Tweede Taal

I’ve barely been able to read since January.  It hurts to feel like I’ve lost something that was is such a big thing for me.  I hope that it’s temporary.  I took a break from course books.  Tried kids’ books, crime thrillers, normal books, books I’d read before… I had some success with Young Adult stuff I’d already read, but still didn’t finish anything.

And then I had an idea.

A few years ago, a linguistics-studying friend of mine told me about something really interesting.  There was research being done which found that bilingual mental health patients sometimes find it easier to navigate discussions about their problems in their second language.  I think this was mostly related to hallucinations/ intrusive thoughts, which are not what keeps me from reading.  But I do have a second language, and I did wonder… So today I started a book I have already read, in Dutch.  I think partly it helps that it’s my second language- there’s no shame in grasping for sense rather than understanding the individual words, so no picking sentences apart.  It helps that I’ve read it before.  It helps that reading in Dutch takes too much concentration to be put off by the endless guilt-thoughts I have around reading since quitting intermitting the course.

I’m nearly twenty pages in and I haven’t panicked yet…

*Why is it easier to write than read right now?


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