Despite my blunt tweet, (that I don’t really mean
completely) I understand where the question comes from. I do. Dutch girl. Born and raised in the Netherlands. Dutch native speaker. Associated with Dutch bloggers, talks about them, mentions them, links them, talk to them – often in Dutch. But writes in English. Always. Yes. I can understand it’s a little peculiar. Allow me to explain why I do it.
First of all, English has always been super-fun and important to me. I have been madly in love with this language ever since I was little. I taught myself and when I was 20 years old (you can read all about that here) I did the necessary course and exam to become an official bilingual. Through writing, I get to play with one of my favorite things in the world every single day: the English language. I love Dutch blogs, but it’s just not for me.
It really isn’t for me. There is a huge discrepancy between my writing skills in Dutch and my writing skills in English.I mean, Grande Canyon Gap.
Which makes total sense if you think about it. Due to my infatuation with all English words, I’ve been practicing almost every day, let’s say on average of 2 hours a day (this is low-ballin’), for almost 7 years — that’s when I started my first English blog. It was adorable and riddled with faults and my own drama, but it was a start.
Let’s turn that into a little calculation now, shall we? 340 days (I wrote almost every day but you don’t always have the time, you know?) x 2 hours a day x 7 years. That’s 4760 hours. Not even including anything I wrote in English before I turned 18.
My Dutch writing skills are reasonable enough, but compared to how I write in English it takes me twice the time, triple the effort and the results are not even half as satisfying.
And there is another thing that became more important to me over the years. A reason for writing in English bigger than funnier jokes, prettier words and a hobby gone wild is the fact that English is so nice and global!
Everyone* can understand this language. I mean, I know the majority of my readers is Dutch, but I also have readers in other corners of the world. People from California and Australia and Canada. This guy I know sends his articles to his Portuguese family members and can be like “hey, read this, it’s cool” and with some basic understanding of the English language, they are actually able to read it!
More people can read English and I just love that idea. I write in a language most people know. And I am not deluding myself into thinking I can help everyone on the planet with the articles I write. I just want is that the majority of people have the option to read my stuff. You know, just in case.
So in conclusion, I write in English because I love the language as well as love the idea that anyone, anywhere can read it. And you know…because I can.
*Okay, not everyone. But pretty much everyone.