is playing Charlie Parker

Every once in a while I am tempted to give up my habit of blogging in English. That’s in those rare moments when I wish I were rich and famous and well-loved by a broad, wildly engaged readership. Then I tend to imagine my present audience of a dozen or so, and sigh. Wouldn’t I lower the thresholds, the entrance barriers, for me and for my potential readers and commenters, if I stuck to my native language?

When I started writing in English occasionally some months ago, it was because of a somewhat cosmopolitan situation I’d happened to find myself in, and a very special and dear part of my small audience who couldn’t read German. But using the foreign language more and more developed into some kind of mental exercise, an unexpected and welcome challenge to my everyday life. And after a while the sport even became fun.

So when I contemplate writing in German again from time to time, it’s not only the potential loss of my special Audience of One that keeps me from doing it, it’s also a feeling of sacrifice that I can only compare to voluntarily and unnecessarily giving up a healthy jogging or dietary habit.

All this is to say: Keep on bearing with me, my few dear friends and readers. And feel free to comment in German or any other language of your preference. As much as I like people joining me for a jog in the park, I wouldn’t want to oblige anyone to do so. Maybe I will later indulge to my vain wishes of fame and an audience of fifty german readers.


  1. Well, some of us actually do enjoy a not so foreign language from time to time – in my opinion most people choose their words more carefully when they are away from their mothertongue. And that is a rare treat these days.

    Greetings from the state of bad taste and worse beer, B

  2. genau, sag es clear and straight und ohne typical german “if-schleifen”, lesen läßt sichs gut (auch mit meinen untrainierten Englischkenntnissen)

  3. Hi! I’ve been thinking about that question and decision for the past week. I had to start a blog in Gerrit van Aakens’ class last weekend. I decided to write only in the English language, since I wanted my blog to be the communication platform between me and my friends in Canada and figured it wouldn’t scare off my German friends. However, I think it does! So I am still debating on switching languages every once in a while, depending on the topic that I write about. At the same time I don’t really want to switch back to German because I know that “jogging-effect”-feeling very well and don’t want to lose my English writing skills either.
    So I try to stick to the English language and hope my few German readers won’t mind.
    I really appreciate reading an English blog every once in a while… it’s good to know that I am not the only one out there! Keep on writing in English – it will be read!

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