English is not my first language, clearly. Yet all of my contents, well 98% of my contents are in English. Time to time people ask me, ‘why?’ It is not hard to figure out that it is more difficult than.. you know, use my native language. The reason why is simple. I consider blogging as another adventure, and I want to in the big league. Honestly, it seems natural. I travel the world and hardly use my own language over there, and why here? Runaway Juno is an extension of travel.
There’s pros and cons like every other thing in the world. For a dramatic diversion, I will narrate ‘bad’ things down.
One. The biggest and the most obvious, language thing.
I have a free of speech, but I can’t fully use the privilege.
I’ve never study abroad or had proper language training course. Didn’t get a chance. But I had the best teacher, backpacking. Does that count? 🙂 Anyway, I took a couple of English essay writing classes from university but it was for reports a academic studies. Frankly, and humbly, I am quite a good writer in general-in my language. As a person who majored in Engineering, I would say I’m good at languages.
Humor, sarcasm, creativity which all I have but sometimes it’s just impossible to describe the exact way I want. It can be richer, but unavailable just yet. I’m working on it though!
Yes, this language barrier is the biggest and the hardest problem as a being second language writer instead of using mother tongue.
Two. Less readers from my hometown.
Even my close friends don’t like to read my blog. Well, there are many reasons for that but ‘because it is in English’ is the biggest reason. Well not alone it’s in English and but it’s in ‘incomplete’ English. I can’t force them to read it though, can I? I like my travel writer tribe in social media, but I want to share this experience with my ‘face to face’ friends, don’t you? Friends who have the same back ground as me, I want to hear their story time to time.
On the contrary, there are so many upsides while I’m dealing with these little and big problems.
First, obviously, I have unbelievably many readers around the world. (I thank you all!)
Last month, Runaway Juno ranked #12 in Google travel blog category in US and #70 in UK. (I posted here) Hard work totally paid off. I got over 10,000 visitors in just last month alone, according to Google Analytics, I have visitors almost all over the world I didn’t even visit. That’s awesome! When I started write one piece of article here after another, I’ve never thought Runaway Juno become this big. Well, it’s bigger than I thought it would be. But I dream big, and long way to go, still!
After all, English really is the most global language of this era.
Second, even if I have technical difficulties, I feel more free when I use English.
Do you know what I’m saying? I don’t know what you think but I thought this quite a long time. Korean and English are totally different language in every way. I am not talking about character or grammar; the tone. Emotion, expression, something like that. Korean is very rich language, I don’t doubt that. There are more than 20 words that indicate just one color which is brilliant, Korean is really lyrical, and calm. Beautiful, is the right word.
But I feel more free because of the cultural difference of those two languages. Express the emotion is highly forbidden here. Not as much as used to now, but it’s in the foundation. Love, anger, excitement, if I want to write in Korean, suppress the feeling, one step back, and say it. That’s very usual procedure. That is melted in the whole culture. When you meet Koreans, you will know what I’m saying. So, I raised that way but I found out that’s not who I am. I feel free using English. I am proud where I born and raised, but I just have favor in another language. I don’t know about other languages though. That’s why I want to learn them all. This is certainly effect me in very, very positive way. Climb over the language barrier, I feel free at last!!
So there it is. Reasons and facts. You know what? I don’t regret. Of course if I run Runaway Juno in mother tongue, it would be much and much easier, took less time to write, and probably write better articles. However in that circumstance, I wouldn’t meet you (Yes, you!) and have this wonderful experiences, am I right? I feel flattered to be in a category of ‘group of travel writers’. That’s I’ve ever wanted.
.Either way, I think the important thing is whether I enjoy or not. And, I clearly do! I like that all of the procedure is another adventure, everyday. Every time I thought of new material for an article, and write about it, it became new adventure. What’s not to like? Maybe that is what keeping me sane from lack of travel at the moment, possibly.
In conclusion, what is it like to be a second language writer? What’s not to like? 🙂