Language is considered the most important tool for writers. They use language to express the core themes, expound the heart of the story and build up an imaginative reading adventure. I like to compare the author’s language with the watercolour of a painter. To paint a sunset, an artist needs to know all the shades of red. If the author does not implement the correct text structure, the reader will not be drawn into the story. The reader should feel the book.
Before I started writing my first novel, I had to deal with a language dilemma. My problem was not only that I lacked a conventional writing education such as philologist or journalist but also a problem of the choice of language.
I was born and raised in western Ukraine in the 90s when only the Ukrainian language was taught in school and spoken everywhere. But my family spoke Russian. From a young age, I used two languages: Ukrainian at school and with my friends, Russian with my family at home. When I was 18, I decided to study abroad and chose Germany. Therefore, I had to learn German to get to a local university. Out of personal considerations that learning with a broad perspective is more important for a writer than having a narrow specialization, I decided to study at the law faculty of the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich. German was the only language I have been speaking for 13 years. After all, I had to work in English for international business. So I was lost to what my native language is.
I know that I am thinking about my family in Russian but also I see dreams in German, follow news in English, and listen to Ukrainian rock music. I even started feeling real love in English!
But most of all, I love and read Russian writers. Fyodor Dostoyevsky had deeply influenced my personal approach to life. He inspired me with his knowledge of psychology, liberal views, and impartiality. I also preferred to read Victor Hugo’s “Les Misérables” in Russian, rather than in English, German, or Ukrainian. I realized the Russian language made the message of the book easier for me to understand. Thus, I found out my mother tongue while reading the books.
Language alone creates a bond between the author and the reader and makes the story imaginable.