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Thread: Needed help with English writing...

  1. #1
    Senior Member Maksi's Avatar
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    As you al noticed, English is not my mother language.. I realise that my English writing is very bad and maybe also very hard to read or even understand.

    I want to improve my writing but can't do that without some help of all of you. I don't ask you to be my personal teacher but if you want now and then give me some feedback about my writing mistakes I will be very happy about that. If you don't want to, I'm very sorry that I bother you with this.

    For my work I had to speak English a lot, but writing about daily things give me really a hard struggle.

    Thanks :)
    Maksi

  2. #2
    Super Member Baren*eh*ked_canadian's Avatar
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    You know what? I think your writing skills are great, there are many many people here who's first and sometimes only language is english and they make plenty of grammatical errors and their spelling is not great either.
    I'm not an english teacher, but I like to think that I have a pretty good grasp of the english language (even though it is not my first language either), it would be my pleasure to help out. If there is something specific you are unsure about, maybe just point it out in your post and I'm sure someone will correct you or suggest a better way of expressing what you're trying to say :)

  3. #3
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    Maksi, I have friends, coworkers and acquaintances from all over the world, and I can tell you that your written English is VERY good! Much better than my French!

    That being said, I can understand your struggle to write a foreign language correctly. Correct congugations, tenses and idioms are HARD! In fact, even though there are so many people here in Texas whose native language is Spanish, I know of a business who had a very difficult time hiring someone who could write Spanish correctly. Of course I know even more Americans who can't write English correctly either!!

    Your English writing is just fine! Rather than having us correct you, if you come across something that someone writes that you don't understand, ask THEM to explain it to you. I'll be willing to bet that 99.9% of the time it is an idiom, local colloquialism, or just plain incorrect! LOL

    Now, I need to go listen to my Champs Elysee CD's some more!

  4. #4
    Senior Member Maksi's Avatar
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    Thank you so much. :) You are very kind. I'm unsure about almost everything I write.
    I have trouble to find the right words and if I know them , i have trouble with the spelling.
    Most of the time it takes me a few minutes to react. I'm also happy with the babelfish translator from google. :) :)

    I do learn a lot just by reading on this board, I also learn a lot because I try to write on my blog in 2 languages.

    Thank you so much for helping me out if it is neccesary.

  5. #5
    Super Member Darlene's Avatar
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    Maksi you are doing very well. We can understand everything you have written. I have a Swedish friend on another forum and she has a really hard time but we can understand her too. Keep up the good work and you will build your confidence.

  6. #6
    Super Member Leota's Avatar
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    Your English writing is fine. Don't worry about it.

  7. #7
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    I think American English is hard to learn - it is inconsistent -
    a lot of us use slang and idioms that make no sense when doing a word for word translation.

    Some of the slang and idioms make no sense to us, either, when taken literally.

    I understood your message - and your spelling and grammar are as good as some "natives" use of the language.

    The suggestion that you ask for clarification of something is a good one.

    That will also help us write more clearly and understandably.

  8. #8
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    I think that you have a wonderful grasp on the English language...please feel free to ask for help or ask a question!!! We would all love to help and build up your confidence :D:D:D

  9. #9
    Super Member Boston1954's Avatar
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    You write better than some of the people that I know who were educated in the United States.

  10. #10
    Super Member Maride's Avatar
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    I was in the same situation when I first came here, 23 year ago. I spoke Spanish, and knew English only applied to science, but none conversational.

    Someone gave me a piece of advice that I still recommend to people. Watching TV is a great way to learn, specialy sitcoms. It is a short situation that starts and resolves in 30 minutes, but it exposes you to different accents and idioms. You can write down what you don't understand and then ask. I am sure many people will be willing to explain it to you. I was working with a chinesse Dr who spoke Mandarin, Spanish and Portuguese and wanted to learn English. We decided every night which show we would be watching each night and the next morning got together for 15 minutes to discuss what he didn't understand. He learned a lot.

    Do you get much American TV? Few years ago I visited Brussels and Gottenburgh and was very surprised to find mainly American TV. Very few local shows.

    Maria

  11. #11
    Super Member Quilt Mom's Avatar
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    Maksi, you are doing well! There have been a lot of good suggestions before my comment. So I won't add to the suggestions. I empathize with you. My sweetheart was learning (American) English when I met him several years ago. And that was after having learned (British) English for several years in school in his home country! We do have some unique terms.

    Don't be afraid to ask what is meant by something someone writes.

    You do a wonderful job communicating. I hope we hear more from you.

  12. #12
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    My native language is German, so I know what you are saying. Your writing is really very good, and none of us know how long you sit there and look things up.

    If I run across something that doesn't make sense, I'll send you a pm.

    You may like this little story: A German lady from another forum was invited to a potluck. She didn't know what that meant, so she asked her friend what she should bring. Her friend answered "just bring your favorite dish." She went to the potluck carrying her favorite green plate - empty. She did not know that "dish" means prepared food. She only knew "dish" as the serving plate. She also did not know that a potluck was a food-based get-together where everyone brings their favorite food to share.

  13. #13
    Super Member janRN's Avatar
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    Maksi: we quilters all speak the same language any way so we do understand what you're writing. Keep practicing with us and ask any questions you can think of!

  14. #14
    Senior Member Maksi's Avatar
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    Madquilter, that is so funny!

    First of al I want thank you all so much for the kind words, it helps me carry on writing here. You are all so friendly and helpfull and I'm so glad I found this board! :)

    We have a lot of American shows on Dutch tv but there is always subtitling. I do also watch German tv, Britsh tv, French and Spanish tv. On those there is no subtitling. And yes you are all right, it helps to learn the language. My Spanish gets better and better!

    I tell a little story too, about myself couple of years ago when the children were little...
    ----We live in the Netherlands and in those years we traveled a lot to the South of France. I do speak France a little bit.(and German and Spanish too)
    The children, the eldest was 9 years old, were tired and hungry. And there was a Quick around.( A Quick is a French MacDonalds or Burger KIng) We ordered french fries and milkshakes. But there were no straws with the shakes. I walked back to the counter and wanted to ask for straws....but i didn't know the word in French so I asked in English. The French employes did not understand a word I said in English and the children were shouting they want there straws. So I tried to talk with my hands and pretend to drink a milkshake....I don't have to tell you what that was look like!!! BIG BIG mistake. The French employees were laughing so loud they rolled on the floor!!!!

    The next day I went to a Hypermarche, a kind of Wallmart and asked an employe what a straw in French is. Paille...never ever never forget it! Because if you do, you look like a fool, just like me..:)))

  15. #15
    Super Member Shemjo's Avatar
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    You write very well, indeed! I do not have any language skills for other than English. I enjoyed being in England to hear real English! And I enjoy American English! If you have concerns, just ask! I have been heartily impressed with all you have written! I find it easy to understand what you have to say.

  16. #16
    Super Member redquilter's Avatar
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    Your English is just wonderful. As some of the others said, American English is really a difficult language, but you're doing very well. No problem understanding you at all. Very few Americans are well versed in a second language. So be proud of yourself.

  17. #17
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    I have a very good friend that is Japanese. She came to the USA as an exchange student years ago and now lives and works here. Her biggest problem is subject/verb agreement. That seems to be a big problem for many non-native English speakers.

    Also, as a non-native English speaker you need to be watchful of leaving out words like "a", "an", and "be". That seems to confuse people.

    In general, you do very well. I would be delighted to speak a second language as well as you do. In the future, if I see any big mistakes in your writing I will let you know.

  18. #18
    Power Poster Ninnie's Avatar
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    Your writing is great!

  19. #19
    Senior Member wichypoo's Avatar
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    Maksi, honey you are at the right place we will have you talking slang in no time. I hope you know that you are clear in your messages, just relax and bee yourself. I talk and write like a "hillbilly" but I am one with a college degree. We all have out special way of communication.

  20. #20
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    Oh gosh--your use of the language is wonderful! Bravo to you!

  21. #21
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shemjo
    I enjoyed being in England to hear real English!
    I have met some folks from England and could not understand them at all. But then I have met some folks from the South and there was no verbal connection either, just a lot of "huh?"

  22. #22
    Super Member b.zang's Avatar
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    Maksi,
    Be happy you do not need to speak English to communicate with us! We are happy to figure out what you mean, but you must spend time writing, because your finished product is very nicely done.

    Around here, we're more interested in quilts than how people talk. Be sure to show off what you are working on because we love pictures. And ask whatever you want to. You can always use the PM to keep it private, but I notice that a lot of the time, someone else will ask the same question I might have.

    Once you master English, the rest of the languages you learn will be easy!! :)

  23. #23
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    You are doing a wonderful job of mastering our written language.

  24. #24
    Super Member wvdek's Avatar
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    Maksi,

    You are doing a very nice job of mastering our language. You have nothing to apologise for. It is a pleasure to read your posts. Keep up the good work.

  25. #25
    Moderator sharon b's Avatar
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    I understand everything you are writing :lol: Don't worry we don't allow the quilt police here or the grammer police. In fact if you read some of my messages, you will find all kinds of typos :oops: We get in a hurry and misspell or leave words out all the time But you will find plenty of help here

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