by Tata Danamihardja
Yes, just write in English, even if you're not an English speaking person. Why? Because we have to admit that a lot of people in the world speak English more than any other language. Considering this, any idea written in English will be much more 'readable'. Imagine that your ideas spread out wider compared with those written in 'local' language. Isn't that nice?
Of course it's not easy actually to express what we got in mind in a foreign language. For those whose English is not their mother tongue, there will be some obstacles that are simplified into 4 points:
- lack of vocabulary
- afraid of making mistakes
- not sure if anybody will read what we write
- feel comfortable with our 'status quo'
Now let's see if these are real obstacles or just our imaginative shield to stay safe without having to try something new.
Lack of vocabulary
This is natural because we are obviously not English speaking person. If you are an Indonesian but you don't speak Bahasa Indonesia, there must be something wrong with you. If you are Indonesian, speak a little bit English with limited vocabulary, that's a very good point to start writing in English. All you have to do is improving your vocabulary and it's not as hard as you thought. Learn a lot, read a lot, write a lot. Practice.
Afraid of Making Mistake
Tell me who has never made mistakes? It is one of many ways to learn something new. Look at the baby who is trying to walk. They never think of falling even they fall again and again. Focus on what you want to achieve and do that. Never be afraid of something uncertain and maybe only exist in your imagination. Even when you finally do some mistakes, you won't be killed and you can still learn from your mistakes.
Who Will Read My Article?
Believe me that there are many people out there who want to read your article. At least people who know you will be curious to read. Let say that you write a bad article. People at least will read your first line and we still can call him/her our reader. In some cases, people are often curious to prove how bad your article is by reading until the last word. What I want to say here is there's no need to ask such a pessimistic question. Be sure that your article will be read by someone, at least the editor :-) Just take it easy!
Feel Comfortable With Our 'Status Quo'
Now back to your childhood. Remember that everything was comfortable. Mom, Dad, and everybody in the family served you. But you didn't just stay enjoying your easy life. You even learned a lot. You tried to walk yourself though you fell many times. So many things you learned with trial and error until you finally reached what you want. If you are now afraid of trying something new, then you are the real loser even in a baby's eyes.
So, why don't you try to be 'the real' you? Write down your ideas in English to get more readers. Don't just be satisfied by having many 'local' readers now. Try something new. Get more 'international' readers and let your ideas spread out all over the world. This is serious challenge. Do you have a brave to answer this challenge?