Having a good writing in English allows us to open a wide range of options in terms of study and work, and lacking this knowledge can make us lose the opportunity to get the job of our dreams. The Finnish blogger Jarkko Lainese faced many difficulties for not having English as his mother tongue. For this reason, he decided to create a list of 10 tips for those who are in the same situation.
Best Article of Jarkko Lainese: Subscripted Assignment Dimension Mismatch
Below, his advice:
1. Read in English
To achieve a substantial improvement in writing in English,
it is k
ey to have a habit of reading, so new publications should be understood as new sources of knowledge and practice opportunities. Through them, you can learn new words, new ways of making sentences, and most importantly: you can find new ideas to write.
Through reading, the language will become increasingly familiar, allowing you to even begin to think in English.
The best way to start on the road of English reading is choosing a non-fiction book, where through familiar topics, it will be easier to try to understand what the author is trying to say. It is important to have the dictionary as a last option, trying to understand the meaning of the words in relation to the context.
Suggested e-books to start:
1. The Medici Effect by Frans Johansson
2. Make a Name for Yourself by Scott Ginsberg
3. Why's Poignant Guide To Ruby
2. Listen to native speakers
One of the virtues of blogs is that you can write as you speak, but if you do not have the habit of speaking daily in English, this suggestion will not be easy to implement. In that case, one of the most useful tips is to watch videos of native speakers. Not only will you learn to use language, but also to capture the public's attention.
These are the suggested videos:
1. Randy Pausch on Time Management
2. Steve Jobs talks to Stanford students
3. Scott Ginsberg, "that guy with the nametag", tells you how to be more approachable at NametagTV.
3. When you write in English, think in English
It is probably the most complex of the process, but it is transcendental that you learn to think in English since the translation of your thoughts can lead to unclear and natural concepts. Put yourself in the place of an English writer throughout the writing process.
4. Practice writing in English as much as you can
The best recipe for learning to write in both English and Spanish is to write: to put into practice everything you have learned. Exercising writing is extremely effective. Another aspect that can not be left aside is the habit of writing, when you start with the blog, make the effort to be constant.
In the same way, it is essential to practice writing in different styles; try writing humor headlines, interviews or even texts that have nothing to do with the blog.
5. Trust your criteria
The constant contact with the language will lead to the learning of words and expressions, which can then be included in the texts that we elaborate.
At first, you can get to ignore how that language came to your mind and what is its true meaning, but with the passage of time, it will be easy to be sure of what is right and what is not.
It is suggested to write with freedom in a first draft and then make a check.
Before finalizing a writing exercise, it is essential to make a correction of what is written: check grammar, typographical errors and the use of language, and identify sentences that are not convincing. Manage the option to let the text rest and correct it at another time.
The best way to correct it is through Google's spell-checkers, Mozilla Firefox and Wordpress.
With regard to grammar, it is best to check it in Microsoft Word or through an online tool and then continue to do it manually (it can be with the help of a list of common errors in grammar).
7. Have friends who speak English and can correct your mistakes
The best way to get a vocabulary similar to native English is to have direct contact with them. If you have English speaking friends, take advantage of all the time you can share with them; In this way, you will learn informal expressions and jokes, which will sound more natural than those that could be learned from a book.
8. Study grammar and spelling
The books you used when you were younger and you thought you would not use it, will be your main source of knowledge again. It may also be a good idea to start an English course related to creative writing, which will gradually bring you closer to your final goal.
Currently, the scope of the web allows you to find different materials to develop writing, but in a more dynamic way.
9. Commas and separation of syllables
Both the use of commas and the separation of syllables are complex, but necessary tasks. For this reason, the greater the practice, the better the results will be.
Fortunately, in blogs, the separation of syllables is not mandatory, so it is better not to do it, instead of making mistakes.
Regarding the use of commas and punctuation, it is suggested to study more about the subject. Tips on Using Commas at Dumb Little Many Top 4 Guidelines for Using Commas Effectively at About.com are suggested as ideal articles to delve into the subject.
Last but not least, relax is the best advice for those interested in learning to write in another language. Keep in mind that an extremely important effort must be made to progress and that the results are not immediate, but that sooner or later they will arrive.
Another important part of the training will be carried out throughout the existence of the blog; Do not forget that perfection does not exist and that a large part of your readers may not be native English speakers so they will not notice small mistakes.