English as a Written Language
It just occurred to me that probably 90% of the writing I’ve done in the past 7 years, since moving to the US in 1999, has been in English.
What do I write in Danish these days? Shopping lists; emails to friends and family here, when there’s only Danish-speakers on the recipients list; sometimes notes to myself, though most of those tend to be in English as well.
Almost all my reading is in English, both on the web, in magazines, and in books. When I write, it’s either on my blog, in email, most of which is in English, chat, IM, and other business-related notes and papers, in English.
It’s at the point where writing in Danish feels a bit awkward. If I have to write something just for myself, English is my first choice, Danish makes me more self-conscious, makes me think harder about the choice of words and phrases, how they sound, and what connotations there might be.
I’m a very audio-oriented person, too, so I can’t write something without hearing it out loud, and Danish has always had this tension between the written and the spoken form of Danish, a tension that Dan Turell is the only person I know of to have resolved.
With speaking, I’m still comfortable in both languages, and slightly more so in Danish, though people tell me I sound a lot nicer in English.
Have you experienced the same, that reading and writing flips before speaking does, or that reading and writing so much English makes reading and writing in Danish fall behind?
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