As part of the 30 Day Blog Challenge, I asked Andreas Wiedow if he would like to write a post on my blog as a guest blogger, and he kindly agreed to write about just having a go in a foreign language and not to worry too much about mistakes.Thank you, Andreas!
Teufels Küche in English ‘geradebrecht’ came to my mind when I pondered about the way I communicate through my English blogs.
It felt a bit like that when I wrote my first blog on ecademy way back in 2005 after my banning from openBC. Some friendly architect couple who knew me from there said . . . ‘Andreas, from your writing style we think this might be a good fit’ . . . so off I went, set up a profile, read a little bit what others wrote there and got a feeling like I had it even more back when I started my professional career on the phone. Calling. Cold calling. The handset stared at me like a rattle snake ready to bite. Finally I overcame my fears, picked up the phone, dialed my first number for my first interview. And surely I made mistakes. Like you’ll find some typical Genglish mistakes in my dribblings here. But I don’t really care as long as you get my drift.
Again something like that it felt with my first blogs in English. As a German native speaker. Well, I have a special relation with the U.K., aged 16 I went to Brighton for some English Summer Class with EF school. Returned there a couple of times for visiting. Later, during occupation in an American Company, I used to attend Berlitz classes in London during Christmas time in December. Lovely.
Yet my first dribbling were kinda stiff. I didn’t feel very fluent nor self-confident. But then . . . everytime I met and still meet native English speakers present in or around Frankfurt, they either present exclusively in English or their attempts to speak in German can best be described as ‘charming’. And that is exactly how others perceive them. Everytime an English native speaker makes the effort to speak in German they conquer the hearts of their audience.
Back to me. With the time my former pattern dissolved and I had a breakthrough with a blog early 2006 called . . . Blimey: Goodbye – I’m Banned and Out for being Blatant and Spamming ! . . . which basically was kinda hot air but attracted a huge response.
Since years now I kinda write think-blogging-style without spending time to compile my dribbling in word or so.
Yes, you might wonder about the use of dribbling. Also the English do from time to time. Meanwhile most understand my use of their language. I even started introducing new words which sooner or later will make it into the Encyclopaedia Britannica such as . . . *zitterbibber* or *schmunzelgrins*.
To cut a long story short: Just do it. Speak English or – if you’re learning German: Speak German. Every educated audience will appreciate your efforts. And if you feel from time to time that some native speaker is about to wind you up for your ‘poor use‘ of grammar or something . . . that is the greatest compliment of all, because: The English would never throw any irony or sarcasm at someone they’d consider not worth their efforts. Nor would any German invest their precious time to ‘educate’ someone with poor basics. Or with the words of Robert Heinlein: “Never try to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and it annoys the pig.”
They only do it with people they take serious. You can trust me, I am a lawyer 🙂
Andreas Wiedow Marketing Manager (whatever that means)