You’ve got something to say, but unfortunately your prospective audience doesn’t speak the same language as you do. Perhaps you’ve tested the waters and found that your initial writing attempts didn’t quite bridge the language barrier. Yikes!
Innocent language mistakes can confuse – even offend your potential followers. Don’t make those rookie mistakes!
Still aren’t sure writing to readers in a non-native language is a problem? According to Inc.com, cross cultural communication is a major hurdle for companies to overcome. The magazine says,
“Among the most often cited barriers to conflict-free cross-cultural business communication is the use of different languages. It is difficult to underestimate the importance that an understanding of linguistic differences plays in international business communication.”
Apply these 8 tips for writing blog posts in a non-native language and avoid major mistakes.
1. Make use of a dictionary
Have a reliable dictionary on hand. Make sure your word choice is clear. Reach for the dictionary frequently when you write. Remember that in some cultures, a word can have different meanings. (Not always positive, by the way.)
2. Avoid using fluffy terms
Write without all the fluff. You’re less likely to confuse your reader when you cut down on the extraneous wording.
3. Test your writing with Beta Readers
Deploy beta readers! This step may take some time but a reliable pool of beta readers is an invaluable resource.
Send those blog posts to your reader pool before you publish. Listen to the feedback, too.
4. Practice makes perfect
Write, write, write. It gets better. Practice does make perfect.
Your first blog posts will surely be far fom epic, but as you get along and practice, your writing will improve. The more posts you write per week, the faster you will make progress.
5. Always spell-check your writing
Try a spell checker. Websites like Paper Rater help you catch those embarrassing language mistakes.
6. Don’t be shy to ask for professional help
Hire a rewriter or a editor. If you want to build your online presence, you need clear writing. It may be worth hiring a rewriter or editor to reach your audience.
7. Make use of translation tools
Find a reliable translating tool. Google Translator is a great free tool to use for improving your blog post.
However, be very caucious when translating from a foreign language. You can use the translated text as a starting point, but bear in mind you will have to rewrite it completely. Never copy-paste entire sentences!
8. Take online writing courses
If you are truly dedicated at becoming a professional writer, you may want to consider taking an online writing course. There are a number of free writing courses available, in addition to paid workshops.
9.Make a Good Use of Visuals
[From Ann; I couldn’t resists :)]
I for one use screenshots a lot because I lack English knowledge to put it in words well enough 🙂 #vcbuzz
— Ann Smarty (@seosmarty) January 14, 2014
In conclusion, in order to become a PRO English-blogger, you will have to invest a decent amount of time in reading English posts, articles and books, and more importantly in writing your own text in English.
Study the acronyms, abbreviations, expressions and common statements in the English language, and try to incorporate them in your writing. As you go along, you will find this to be a natural style of your writing, and your readers will appreciate your efforts.
‘Image courtesy of [nuchylee] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
By Ivana Zuber
Latest posts by Ivana Zuber (see all)
- 9 Tips For Writing Blog Posts In A Non-Native Language – Like A Pro! - January 17, 2014