Who isn't writing in their mother tongue?

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Nitaa

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I studied in what is popularly called "an English-medium school" in India. We studied two Indian languages which were compulsory, taught like foreign languages. I had French (optional), Hindi and Marathi(compulsory) and of course English, the medium of instruction. Marathi is my mother tongue. In India we have about 25 distinct languages with different writing scripts, depending on which region one belongs too. The government wanted us to learn Hindi and the state we lived in wanted us to learn the local language. As we moved a lot (my dad was in the Army), the only language I learnt rigorously was English. If I am fluent in my mother tongue it's because of my parents, both of whom studied in Marathi-medium schools. I've been to 13 schools, including 3 in Africa. and English was the unifying factor everywhere I went. I am not sure whether I can call English my second language any more. My mother tongue, Marathi, is my second language. And Hindi, my third. I abandoned French in the fifth grade. I don't think I am at a disadvantage as compared to native English speakers when I am writing, although when it comes to pronunciation, I am!
 

hspotorno

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I write mainly in English, which is a second language to me. I've been living abroad for almost a decade now, and although currently not in an English-speaking country, English is still my main language of communication. There are also just so many more resources and a bigger market for English writers than for any other language I know. Even small things like auto-correctors work much better in English than in Portuguese. That being said, I do struggle with coming up with the right word sometimes, and I'm sure parts of my writing sound weird to a native speaker. For instance, I can never remember proper adjective order.

There are some benefits to writing in an unfamiliar language, though. I feel that my writing is easier to read, especially for other non-native speakers. And for native speakers, maybe it differentiates my text a bit. I'm not sure about that last point though.
 

Nitaa

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My issue with writing in English as a second language is that I sometimes use outdated phrases and words. This is because I read a lot, especially books written in the eighties and nineties. For example the use of the word "tiffin' is considered outdated, a typical by-product of the British Raj. And there is another thing. As I write for the English speaking Indian audience I use some words which are of Indian origin. Although these are in the Oxford English dictionary (the word "achcha" for example), the English speaking audience in the rest of the world may not get it. My first novel has a lot of words like that. I hope that it does not make reading it less enjoyable for those who are not Indian.
 

hspotorno

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My issue with writing in English as a second language is that I sometimes use outdated phrases and words. This is because I read a lot, especially books written in the eighties and nineties. For example the use of the word "tiffin' is considered outdated, a typical by-product of the British Raj. And there is another thing. As I write for the English speaking Indian audience I use some words which are of Indian origin. Although these are in the Oxford English dictionary (the word "achcha" for example), the English speaking audience in the rest of the world may not get it. My first novel has a lot of words like that. I hope that it does not make reading it less enjoyable for those who are not Indian.

I can't say I've read a lot of things written for an English-speaking Indian audience. From your examples it sounded to me like it would be a bit hard to understand some passages - but then again, even British writers from the eighties are sometimes hard for me to understand. However, I took a look at your website (https://www.nitajatarkulkarni.com/ and found the texts very easy to understand, especially with you explaining Indian monuments and uncommon terms.
 

Nitaa

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Thanks for visiting my website. :) Most of the time when I use Indian origin English words I use them in dialogue in my novel, to make the dialogue sound natural.
 

Chronodendron

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English is not my first language, or the second...
I've been living in English speaking countries for nearly a decade, so it is the one I use the most for sure, but I still struggle with it.
I wrote my novel in English because fantasy sounds better in English (to me anyway) and I don't like how my brain works using words of my native tongue. I find it too limited, restrictive. English, on the other hand, has more words than I know what to do with them. Too many options, too many ways to say the same thing. It's challenging and overwhelming at times. I like it :)
I think the thing I struggle with the most is tense and a tendency to treat all idioms equally. UK English, American English, Australian English... it's all English to me and I borrow expressions from all which seems to confuse readers. Oh well, my writing (in any language) is still a work in progress. One day I'll get it right.
 

Robots

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I'm a German writing in English :)
 

chimneyswift

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I'm korean and I write in english. I write in english because I never learned how to read or write korean and I am better at english.

I don't think it confers me any advantages, my writing tends to be very fragmented when I spend long periods of time speaking korean and not speaking english.
 
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Dan Rhys

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While I do write in my native language, I enjoy sneaking in Welsh now and then since my MC can speak Welsh, and in my time of learning it, I found it to be a remarkably easy language to learn...much easier than Spanish, which is often cited (incorrectly, I think) as an 'easy' language to learn.
 

Bjorkio

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I'm not a litterary person, so I guess that I would not be significantly be more eloquant in French rather than English. I've been told I have a pretty decent idiomatic sense of this language for someone who basically self-tought after endless hours of binge watching US films/movies.
The one thing I lack would be a native vocabulary, but I think I'm fairly familiar with nowadays mainstream slang and I guess that with an unlimited access to information, I can fetch any required new word I'd need. My true Achille's ankle would be the mastering of specific English ponctuation.

Providing one has reached the stage of being able to think in the targeted language, I guess the difference between mother language and another fades away.
 

H7TM4N

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Personally, my native language is Dutch, however, I write in English. I find that so much of the vocabulary used in creative writing is influenced by the types of media you consume. And nowadays, so much of what I watch and listen to (movies, TV shows, podcasts etc.) is English. I also prefer reading English. So, the larger vocabulary led to me using English instead of my native language.
 

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