue my love for writing in my foreign language, I have not as much come to regret this choice as I rejoice in the challenge of it. Not only does writing in my foreign language make publication and a career in writing infinitely harder by limiting my publication and networking efforts to the online community alone, but in doing so, it creates a schism between myself and the physical world that I live in. This is emphasized, you may say, by the fact that I live in Denmark with an American roommate, effectively marking the threshold of my home as ‘English’ and the world on the opposite side of that threshold as ‘Danish’.

I suppose that I am really discussing bilingualism here, rather than straight-up writing.

A giant whorl of constant linguistic activity whirs in the background of my every thought and my every action. I have two brains, I like to say, and sometimes the two brains overlap, blurring the lines between the two and confusing me to the point where I forget what language I’m speaking mid-sentence – this quite literally so.

It’s not a bad thing, not by far, but it can be a much confusing thing, indeed.

They say that your true language is the language in which you dream, but, by that line of logic, if you are unable to read in your dreams, how can you be aware of the language that you speak within that selfsame dream?

Does your language create you, or do you create your language?

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