I have battled with you since I was eleven years old. When I was in fifth grade at a public school in Russia, our class was divided into two groups for studying a foreign language – half class to study English and half class to study German. My hard-to-pronounce last name, Ogorodneva, set right in the middle of the class roster and our teacher left a big decision about choosing the language for studying up to me. I chose you, the English language.
Have I had regrets since? Of course, I have many times, more than I remember and dare to count. Your grammar is as far away from my native Russian one as New York is from Moscow. I still lose “the” and “a” all the time, use many weird phrases like “turn left” instead of “take a left turn”, and twist my tongue every time I get ready to fathom hard words like “thaw” and “three”. I dream in English now, and as smart people say – you embrace the foreign language after you start dreaming in it.
After studying you in public school, college, university, with private tutors and endless grammar manuals, I’m proud to say that I believe we are friends now. Last month, on the memorable day of August 14, 2021, I received two (2!) awards for the Olive Woolley Burt 2021 Writing Contest. First Place in Flash Fiction and First Honorable Mention in Creative Non-Fiction Genre. I was speechless, breathless, and on the verge of crying when I learned about my modest victory in the endless battle on the English grammar field.
Love-hate relationships are still on the table. I won’t lie that it is easy for me to write a story or even come up with sentences in English. I will choose Russian every time over English. But I do write in English every day and love it. I am fascinated by your spoken word and see the beauty of your written word more often now. I still have much to learn, but I’m not going to give up. Thank you for being so patient with me.
So long. I will hear from you soon again.
With all my love,
13 thoughts on “Blog post #1. A letter to the English Language.”
Инночка, поздравляю еще раз с наградами! И удачного тебе писательского пути)
А моя битва с английским все еще продолжается, правда, он, вероятно, не скоро будет побежден)))
Лена, дорогу осилит идущий. Не сдавайся. Говорят, что после 10 лет что-то начинаешь понимать и даже угадывать какое будет следующее слово в предложении. Ты на верном пути!
I am proud of you for taking on a new language so much you have become a writer in that new language. Keep going
Thank you, Candice. You made my day today! 🙂
Для меня стадия изучения языка перешла в такую фазу, что когда находишься среди англоговорящих и не знающих русского языка, то говорю и даже думаю на английском. С ошибками, думаю, но особо не задумываюсь, что и как сказать. А вот если знаю, что человек говорит на русском, то всё – английского для меня будто нет.
Молодец, Валя, это уже прорыв. Меня всегда восхищало твое рвение и желание учить языки. Ты – настоящий полиглот.
In a I enjoy our conversations at work and I feel that your English is very good. Keep learning and speaking. I’m proud of you. Congratulations on your awards!! That’s fantastic
Thank you, Brett! Praise coming from a native English speaker is worth a lot to me. I will keep learning.
Inna I admire you for sticking with your goal until you reached it. I tend to give up when things get hard. I’m looking forward to reading your book at some point.
Thank you, Raylene!
Inna, I do admire you for keeping at it until you were done. I’m looking forward to reading your book at some point. Way to go!
I can relate to your struggle with English not being your native language, however, your passion about learning the language and keeping a strong will power in achieving awards for writing makes me proud of you. Thank you for sharing your beautiful journey with us. I’m so happy to see your willingness to work hard towards achieving what your mind desires.
I can’t wait to read your future blogs 🙂
Good luck and I’m sure you’ll be amazing at it just like this one.
Dear Bhavisha, you made my day with your comment and nice words. I’m happy to share my journey with you and many others. My friends are my inspiration!