I was born raised at the island of Cyprus, a tiny island as the size of US’s Connecticut. It is actually the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.
My native language is Greek. I wrote my first essays in Modern Greek and read the educational books used in Greece, but I spoke with a dialect. Specialists say that the origins of the Cyprus dialect is rooted to Homer. I can say with certainty that it is hard for Greeks from the mainland to understand our unique fashion in conversational dialogue.
Cyprus is an independent country with strong ties to Hellenism, and, to tourism. English is used as a second language. When I applied for my graduate degree in the US the language prerequisites for admittance,TOEFL and GRE scores, were relatively easy to obtain.
Where I got challenged the most in my transition to a native English country, was with my writing. Expressing myself in English, shifting from my thinking became a problem in my first year of Film school and screenplay writing class. I addressed my concerns to my professor, an established bilingual screenplay writer, saying “I can’t write well in English.” “Write in Greek!,” was his response.
I wrote my first screenplay in Greek and completed all writing assignments in Greek. I translated the ones I needed to turn in for a grade. Over time I became less inhibited about expressing myself in English and inevitably I got improved.
Now I can look back at that initial struggle. It was a matter of shifting myself from a thinking-speaking and writing pattern that was my native inheritance. My initial frustration has mellowed down because I have allowed myself to improve -with repetitive edits and re-writes of course. From time to time I still write a poem in Greek, but I don’t need to translate any more. I write directly in English.
I am a bilingual screenplay writer and I will work with the unique skill-set I have. I will make sure my story is structured in three Acts, that my characters are well-developed and my story promotes my mission, which is, to empower and inspire through meaningful storytelling. That much I can certainly do.