Blogging and language
This is my third tries in blogging. It seems that my old writings were either dry or just nonsense, a completely boring reading. I think writing is a very difficult task. I always have problems whenever I have to write papers for classes, but I thought a non-academic writing should be easier, at least less stresful. But it is not the case!
I have been wondering why I cannot put my thoughts on a nice writing. It is true that my life does not full of wonder and adventure, but some of my favorite books and reading are about daily life, so a daily life story is not doomed to be boring. I believe a good story is not about the content, but rather in the way it is told. And it is not that I don’t like telling stories, in the contrary, I LOVE telling stories, too much sometimes. I love talking with my friends about anything, and never running out of stories. But when I finally encourage myself to write something done, my mind went blank. It usually took me minutes to think what should I write, will it be interesting, how should I start, and which language should I use.
Language, I believe, is both beauty and beast in writing. It is beauty as through language one can express oneself fully, complete with emotion and nuances. It is beast as words have a life of its own, it has many interpretation, and different interpretation can completely kill the story it tries to tell.
In my case, language has been a barrier in writing. I am Indonesian and my mother language is Bahasa Indonesia, so one would expect it is easy for me to write story in my mother language. I thought so too, and I try to write in Bahasa Indonesia. But it turns out to be very difficult for me to write something interesting, or to put it better, to write something in an interesting way.
I think living and studying abroad have influenced my lingustic reflection. I am not english speaker but I have been forced to write and read in english for the past 4 years in university. I am not french speaker but I have been forced to speak french in daily life and understand others in french. Thus, my mind has been trained to process in either english or french. I feel that my mother language is starting to slip away. I always need to think longer whenever I have to talk Bahasa Indonesia to my family and friends. It takes me longer to write email in Indonesian than English to friends. I lost my language ‘touch’. I cannot recall many of poetic words and playful words arrangement in Indonesian. Words do not come to me naturally anymore. I need to think hard to find suitable words in Indonesian to include my emotion and understanding in describing and commenting phenomenon. It is a painful task, I assure you, as Bahasa Indonesia is nuance rich and context driven language.
So why not writing in English?
One reason is that I think my english is far from perfect to allow me to write in a comprehensive and satisfying manner. I lack the language ‘touch’ in finding words to channel my feeling, perception and apprehension. Second, I’d like to keep my brain able to reflect in Bahasa Indonesia. Not only that I want to stay away from label ‘sok bule’, but also to challenge myself to re-gain the Indonesian ‘touch’. Therefore, I’ll continue my apprentice and write in Bahasa Indonesia. In my case, blogging is not mainly about showing my identity, thoughts, and comments; it is actually a journey of sustaining my identity and a reminder of who I am and what I have become.