Thursday, April 04, 2013

Language, mutation and adopting foreign words.

My primary language is Portuguese. I'm from Portugal, so every day my spoken language is my native Portuguese. However, I am in a situation where most of my communication is done by text, whether it be writing my fiction, posting on social media or talking to people all over the world. In this case I use English, so I guess I can say that English is my primary written language.

This creates some unique brain farts. There's a lot of times where I can't remember a word in Portuguese, only English, and vice versa. At any given time, if I'm talking to someone who also understands both languages, I will use English words in my Portuguese speech and I'm not just talking about the normal loanwords that are extremely common among tech geeks. I'm talking everyday expressions inserted into everyday conversations. 

I really don't do this on purpose, it's just how my brain works (or doesn't work) in a normal day.

My point with all this is that it can easily slip into my writing as well, where I'll try to use translated expressions or write in a way that's a bit unnatural to a native English speaker. It's very hard to change it too, but oh well. Such are the troubles of being bilingual.