The 5 Golden Steps To Writing Better In Your Second Language!
Writing in a foreign language can be hard enough without the pressure of actually doing it well. We’re here to dispute that very notion, however, and give you the confidence that you can, in fact, get better!
Not so long ago, I remember attempting to write in French just to test the waters and for the lack of anything else to do. So of course, using all the knowledge from two odd classes I’d taken in college and a few phrases as seen in movies – I set out on the journey to become Caroline, the great French writer.
Needless to say, that didn’t end well. Seeing as randomly adding ‘Te Amo’ at the end of sentences doesn’t make sense. And I didn’t know much else.
But don’t be disheartened, for there are ways to better your writing skills in a second or even third language. It’s going to take a little time and lots of dedication though, and we at PaperTrue thought of giving you some tried and tested tips to make that road easier!
Think about it this way, you really have nothing to lose! C’est la vie, am I right?
1) Read, Sleep, Eat, Repeat.
This is an important habit, regardless. Reading any material for at least half an hour every day is bound to improve your writing skills, simply because you will learn and try to adapt based on whatever you read.
Of course, it will also contribute immensely to your vocabulary, and is the best medium through which you can absorb the foreign language’s grammar and style. Be it novels, newspapers, articles online or even bills – there’s no such thing as too much reading!
When you aren’t reading, write. When you have an idea in your head, write. When you aren’t doing anything else and are bored, write.
It’s important to note, that you’re attempting to better an already established framework of writing skills. Therefore, this goes a little beyond simply mastering typos and grammatical errors, and into the realms of right structure and formatting. When you write, you can assess for yourself as well as get a second opinion on the style of writing, as well as the language in itself.
If your writing style improves, it’s a win no matter what language you choose to communicate in!
3) Don’t Translate
The biggest problem I encountered while attempting to write in French was that I tried to take all of my English thoughts and just translate them.
Of course, that won’t really work out since you can’t always expect to find an exact match for the words, especially with the right context. When you sit down to write, always try to think in the language you’re going to use. It might take you a little longer, but you’ll find far fewer errors in your work while also strengthening your skills.
4) Study the Grammar
There’s a reason people emphasize the importance of theory so much. You can’t be worrying about choosing ‘who’ and ‘affect’ properly from day one, and even the most uptight sticklers for grammar will let minor mistakes slide.
In order to get a strong base in the language and avoid coming off as uneducated, it’s important to sit down with a regular Wren and Martin for grammar.
You can’t build a building on thin air and hopes (not yet, at least!), so until then, keep studying!
5) Take Help
It’s always best to get a second opinion on your writing, no matter what the language or your level of comfort is. Naturally, this means get help from friends or expert professional editors will do wonders for your writing.
Push comes to shove, there’s always going to be online editing and proofreading tools that can help you out. Though far from doing a perfect job, tools like Grammarly not only point out your errors, but also provide you with an explanation on the same.
We wish you the very best of luck with your writing. Of course, if you ever need help with your writing, our editors at PaperTrue are always available to help you out!
Do let us know if you have any other ideas to improve writing that have worked out for you as well!
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