Lost in translation? Pros and cons of blogging in your second language

I am sad. 😦

I had to decide when I opened my blog if I wanted to write in English or Croatian. I chose English, I challenged myself. I want to reach out to so many people… I don’t want the language barrier to stop me from that. In the other hand I knew what my decision meant. It meant I will have very few readers from my country, from my region. I knew it, and that is exactly what happened.

I feel like I’m pouring a glass of water, but the glass is too small. So, tons of it gets spilled in the process. I can’t express myself, I can’t do it fully. I really hope that my personality shows here. I am very witty with words in Croatian. I can’t transfer that.

I want to reach a wider audience, but to do that I need to read as many blogs as I can and connect back with the people who connect with me. I can read about 10 – 20 posts in a row because it takes a lot of energy to understand them fully, and that is when I find the time to do it. Numbers make me sad, they take away the magic of this place for me.

I am trying to think of another way to start my sentence than with an “I”.

I can’t.

I don’t know what to do, I feel limited. I feel like I should deliver a list of things when blogging in English benefits and when it doesn’t. But, all I can say is how I feel. I gained the world and lost myself. In translation.

How about that for a ten minutes, DP?

Categories: Column, Daily Prompt | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 52 Comments

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52 thoughts on “Lost in translation? Pros and cons of blogging in your second language

  1. Pingback: What, Me Worry? | Cancer Isn't Pink

  2. Oh no no Ivy my love, Your personality still shines through ! No matter what… ❀
    I do get where you are coming from, the language barrier, the feeling of not expressing yourself completely…I get it but I know you are doing best. As long as we connect with your posts, never think otherwise.Don't be sad my lovely ❀

    English is my second language too, however when It comes to expressing my feelings I'm much better at it in English rather than Urdu(My National Language), I still haven't figured it out why is that, Gonna talk to my therapist about that! lol

    So in short you are delivering everything pretty well Ivy, Don't doubt yourself ! πŸ™‚

    • Thank you so much Zee ❀ Your comment cheered me up πŸ™‚ Actually, everyone is so sweet and kind with comments πŸ˜€
      It is so good to know that I still come through no matter the language barrier… I didn't know English was your second language, you swim so good in it – to me hehe
      Meh, doubts come and they go fast thanks to you and other kind people πŸ™‚ ❀

  3. I have always enjoyed reading your blog posts, Iva. Very well written in English and you know? I actually find that you are very humorous and at the same time express meaningful thoughts about life. Reading your blog, at no time did I think that you were not good at English. I love the glass of water analogy. Maybe you just need to bring another glass to your side πŸ˜€

    My first language is English, but you know what? I don’t have many readers from Australia. In fact, most of my readers are from the States or Europe, or your side of the world 😦 Oh well. But I am very happy that I connected with you πŸ˜€

    Thank you very much for reading my blog as always and leaving very meaningful comments. You don’t know how much that means to me, you really have a good way with words in English. Every time I see you on my blog, my face goes ^^’

    • Maybe you guys/girls on WP can be my extra glasses! πŸ™‚ Not many people from Croatia reads my blog, but as my bf said, not many people from Croatia read blogs lol. And it’s true. XD btw, I’m in Europe πŸ˜›

      I am also happy I connected with you! i mean, how else would I know how it is to be Malaysian/Singapore raised by Chinese parents living in Australia? (I didn’t copy that, I actually remembered)
      The last bit of your comment left me like this ❀
      Thank you πŸ™‚

      • LOL. Your extra glasses πŸ™‚ See, you have a very good way with English words. Inventing new phrases that actually make sense. Awww, you actually remember my background. Now I am the one who is melting ❀

      • Hahaha, yes I did! πŸ˜€
        And I see I am going to be just fine in writing in English πŸ˜‰

  4. Queen Sylvia

    Same here πŸ™‚ I write in English not in Bulgarian but I’m not lost in translation because I speak it too well. With time you learn so much that your born language and English start to collide and it’s easier. So don’t worry, you’ll find yourself again somewhere in the letters.

    When I first started blogging years ago I kept a bilingual blog – every post was in English and in Bulgarian but as someone said before me, it’s way too much work. English does connect us, we are so international that language should not be the limit of us! Also I’m sure that there are people in Croatia that speak English and enjoy your blog as well.


    • Hey! Pozdrav! πŸ™‚

      Ugh, my English started to collide in my everyday life with my Croatian, sometimes I just switch XD I was just feeling doubt and like I said, it happened to be very public. I am not stepping away from writing in English, it brings joy to me to connect with people all over the globe. πŸ™‚ And you are right, we do become more and more “wordy” with practice.

  5. When Granny and I started blogging, we began in Dutch, but after a few weeks we got American visitors, so we did the same blog in Dutch and in English, but that was very much work, so after a while we decided to write only in English. It took a while before we were familiar with the language and we still have a lot to learn, but we make progress, every day. Pawkisses, Little Binky and Granny πŸ™‚

    • I knew something similar would happen to me, and I wanted to improve my writing skills πŸ™‚ I saw you Binky are a cat! Such joy, you can hang out with my Kiki! πŸ™‚

  6. I honestly think you are succeeding in terms of letting your personality shine through your writing! I know it’s not easy in English, I have the same problem. Things get lost in translation and my family can’t read my blog, but writing it in German would have meant losing out on so many readers! English is bringing us together in a way. Keep doing what you’re doing! πŸ™‚

    • Yes! I forgot you are from Germany! πŸ™‚ I am glad I decided to blog in English, this was actually my first doubt πŸ˜€ And it was so public, ups πŸ™‚

      Thanks for getting me πŸ™‚

      • “Thanks for getting me” LOL I love this phrase πŸ™‚ Totally understand what you mean πŸ™‚

      • Hahaha, i don’t even think it’s grammatically correct. It’s like, “I get you.” Then, “thanks for getting me.” XD

        Yay for being able to connect here. Also, I learned German for 9 years. In my defense, the teachers were very bad.
        Ich heisse Iva. Wie bist du?

      • So sorry Iva, I’m sooo busy and behind blogging schedule :-/ Wow, you learned German for 9 years, that’s amazing! I don’t think any teachers of any language are good tbh. My English teachers were rubbish, haha πŸ˜€ Ich heiße Melanie πŸ™‚

      • I am behind EVERYTHING, that’s how I feel… xd
        Actually, the blog and chatting with you guys/girls is the stuff I miss the most.

  7. Pingback: They shall sleep hungry tonight, but, not by their choice.. | shivansh chaudhary

  8. I once saw a blog where the author posted his articles, poems and so on in three languages at once. Why can’t you have a bilingual blog if you want?

    • I know… I have bilingual interviews (right now it is just one, but there will be more) and let me tell you… they take TIME πŸ˜€ It is easier to write in one language… But I chose English again. I will make people read me by my content, not language. πŸ™‚ Thank you so much for the comment and suggestion.

  9. Thank you for sharing this struggle feeling, I am doing the same blogging with my second language. But I am really happy you made this decision so that we can connect here, so that i can read your blog. And actually you did it pretty well!

    • Yaay πŸ™‚ I feel better now, since connecting with people all over the globe was and still is my wish ❀ I'm heading to your blog… πŸ™‚

  10. I’ve read a couple of blogs were they blog first in their native language then in English with the byline (English version further down) or something like that. Maybe you can try something along those lines? That way you can blog to both Croatian readers AND English readers. Your English is pretty good, BTW, but I know it’s frustrating. I teach English to speakers of other languages, and I know — secondhand — how frustrating it is.

    • Yeah… It is great to write in English and I got better in it (I wanted to improve my writing skills) and I do bilingual posts in my interviews… But I think from now on I won’t limit myself, if I feel to write in Croatian I will… πŸ™‚

  11. elmediat

    Great post – the rhythm of expression turns this into a prose poem. Very well done. πŸ™‚

    • I sound boring, but thank you so much! This is so nice to read on a post I was insecure about how I write in English… Thank you ❀

  12. Have you considered writing half your blog in English and half in Croatian? I’d happily get the gist of what you wrote by using a translate programme and I think you express yourself beautifully in English. Who knows, some of us might even learn a little Croatian from following your blog! Good luck πŸ™‚

    • Thank you so much πŸ™‚ I have got few very sweet and thoughtful comments about this… I think I will continue to write in English, but if I feel it I might trow Croatian in here… I make interviews bilingual though. Thank you again, I can’t judge how I express myself because I don’t hear it in the same way you do πŸ™‚

  13. You never came across to me as a person who struggles with words. Quite the contrary, your English strikes me as natural — well, but I’m probably no judge of this, being a non-native speaker myself! It’s true that sometimes it’s hard to convey humour, in particular, in a second language — but the longer you’ll write, the more easier it will become for you to joke in English. For me writing in English feels now more comfortable than writing in my mother tongue πŸ™‚

    • I do struggle because I am so specific in Croatian, I use words and own them haha, I make my version of them, I make jokes by switching words and meaning… I can’t do that in English 😦 I do understand it enough to make some kind of allegory or something similar, I just wish I can transfer it more! I hope I will be able to do it, since I have progressed so much in my English trough this blog….
      Thank you friend for your support ❀ I just love chatting with you. And I agree with you, I feel I can easier write more personal stuff to people in English than in Croatian, it doesn't seem so personal XD

      • Ha! Isn’t it true that it’s easier to write about personal things in English! I feel the same. That’s why I’ve been writing my personal diary in English ever since I was competent in the language enough to put together a sentence or two πŸ™‚ Of course the diaries are in awful English — I must translate it back into Czech to understand what I meant — but it was a nice exercise too.

        The kind of humour that you speak about is for sure hard to convey in another language. I love language jokes, but I can’t really make any of my own in English! Anyway, I’m really glad that you chose to blog in English, that’s a great way to connect! ❀

      • I can just agree on everything you wrote. Except the diary on English πŸ˜€

        Me too, otherwise I wouldn’t know that they serve frozen fish in Greece πŸ˜‰ ❀

      • Maybe not in mainland Greece, but certainly on the Crete island. It’s indeed bizarre!

        Well, so we have Friday today, what are you cooking for Fiesta Friday? πŸ˜€ (Just kidding, no pressure!)

      • Hahaha, I cooked something but I don’t have time to make a post about it. It’s going in the next week πŸ˜‰

      • Haha πŸ˜€ Never mind that, I can wait πŸ™‚ But I’m always really looking forward to your posts, whether about cooking or anything else ❀

      • awww thank youuuu ❀ I am melting πŸ˜€
        And I look forward on doing them my way, not pushing or forcing anything… Freedom to the bloggers! πŸ˜‰

  14. You are beautifully expressive in English. I hope I don’t have to learn Croatian to read your blog! :o)

    • Hehe, no, I am working on another post now refresh your page for about 10 minutes πŸ˜‰ Please do check it out, you will see why. πŸ™‚

  15. you do well in English.

  16. I must say you have beautifully communicated your feeling through your second language. It is simple and interesting to read. πŸ™‚

    • Thank you.

      I have been thinking and I know how I’m gonna deal with this frustration… It was easy for me to feel less because I always wish more than I can deal with. Thank you again. If you’re interested, stick around and see what I’ll do. πŸ™‚

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