27 May 2015

Why do I blog in English?

When a blogger, that does not speak English as their first language, starts a blog they need to decide on which language they will write. Obviously, if the blogger speaks only one language or if the target audience of the blog is specific to a certain country, the decision is simple. But when the starting blogger speaks more than one language and does not seek specific audience, which language should they blog in?

For me it was really not a question. Finnish is my mother tongue, but I speak excellent English (if my writing ability makes this statement look unauthentic, it is more because of my slight case of dyslexia rather than English abilities). My Swedish and Japanese skills are not worth of taken into account here. Obviously I could blog in Finnish, but that was really not an option to me. I wanted to blog specifically in English for couple of reasons.

SO, WHY IN ENGLISH?

Well, like I have mentioned in this blog I hope to start university this Autumn and study in Denmark. In Denmark I would be studying completely in English. This obviously requires very, very good English skills; Obviously the business terms I would need to learn from about the beginning in any language, but reading the school books and writing essays and such in English would require very good English skills.

I already prefer to read in English, so I am not too much worried about the reading part. I did very good in my high school English and I wrote a lot in English before my blog too, but in high school I got use to writing in Finnish. I want to get more use to writing lots of text in English too. Writing essays and professional text is obviously very different from writing social media and forum posts. So I kind of want to use my blog as an English writing practice.

At first when I started blogging, it took me longer to write and I checked a dictionary all the time. It was not that my English was lacking, since I pretty much every time knew the word I was checking, but I was just insecure. I have noticed that I have now become more confident with writing in English in these few months I have been blogging. I write so much faster and I rarely use dictionary (and when I do, it is about some rare word that you almost never use, like terms related to some subject). I know my blog posts do not have perfect English, but that is because I write for fun and do not really proofread. To my university essays I would of course put more effort.

Even if a person did not have great English or any other language skills to start with, using the language of course makes them better. I have quite often heard that somebody has gone to a foreign country with barely any language knowledge and in just few months they have achieved fluency. Using the language most certainly does help with getting and practicing the skills. And of course me wanting to get better at writing English does not relate to just school, but to life beyond school too.

AND THE OTHER REASON?

Besides getting better at writing in English, I also want to write in English for sharing reasons. This blog, and my other blog, or to possibly help somebody or share something interesting with people. The Finnish speaking blog reading audience is very small; There are obviously lots and lots of more people speaking English in this world (even big part of Finns reading blogs speak English), so if I want to share my stories and such with people, writing in English can reach so many more readers.

For me getting readers is not any goal, but I still want my blog to be available to any of those who would be interested in subjects I blog about. I do not think that many from Finland would be interested on my blogging subjects, but from worldwide audience there is obviously more of those who could find my blog helpful or entertaining. The main themes in my blog (at least from autumn onward, hopefully) will relate to moving into a foreign country and what problems and such I will face there. Since for many moving to a foreign country means having to speak English, it is a fitting language to blog in.

So, overall my reasons to blog in English are: 1. to become more confident at writing in English ahead of university studies, 2. to make my blog available as many interested readers as possible. I never really saw a point in blogging in Finnish, since in the future I will be mostly writing in English and the people who could be interested in my blog are most likely to speak English anyway. Now that I have gotten more use to writing in English, I find no reason why I should blog in Finnish. Actually, I find it easier to write in English, for whatever reason.


Just for fun let's mention that Blogger's spell-check found (I write in a separate program and then copy-paste it into Blogger) six spelling mistakes in this post: available x2, foreign x3 (oh, how ironic!) and onward (is it really written without s in the end?). This obviously does not count if I have in my carelessness written a completely different word in some point, but still a very good total, haha. I have actually noticed that native speakers tend to make more mistakes than foreigners. Maybe they realize that you do not have to write perfectly when blogging.

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