My adopted Language and I

My mother tongue is German, and for nearly 40 years, I have been talking and writing mainly German. You would expect it to be the natural thing that I am going on to write in German. But when I got more proficient in English, I started writing my poetry and everything else firstly in English and then translate it into German.

Why do I think and dream in English?


Strange that is. I have often wondered why I do that. Writing and talking in English seems to me seems much more natural than German. I still have to search for words and expressions at times but makes no difference to me. There is that thought that I was supposed to be born in Great Britain but 10 years earlier than I was born, but something went wrong and goes wrong ever since. But I can only speculate about that ;-).


So what? Why do I prefer to write in English? I think English is more exact and you can say things more to the point. You do not need loads of words either to make a point which is essential for poetry. It might also be that I can reach a lot more readers as English is a world language.

There might also be a psychological reason


But there might also be a psychological side to it. I had to experience a good share abuse in German. To not use it as the primary language for my creativity means to step back from those experiences and decide to live for something better.

In the end, though – does it really matter which language I use?As long as I can live and express my creativity, the language is not really of importance or is it?

copy right: Bee Halton

Please stay a little longer and find my poetry posts on The Bee Creates… on Weebly. Thanks!

You are more into photography? Then please check out my photo posts on Bee Wordless on Blogger.

You can also find my photos on Dreamstime (affiliate link, you do not need to buy anything but if you do I get 10% from your purchase).

Just one more thing before you go: The hospital that is treating me is fundraising for a dedicated breast cancer unit which would allow same-day diagnosis and better premises for patients and staff.

Please, if you can spare a little money hop over to their Just Giving Page and give as little or much as you can. Or share the page on your social media. Your support means a lot to me! Thank you very much.

Thanks my dears, for staying with me until the end. I appreciate your presence. Please stay safe, stay kind and remember that you rock!

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title picture: Bee's head with blue writing: Why I am fascinated by languages

Why I am fascinated by Languages

Hello, out there all you lovely people. What’s occurring? Nothing much here besides six new and ginger family members. We are definitely the majority now.

Becoming a TEFL teacher rekindled my love for languages

Two years ago, I did an online course to become an “English as a Foreign Language” teacher. It was great fun, but my dream to get employment online didn’t work out because most organisations prefer native speakers as teachers. It wouldn’t have been a problem if I had been willing to move abroad and teach in person. Nor if I’d be willing to teach self-employed. But I didn’t feel confident enough to do that.

However, it has increased my love for languages. Ever since that German children’s program called “Program With The Mouse” started with greetings in different languages and explained what it meant I had a thing for them. I begged my older cousins to teach me English expressions before I learned English in school.

Over the years, I started to learn many languages but never for long until Duolingo came along

Over the years, I started to learn several languages but never got very far. Then along came Duolingo. It’s a mobile app that teaches you languages just a couple of minutes a day. They claim you learn the whole language, but I don’t think so. You only acquire a language entirely if you use it daily. But I keep using them because their approach gives you a brilliant foundation to build on. I did their French course twice and am now working my way through Dutch.

image of water with Edison quote
my favourite quote by T. Edison: I have no failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t works.

Even though I don’t understand I love to listen to the sounds of other languages

I recently discovered Wiyaala, a singer from Ghana who sings in her native tongue as well as English. And even though I don’t understand what she is saying when she does not use English, I love to listen to the sound of her Sissala and Waala dialects. I find it absolutely fascinating how people developed different sounds/words for the same thing.

And there are so many languages out there. I have to admit I lost my interest in the Eurovision Song Contest once they decided everybody can sing in English. What fun is that? I loved it when it had to be in their native language. Yes, I didn’t understand a thing, but it was so cool to listen to how they sang and how it sounded. I am quite a geek, aren’t I?

Language and culture are connected

You somehow automatically learn a culture when you learn its language.

For example, the Inuit people have a ton of expressions for snow. They needed it to survive the northern winter. Or it rains twine in Germany but cats and dogs in Britain. And I think the word for “Good Morning” in Swahili actually means “I see you”. Isn’t it fascinating?

So a new language project was born

So I thought I go and discover a little more about different languages and while doing that learn a couple more. And maybe teach someone some more English. One of my ideas when considering teaching self-employed was to go along my day and “collect” words, expressions and sentences that I use daily and then work them into a blog post.

And guess what? Today I have started. My day begins with a more or less fresh “Good Morning!”. The languages I know or that I am interested in say it like this:

“Good Morning” in 12 different languages

(the links either lead to a YouTube video showing how it’s pronounced or to Google Translate where you can click on a sound-symbol, and it tells you the same)

German: Guten Morgen

French: Bonjour

Dutch: Goede Morgen

English: Good Morning

Spanish: Buenos Dias

Russian: Dobroye utro/Доброе утро

Chinese: Zǎoshang hǎo/早上好

Italian: Buongiorno

Esperanto: Bonan matenon

Hindi: shubh prabhaat/शुभ प्रभात

Zulu: Sawubona

Arabic: sabah alkhyr/صباح الخير

Swahili: Habari za asubuhi

Sorry for this geeky Bee but it’s so fascinating how different people say things. Or maybe my brain is boggled by chemotherapy???? ;-). Ok, one more for good measure:

Video credit: Babbel via YouTube

Looks like I am not the only one who is fascinated by languages. Please, check out Martha Kennedy’s Blogpost “Languages…

And with that I leave you to this Thursday:

Happy Thursday to you all despite everything! Please stay safe, stay kind and rock your languages as much as you can!


Please stay a little longer and find my poetry posts on The Bee Creates… on Weebly. Thanks!

You are more into photography? Then please check out my photo posts on Bee Wordless on Blogger.

You can also find my photos on Dreamstime (affiliate link, you do not need to buy anything but if you do I get 10% from your purchase)

Just one more thing before you go: The hospital that is treating me for cancer is fundraising for a dedicated breast cancer unit which would allow same-day diagnosis and better premises for patients and staff.

Please, if you can spare a little money hop over to their Just Giving Page and give as little or much as you can. Or share the page on your social media. Your support means a lot to me! Thank you very much.

Wittgenstein Quote about language

Let’s Save Languages on Good News Tuesday

Hello out there dear readers. How is your week going? I hope you are well and if not that someone is around to support you. My good vibes come your way anyway!!!

It is Tuesday and that, of course, means “Good News Tuesday”. I am very grateful that I was able to learn English and French at school and later on Dutch at an adult learning school. My French and Dutch are nowhere near as good as my English. But knowing two languages gives me the chance to speak to people all over the world. It also means that I get support in my cancer journey from literally everywhere. Thanks folks! You rock!!!! 🙂

I always loved to learn languages and I was really surprised that there are many languages nowadays that are endangered. 7000 languages are spoken on this planet and around 500 are endangered. Imagine that you are one of the few who speaks your language. Or maybe you are in this situation?

I think losing a language is an awful thing and so did Daniel Bögre Udell. So he developed Wikitongue an online library for endangered languages. He employs many volunteers who record speakers of an endangered language for uploading on Wikitongue. You can find examples on their YouTube channel. Also find out more about their story on the Good News Network page: Hundreds of Endangered Languages Are Being Preserved Thanks to This Guy and His Army of Volunteers.

I know the new year is gone for some time and certainly the new year of 2019 but Wikitongues made a video of how to say “Happy New Year” in several languages for the “International Year of Indigenous Languages” in 2019 and I thought it would be fun to listen to it:

video credit: Wikitongues via YouTube

You can find out more about Wikitongue on their homepage. Support them on their Patreon Page. Or sign up for their Newsletter here.

This post takes part in “Good News Tuesday” inspired by JoAnna on “Anything Possible”. Please head over and find more wonderful and inspiring stories. Thanks!

Limits of my world

defined by my humble words

hear the wind singing

Happy Tuesday to you all despite everything!

Just one more thing before you go: The hospital that is treating me for cancer is fundraising for a dedicated breast cancer unit which would allow same-day diagnosis and better premises for patients and staff.

Please, if you can spare a little money hop over to their Just Giving Page and give as little or much as you can. Or share the page on your social media. Your support means a lot to me! Thank you very much.

Jetpack

Learning a language on the go…

August 2019

I have worked with Duolingo for over four years now and I still love it. However, I don’t believe anymore you learn a language fully with this app. It is brilliant to get you started with a language and teaches you the basics well but if you want to go further and learn more I would suggest you try out places like iTalki. If you are interested then this page on Fluentu gives you an overview of 49 webpages that teaches languages for all budgets.

April 2015

On Saturday my boss and I were talking about languages. She asked me how many languages I speak besides German and English and I told her that I learned French at school and had done a Dutch course as well. Then I remembered that I had started Spanish on the internet but somehow I never got on with these languages.

It did occupy me though a lot and on Sunday when I had some time I had a look on my phone if there’s an app for that lol. And of course, there is. It is called Duolingo and you can reach it via their homepage on your laptop or computer as well.

Duolingo is a free language learning app which offers several languages for English speakers. I started with French but as I had it quite a while in school I did not feel challenged enough. So I started Dutch and Spanish as well.

This app is brilliant as it teaches you everyday words and expressions via listening, reading and writing. You can set yourself a goal for how many xp you want to achieve per day and it sends you reminders via email if you’ve forgotten to have a look.

Believe it or not but I can say: “I am a woman” in five languages now lol. What an achievement!!!!!!

Duolingo is really fun and that is the best way to learn a language I believe. So if you had thought about refreshing some language you had learned in school or want to learn a new one: Go and signed up for Duolingo and get started!

I believe I spider… a little German lesson ;-)

(unfortunately, I lost the image I refer to in this post)

This is a little piece of wood on the beach. When I first spotted it it looked a little like a spider. So I thought I take a picture from a different angle.

My headline might not make you laugh unless you are German or know German. There is a company who sells t-shirts with German sayings or expressions translated literally into English. “Ich glaub ich spinne/I believe I spider” expresses surprise about something pretty silly or amazing. But the German word for “spider” would be with a capital S while this one without the capital rather means “being crazy”. But never mind….

black greyhound on a small path surrounded by bushes

Confused Mother Tongue/Verwirrte Muttersprache

Yesterday, when I walked the dog I met an elderly gentleman with his dog. We met on a tiny path so we could not easily go around each other and he started to chat with me after he asked me where I came from.

Turned out he spent some time in Germany in the 1960’s because of his army service and he spoke in German to me a couple of times. And I had some oops moments 😉

Trouble is I am not good with speaking German anymore. Writing is fine. Speaking not so much. The structures of the sentences I use don’t feel right and I often just don’t know what to say. Literarily lost for words.

It’s incredible how 11 years in another country can change the use of your mother tongue so completely. I spoke German for 37 years daily. I started learning English in school at the age of 11. I read a lot in English, wrote to English-speaking penfriends and listened to English/US radio. I just couldn’t help it. I love the English language. And at 37 moved to the UK.

Don’t get me wrong. I love the German language too. It is versatile. It is exact but also incredibly creative with meaning. It is the language of poets and thinkers as they say in Germany. But I am losing it. I can’t even manage to teach my step-children and husband to speak in German.

That’s not right, is it?

What do you suggest I should do?

black greyhound on a small path surrounded by bushes

 

Gestern, als ich den Hund spazieren fuehrte, bin ich einem aelteren Mann mit seinem Hud begegnet. Wir trafen uns auf einem schmalen Pfad und so konnten wir nicht leicht umeinander herum gehen und er begann eine kleine Konversation mit mir, nachdem er fragte, woher ich komme.

Es stellte sich heraus, dass er in den 60igern einige zeitlang in Deutschland lebte, wegen seines Militaerdienstes und er sprach ein bisschen deutsch mit mir. Und dabei hatte ich ein paar “autsch” Momente.

Mein Problem ist, dass ich nicht mehr gut Deutsch spreche. Das Schreiben geht so. Sprechen nicht so sehr. Die Saetze, die ich benutze hoeren sich einfach nicht so richtig an und oft weiss ich einfach nicht, was ich sagen soll. Bin so zu sagen sprachlos.

Es ist unglaublich wie 11 Jahre in einem anderen Land die Nutzung der eigene Muttersprache so vollstaendig veraendern kann. Ich habe 37 Jahre lang taeglich Deutsch gesprochen. Mit 11 habe ich in der Schule begonnen, Englisch zu lernen. Ich las viel in Englisch, schrieb zu englischsprachigen BrieffreundenInnen und hoerte englisches/US Radio. Ich kann mir nicht helfen. Ich liebe die Englische Sprache. Und mit 37 zog ich nach Grossbritannien.

Versteht mich bitte nicht falsch: Ich liebe auch die deutsche Sprache. Sie ist vielfaeltig. Sie ist exakt aber gleichzeitig auch unheimlich kreativ wenn es zu Bedeutungen kommt. Es ist die Sprache der Dichter und Denker wie man in Deutschland sagt. Aber ich verliere sie. Ich kann noch nicht mal meinen Stiefkindern und meinem Mann Deutsch sprechen beibringen.

Das ist nicht richtig, oder?

Was soll ich dagegen tun?