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Simon Egersand ๐ŸŽˆ
Simon Egersand ๐ŸŽˆ

Posted on • Updated on • Originally published at prplcode.dev

Why You Should Write in English (As a Non-native Speaker)

To write in English as a non-native speaker might seem scary at first. Many blog posts I read are written by non-native English speakers. Sometimes I can easily tell and sometimes it's harder. It's fine though because writing content for a blog is not about perfect grammar or fancy sentences, it's about your audience understanding what you mean.

As a non-native English speaker, I'll be the first to admit it, my English is far from perfect. I speak with an accent and my grammar could use some work. But it doesn't matter, because the people I communicate with understand me.

Advantages of Being a Non-native English Speaker

Because it's not our native language we have to spend more time analyzing the language, grammar, and spelling than a native speaker. This is natural and not specific to English. That type of attention to detail will make you appreciate the different ways that language can be used even more.

Why You Should Write in English (As a Non-native Speaker)

You Improve

Quite obvious, eh? Honestly, it doesn't matter what type of content you write as long as you keep doing it. You could maintain an English diary or write your grocery shopping list in English. Practice makes perfect and that applies to this too.

At work, 100% of my communication is in English, both verbal and written, and mostly it's about technical topics. I've noticed I have a harder time talking about non-technical matters in English, so it's good to practice different subjects. Small talk for example, like how can I make small talk about programming? Yeah, I've tried and it was not pretty ๐Ÿ˜‚

In my opinion, people striving for perfect grammar are wasting their time. And more, people who are correcting other people's incorrect grammar are even worser (ha!). Don't let these people discourage you. It all boils down to understanding. If I comprehend you, then you have succeeded, and we can move on.

Improving your language skills can lead to many new opportunities in life, such as a career abroad, or new relationships. If you don't want to move you can do remote work. Here you can read about my experience with remote work: 4 Lessons Learned Working Remotely for +2 Years

You Encourage Others

Impostor Syndrome, did you hear about it? It's when you feel like a fraud (imposter) and you're afraid to be exposed as such. This psychological condition is not unique to writing and happens to people in all industries. I've felt it and I think a lot of you have experienced it too.

By creating content with imperfect grammar you're reducing this stigma of "I need to have perfect English to produce content", which in turn will help others see that it's ok to do so.

Conclusion

Just do it! Write in English (or any other language) as a non-native speaker! Write what's on your mind. It might suck, or it might be the best you've ever written. Anyway, you will learn and the next thing you write will be better. You have nothing to lose!


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Originally published at prplcode.dev

Discussion (6)

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jessica_veit profile image
Jessica Veit

As someone being not a native in English also I support everything you wrote in this blog! English is the language of the internet. As such a "standard" it enables us all to communicate and connect with different peoples and cultures, and allows us to get inspired by a broad range of opinions.

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simeg profile image
Simon Egersand ๐ŸŽˆ Author

Yes, agree! Standards are wonderful. When you think about it, it's quite amazing we can communicate with a large part of the western world even though most countries have their own language.

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genevievemasioni profile image
Geneviรจve Masioni

Both reasons you listed are pertinent. The section about career growth especially speaks to me.

For improvement, I recommend using Grammarly (free version) and the Hemingway app for fixing common grammar mistakes.

I would add more practical reasons to write in English:

  1. Regarding statistics, you have more reach writing / creating content in English than in another language. You're more likely to be read by a decent-sized audience.
  2. Many (most?) online platforms are English-centric. English is now the lingua franca like French was a few centuries ago.

But they are caveats:

  • It's insanely competitive. If you care about performance and stats, there's less competition in languages other than English.
  • Let's not forget that there's an audience for non-English content about computer science (or any other technical field). Billions of non-native English speakers have English shoved down their throats. And some of them don't like that, are not good at it, don't want to be or want to preserve their mother tongue.
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simeg profile image
Simon Egersand ๐ŸŽˆ Author

Thank you for sharing, you make some great points I did not consider. +1 to using Grammarly and Hemmingway, I find them helpful as well.

I come from a country where everyone understands English well, even the older generations, so I did not take into consideration your point about that there's an audience for non-English content.

It's more competative yes, but writing doesn't have to be a competition -- it can be for fun. Some of my posts I write just for fun.

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andrewbaisden profile image
Andrew Baisden

Those are all valid points. I imagine that non native speakers must work pretty hard just to get to a similar level as a native.

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simeg profile image
Simon Egersand ๐ŸŽˆ Author

Honestly, I think we'll never reach the same level. At least I know I won't. But I don't mind, as long as people can understand me ๐Ÿ™‚