Non-native English writers needed!

Hi everyone,

I believe we all love writing, but somehow still struggle with a thing or two when it comes to writing in English. No doubt, that’s me.

I would love to hear from some of you about the challenges faced in writing and how you overcome your challenges in writing.

You could leave suggestions or recommendations for non-native, new writers.

I’m a non-native ENglish writer (Dutch)

I found myself an editor, who’s American and she reads through everything before I post and she gives comments, making me grow and learn a lot

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A few writers recommended to get an editor too, so I’m still looking around, posting requests. I think having someone to guide is really good in terms of improving and learning.

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It is, it helped me a lot! ^.^

Just keep writing.

If you do get lucky, and someone goes over your draft for errors, look for the systematic ones you make because it is specific to your linguistic background. Identify shortcuts that allows you to avoid them or replace things you are unsure about.

There are some things that I still struggle with in English, even after over 20 years of functioning exclusively in this language.

Overall, remember that a lot of readers on Wattpad are also not native speakers, so English is a lingua Franca here. Use it as such—the function of a language is to communicate the ideas not to prevent them from flowing.

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English is my second language too. So I kind of had problems with writing at first. A few years ago, I started reading a lot. I also joined a literary club at high school to help me out. But it’s been years now. And I feel I’m not as good at it now as I used to be.
I think language is something we get better at as long as we practice it. Reading and asking for constructive feedback from others on piece you’ve written should really help.

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Hi,

You can also request for feedback after you publish your work. That process helps you get many reads as well. You not only fix your work but also market your book in the process.

I use Grammarly for small mistakes.

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I’m an Asian person who was raised in a household that spoke English at all times, so my experience is a little different.

That does not mean I do not make mistakes from time to time. I mix up my tenses sometimes or word things wrongly. My suggestions for improvement? Read. Read, read, read English books. Watch movies in English and listen to the dialogues. Even better? Watch them with English subtitles on. Play games in English. Listen to songs in English. Speak in English, think in English.

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I am asian and english is my third language but weirdly, I find it more comfortable and natural to write in it.

But there is still a lot of struggles with spelling and google opened whenever I write.

This might be a weird/uncomfortable suggestion (and I’m not a non-native speaker/writer of English), but I actually think it’s beneficial for non-native speakers to state somewhere - whether it be in the book or on their profile - that they are a non-native speaker.

I’ve seen people go complete grammar nazi on some non-native speakers’ stories, then do a 180 flip when the author has mentioned English is their second or third language and start showering them with praise.

Most native speakers will have great respect for those who take the plunge and write in English, even though it’s not their first language, because we know it must take a tremendous amount of effort. But unless it’s written somewhere explicitly, it seems to just be assumed that you should/do know English and people comment and ‘critique’ with that assumption in mind.

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I use Japanese,Filipino,Sometimes Russian and German to my writing. It’s hard to translate idiomatic expressions to English. Or, use them to be a slapstick comedy or adlib.

Example (I am fluent in Eng and Filipino but not on Japanese,Russian and German)

Eng Speaker:“Dude ask him if the elevator will go down”
Fil Speaker: “Bababa ba? (Going Down?)”
Fil Elevator boy:“Bababa. (Going down.)”
Eng Speaker: beep beep, I’m a sheep?
Fil Speaker: F*ck you!

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I did state that English is my second language on my book and grammar isn’t my strongest point in writing. But yea almost all the comments on my book were my grammatical errors :grimacing:

I’d really love to see people giving feedbacks on my story flow, ideas instead of my grammatical errors.
It kinda crushed me a little to continue writing.

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I was thinking to bring my mother tongue into my story as well. But i don’t know if that’s a good idea, cos most of the readers/writers here are native English speakers.

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Yeah, a lot of people seem to think ‘giving constructive feedback/critiquing’ and ‘editing’ are the same thing. And sometimes the corrections they give aren’t correct either, orz.

If you participate in R4R/C4C in #story-services:critiques-and-feedback, you can ask people to focus more on story-related feedback than editing :slight_smile: It can still be quite hit or miss though >.>

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Exactly. Even the feedback posts say they’re giving constructive feedback but yet all their feedbacks were “there are a lot of grammatical errors could be corrected.”, “need more description on your chapters”.

I checked R4C section before, not much people are giving story-related feedbacks, mostly are editing based feedbacks.

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Yes, not very helpful at all >.>

I’m not a native speaker of English, but I do have a great knowledge of the English language thanks to my college studies. The biggest challenge for me is idiomatic expressions and variation in word choice, although I have considerably expanded my vocabulary since I first started writing the story I’m currently working on. Practice makes perfect, and it really does. The more you write in English, the more you will improve your language skills.

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I’m Dutch, and English is my second language. When I started writing in English, Google Translate was my best friend. My sentences were short, sloppy, wrong, and clunky, but I kept trying. I recognized more and more words, and eventually, stories just started to flow out (this took me over 4 years plus English class and a lot of practice), now, my English is almost better than my Dutch. It has really helped my at school as well, and my grades went way up (I do hate it when people are like “You’re just so good at this! It’s unfair!” like yeah bish I took me over 4 years and at least two hours practice a day, if you did that you’d get better at it as well!).

So my tip is, very cliche, keep writing. Keep expanding your vocab, keep reading English books, texts. Google Translate is not “evil” (no matter what teachers say), I think Google translate is actually God-send. It shows so many synonyms, plus all definitions, plus examples of the word used in sentences.

I’ve improved a lot, but it will take time, sadly. I think it really payed off, though, because I love writing.

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I know how demotivated you must feel for being called out on your mistakes… I’m so sorry. :pensive: :heart:
I’m native-level now but it took me… years. I started reading books in English and writing in English before high school even. And my grammar and spelling was… dreadful. Honestly, I think it improved because I kept reading english books and then I had spell check on when writing. That way when I made a mistake on the same word several times I’ll just automatically remember it. In my late teens, I downloaded an app that would give you a new word a day, which I think also helped expand my vocabulary. I also had the fortune of meeting some amazing people on writing (roleplay) sites when I was growing up and we would Skype all the time – so I picked up a lot from that as well, along with a very oddly Americanized accent.

I work by writing now – for a US startup and now for a gaming company, and I work solely on English. So, the fact that you’re not originally from a native english speaking country doesn’t mean you can’t reach native-level skills. It just takes time and a lot of writing and reading. Which is why – DON’T STOP WRITING. Who cares about the grammar police? Learning a different language to such high capacity to write in it, is huge all in itself. You’re doing really well, and always remember that! :heart: :heart:

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Honestly, this is the reason I don’t like mentioning that English is my second language immediately. Because it feels like the bar automatically gets set at a lower level then and any semblance of capability to string together a decent story gets gushed over… and that’s not really helpful either. (since a lot of native English speakers are monolingual the mere ability to communicate in more than one language seems very impressive to them it appears)

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