The English Patient



Branch

Originally uploaded by ryanocerosk.

Okay, I’m coming clean on this: My English sucks.

If you’ve been following the posts on this blog as of late, you’ll notice a certain downward trend in my command of the English language. Friends on Skype point out my missing prepositions, redundancies, and such. My mother picks me to pieces in emails for leaving out whole words from sentences. Yes, my English is getting worse by the day.

And it is scary. Reading, writing, and speaking English is what I have relied on all my life to get my through everything from applying to college with an outstanding essay on opera to directing a musical in China. I pass my classes at Middlebury by writing papers not doing problem sets. So, it’s scary to see my English skills vanish.

Many would congratulate me, pointing to the downfall of English as a sign my Chinese is getting remarkably better. That may be true. But I miss the ability to have fine-grain control over word choice, a powerful a tool in communication. Yes, giving up that control is hard. Let’s just hope I can ease myself back into it come June when I move from studying in China to working in China.

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3 thoughts on “The English Patient”

  1. On the up side, this shows how much more Chinese you’re speaking than I am Arabic. When I point out your errors, I’m really just jealous.

  2. Your English isn’t so bad, Ryan. Certainly writing English everyday is going to make you more proficient than most.

  3. Don’t worry about it, I’m sure your English will come back to you. 🙂 Last semester for some reason none of my classes seemed to assign essays (well, my Psych class had scientific manuscripts, but it’s not really the same). This semester I realized that I hadn’t written an essay in 8 months and was kind of freaking out. My first essay of the semester came out a little rough around the edges, but then it all came back to me and now my essays are back up to par. So anyway, I don’t think you should worry. English will definitely come back to you, but it might be a little tough at first.

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