Death by Language


Just posted some thoughts on writing in another language on the Advising blog that might also be of interest to others.

Thoughts on Advising

As I’m preparing for a panel discussion for the international student orientation on Wednesday afternoon, I have to think back to my own arrival on a US campus many years ago. In addition to all the new things I encountered on a daily basis, there was the challenge of language. I had learned English long enough to get by in everyday settings, but the academic register was a completely different game. There were familiar words used in a different kind of meaning; there were new words that I tried to translate via context, not knowing if I’d hit the right interpretation.

It certainly helped to be in a situation where there was no way out: I sat in graduate courses and had to complete papers just like anybody else. At the beginning, I was tempted to write the first draft in my native German, where the words and phrases would…

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