Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Bahraini, German. My Identity?

A few months ago I expressed my frustration about never really learning German. I'm half German, so I should have done some basic studying, but my parents were happy that my sister, brother & I could speak so well German, only because my mom was talking with us on German since we started to learn how to talk. For them it might be enough, but not for me. When I was 12 years old, I was really angry at them because I could speak German like a German but I couldn't read nor write. They were telling me "You are German and you are Bahraini". How can I be German when I can't even read or write the language. It confusing enough with the 2 nationalities that I have, sometimes I felt I didn't belong to neither. And not knowing how to read or write made me feel even less that I am half German. Sometimes I feel like I have a lost identity.

Anyway, so when I was 12 years old, I told myself that I had to take matters in my own hand, so I took some of my mom's German books, and started to read really slowly. I used to read the letters in the English language and then try to remember a word that I'm using when I'm speaking in German that kind of sounds like it. I spent hours and hours reading my mom's books. At the beginning, it took forever to finish a page but it got easier every time. Now I read fluently. The problem is, I have a lot of spelling mistakes in writing, and this depresses me a lot.

But, last week, we found a German teacher here in Bahrain, who will professionally teach me German, not just picking up the language and accent by listening and reading, but will go with me through grammar, vocab, etc...

Some people might say, "Is she crazy, who wants grammar lessons out of school?". Well, I do. I hate it back at school (Arabic grammar), but I'm glad I studied it. Language is one of the things that gives people their identity, and makes you feel like you belong somewhere.

By the way I have some really good news, my best friend & I got into Exeter University. I'm ultra happy about that.

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