But when it comes down to getting feedback I still encounter the same irritating responses: In both languages my critters admire the colorful pictures I paint with words, the unusual metaphors and unique wording and intriguing plot elements. Alas where the stumble is often sentence structure - they appear to be disjointed and convoluted and words are used in unusual positions. Or in other words: My German is colored in English and German sentence structure sneaks into my English writing. That's not only annoying for me to discover over and over again, it also makes it hard for readers to follow my story if they pause to wonder over a sentence instead of following what is happening in a story.
haven't found a solution for the problem yet - except for refusing to
write in either language right now which is extremely dissatisfying (and
I have too much time for snacks). The advice I get from the
professionals - published writers and editors: Just read and read and
read. Did they think I ever stopped after finishing my first local
library when I was ten (and I read through everything there!) and the
second with twelve. And I reread what I just read to catch phrasing - it
appearantly doesn't change a thing.
Plan A for the
current project of my heart -part one of three: Win in the lottery, hire
a line-editor for the english version and go over everything explaining
what I'm trying to say.
Plan B: Rewrite the original in German.
Which doesn't strike a cord in me. I'd be willing to translate the
finished project myself to make it feel right in that other language
too, but the story itself wants to come out in the language it is born
in my mind. So knowing that neither is a solution I right now I struggle
with the next step.
But not writing can't be the solution it. It ties me into knots. It's painful. I'm getting cold all over.
I have been in that state for a few weeks now.
I think I'm getting sick - bilingual writer's heartbreak.
George Szirtes on writing bilingual poetry