Why in English?

One of the questions I’ve been asked many times is why I am writing a blog in English.

You know, I could have done it in Italian, or bilingual, or multilingual. But – so far – I opted for just one language, which is not my native.

So why?

Let’s go backwards. I’m not a native English speaker, and despite the fact that I’m a traveling man and I’ve lived for several stints in the United States and the United Kingdom (mostly the former), I still classify myself as “byelingual” (someone who doesn’t speak any language well). This means I say things that English-speaking people don’t understand. And I use English terms in my Italian (one of my friends said to me: “Ti stai Ferragnizzando”. Only Italians will understand the joke).

To make it clear, I can have a fluent, solid, international English (which I consider a language on its own), but I’ll never have the fluency and proper language of a native. Pretty smart choice if you’re a lawyer and a writer.

That said, if we scratch a little bit the surface, I still haven’t answered fully the question.

Why in English then?

I guess there are several reasons.

First, I can broaden the audience. Italian is mainly spoken by Italians and a bunch of opera lovers, literature aficionados, and Roman empire admirers all over the world.

Second, with a non-native language, I think in a different way. Writing in a different language makes me think from another perspective. I don’t know if it’s for better or for worse, but it ain’t the same. It opens my mind and – most importantly – it allows me to cut unnecessary stuff and be direct.

Third, I already did a blog in English regarding my second Camino de Santiago (you can find it here). Readers liked it a lot. So if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right?

Fourth, I love challenges. And I love searching for discomfort. Being understood in a language that you don’t master is much harder. And it shows me the possibility of improvement.

Enough right?

Maybe, or maybe not.

Because sometimes I need to scratch the surface, especially with myself.

A blog is not a website, not a consultancy, not a business.

A blog is a diary.

So why am I writing a diary in a language different from mine?

Probably just because I know it’ll be imperfect. And that’s the best part.

In the era of perfection, generative AI, and botox-filled wrinkles, I’ll have pages full of mistakes.

It’s like playing analog in the autotune world. Maybe my voice won’t be radio-proof, maybe my instruments won’t be perfectly in tune, maybe one of the valves in my amplifier will make weird noises during my solo, but that’s what makes everything real.

And it still sounds like a good deal to me.

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