Blogging in a foreign language

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Before moving to Canada (less than 2 years ago), I used to have a personal blog (it’s still here) where I mostly expressed my artistic side and my views on life and being (a better) human. Long time ago, I also used to post recipes (gotcha, I’m a foodie!) and lately, after moving here, I started posting mostly book reviews. In other words, despite working as an online marketer and knowing a bunch of things about blogging, I’ve never done this properly on my blog. I haven’t chosen a niche; I haven’t tried to monetize my blog, nor did much to actually increase my traffic and/or engagement; I’ve barely used my knowledge to create useful content, etc. Why? Well, simply because when I started blogging in January 2009 I needed to write out my soul and nothing more. Gradually, people started to read me and to resonate with my words and I felt more and more encouraged to pursue this journey of writing mostly about what I feel and what I think and less about what I do for a living. As I said in the “About me” section, I used blogging as therapy. And it worked.

Now, about that .. it worked and it worked quite great also because I was using my native language. Which brings me back to the title of this post and the things I’d like to talk about.

What happens when you suddenly jump from speaking and writing in your native language to doing this in a foreign language? How accurately and genuinely can you still express your ideas? Can you still get into it and enjoy the state of flow? Or are you constantly interrupted because you just don’t find the best words to express yourself? And how long does it takes until one can think fluently in a foreign language? These are questions that I’ve been pondering since I actually realized I would spend the next who-knows-how-many-years in a foreign country. And this is why I postponed blogging in English, but ..

I am a person of many interests. I read as much as I can (in English, yes) and have this thirst of knowledge that makes me build never-ending “to do/read/learn” lists. And if there’s one thing I really like doing after finding out new things and that really helps me improve my learning process, it’s sharing. Sharing as in not just quoting the source, but also adding my personal comments, finding out other people’s opinions, and – ideally – exploring adjacent topics and ideas.

To wrap up, what I am trying to communicate through this post is that I am doing a promise and I will try to stick to it, but I want to make sure I openly acknowledge my potential limitations from the very beginning. I want to blog and I want to do it because I feel so and not because I have to. Therefore I’d rather not be flawless, but honest and if this means just blogging from once in a while, then so be it. And if my English is not great and I sometimes do a booboo, please do let me know. Eventually, as the time goes by and I spend more time here (the power of context!), I hope I will manage to express myself in English as genuinely as I was able to do it in Romanian.

Has anyone been through a similar experience and would care to share some tips? Much appreciated 🙂

P.S. Going beyond native language vs. foreign language, here’s some food for thought about the relationship between language and thought in an interview with Steven Pinker: “Are our thoughts constrained by language?”


2017-05-18T19:58:05-08:00 November 16th, 2013|Digital marketing, Life in Vancouver|2 Comments

So, what do you think?

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  1. Isabella November 23, 2013 at 12:03 pm - Reply

    I like your nice and modest approach of this idea. Despite living in ro, i am only working on .com and after 4 years in the international business i can say you actually get to think in english. For you, living and working there might get you this skill even faster. You will soon start to realize that thinking in 2 languages is actually breaking the creative boundaries.
    Good luck with your new blog and life 🙂

    p.s.: you might want to recheck the williamjames link, it leads to a 404.

    • Ruxandra November 23, 2013 at 7:56 pm - Reply

      Many thanks for your feedback, Isabella! As I was saying in the post, I do believe in the power of context; however, I guess I need more time. As far as creativity is concerned, the beauty is that I honestly find English to often be more powerful and expressive than Romanian and, yes, it does sometimes open new perspectives.

      P.S. I corrected the link and now it should work – many thanks for letting me know! 🙂

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