Correcting My Language

Posted by Viktoria Michaelis on November 12, 2014 in Immoral Conversations |

I think it must be because I do not look like an American that some people believe they can correct my use of my own Mother Tongue, especially when they have spent so much time learning the language in school. Today I was peacefully making a few notes ready for a future piece of writing, when I felt the hot breath of someone across my shoulder, something which I do not like at all. Someone was reading as I wrote, and that within what I would normally regard as my private sphere.

Worse still, he decided to correct my use of the English language with the words:

You have got that there wrong.

Yes, of course I make mistakes, we all do. And I have no objection to someone correcting me, when it is the right time for corrections. I was. however, just making a few private notes, jotting down ideas and complete sentences for use later.

I can understand what he meant, this young man whose first language is not English; there are some words you simply cannot use when writing in German which work in English perfectly. Take, for example, the word Mist. This is, in fact, the word I had written, and I used it in the sense of someone traveling through a misty landscape. In  German, however, it has a completely different meaning, which is one of the reasons why you will never find a Rolls Royce Silver Mist on sale here. Mist is the German word for dung and, no matter what the weather may be like, I do not wish to have one of my characters driving through dung.

I guess, just because of my looks, the distinct Asian slant of my features, that many people cannot believe English is my first language, that I have been learning and writing it almost since birth. Let them believe what they will, but please, no more breathing over my shoulder when I am doing something private!

Love & Kisses, Viki.

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