pic of the week

Weekly photo blog

keys

you may think “what a dull photo has she put up here today???” and i admit that i’d agree with you – largely. my niece in germany asked me to send her a photo of my computer keyboard because she knew from our email exchanges that my english keyboard wasn’t well equipped to write a language full of ‘ü’, ‘ä’ and ‘ö’ and the occasional ‘ß’ as well as the ‘z’ (used very often in german words) having swapped places with the ‘y’ on the keyboard when actually a ‘y’ is never-ever used in german (and gets one of the highest scores in the german ‘scrabble’ game).

so i took this picture for her and found it quite boring myself at first.

Keyboard

but then i thought what a world of language & challenge is captured on this picture – e.g. i remembered times when i travelled a lot and one day i found myself in an internet cafe in marrakech on a computer with an arabic keyboard. someone had kindly made an attempt to write the latin letter next to the arabic one with a permanent pen but unfortunately that pen turned out to be not all that permanent and i didn’t have a clue where certain letter were, leave alone the ‘@’ sign… i also remembered the point in my life when i consciously bought an english laptop because it seemed that most of my writing was in english anyway – and that’s mostly been a good idea except for the odd german text or email…

this week i’ve been doing 2 pieces of coaching related work in german – involving a bit of computer work and loads of speaking. that’s when i noticed that my brain has also switched to an english keyboard and out come german sentences with a slightly english structure to them and quite a few english words when my brain can’t find the right key. it’s a bit unsettling! luckily the others also live in a bilingual world and do exactly the same. i actually think that there seems to be a bit of a journey going on where at first maybe the odd english word sneaks in and the person looks a little self-conscious & helpless for not knowing the exact german word quick enough, then it’s more and more words and proverbs and colloquialisms and all of a sudden the person doesn’t even feel any shame anymore and seems totally comfortable in their bilingual brain… maybe that’s when the brain is made up of a half-english and half german keyboard, quite dull and boring and not in any way unsettling…

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The Author

Writer, Photographer, Craftivist, Facilitator, Mediator, Trainer, Founding Director of deep:black. Passionate about equality & empowerment. And about anger & vulnerability.