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To the confused multilingual folks

Navigating a self-contradicting personality is a fun ride, to say the least. It’s a continuous attempt to manage an out-of-sync orchestra in your head. On top of that, you find that each member speaks a different language. Living solo intensifies this, with minor irritations like finding a half-washed spoon and getting mad at ‘somebody’. The lack of synchronism affects all areas of life especially in the creative space. One part of me yearns for writing, while another persistently undermines this passion.

Rediscovering old writings is like encountering a stranger’s work, even though I recall composing them. A sudden rush of admiration is followed by the awakening the critic in me who then begins to take note of things to change. There are moments of joy when an unused piece gets recycled and is given a chance to see the light. On other occasions, I find old compositions frankly ridiculous and amusing at the same time and therefore decide to keep them as is, as some sort of bench mark, which will be great to measure the progress against in a decade or so, humbly assuming the Earth will carry my for so long.

The trouble with writing is that often deciding on the language to use impedes you from taking action. Multilingual folks will know the struggle to express oneself in one language only, especially if a lot life experiences happened in different corners of the world. It transcends the lack of vocabulary or translation skills, as with time you start feeling the language, it becomes more than words and sentences and accents and the method of communication. You live it, you breathe it, you smell it, it goes under your skin. Think this way, the one and only phrase we live to hear and we die for — ‘I love you’. Now, do you feel EXACTLY the same saying it in different languages? I doubt it. Saying in the language you don’t speak and you have no relation to would simply feel like a word game. Similarly, pronounced in the language you speak but you don’t profoundly ‘live in’ would produce little to no emotion. But say it in your native language, feel the difference?

Similarly, when it comes to writing, certain parts of the story have a matching language, and it sounds insincere to keep the chosen language for consistency purposes.