Topic: English writing and grammar help
July 20, 2019 / By Lorin Question:
English is not my language, not even my second one. I speak a dialect back in my small town which I'm pretty good at, and I'm not that good at speaking my country's language too which I called the second one. So here I am, speaking English cause I have to, which I think I'm pretty dumb at. I've been here in America for almost a year now, and whenever I speak to someone through English, I would stammer or pause in the middle of the sentence which makes me feel bad for myself. The reason why i can't speak that fast is because, for example, if I wanna speak my second language, in order to do that first I've gotta convert my first one to the second one, then if I wanna speak English, I'd do the same procedure, starting from my first one, converting it to second then third. I've never used English back in my country cause people would make fun of you cause it kinda makes you look like a trying-hard or gay, wealthy type of person, which is true, I've known people who speak English in my country and we would stereotyped them as those trying-hard type, no offense lol. But here, not anymore. I'm off to bootcamp in November as a corpsman and I'm kinda concern on by the way I speak, I gotta admit, it makes me look like a low-self-esteemed person although I'm not. What should i do? I wanna make new friends, what are some good ice breakers?
P.S. am I that bad in English grammar? cause I don't know where to compare it to begin with but here, through comments. thanks =)
Katharine | 3 days ago
As others have noted, your written English is very good. Speaking a non-native language is almost always more difficult than writing it so I understand your anxiety. Most people respect and admire those who learn the language of their new country, even if their command of English isn't perfect. Anyone who belittles or criticizes you for making mistakes while you are learning does not deserve your notice.
If I may offer a tip about learning another language, it is always better to think in the new language as much as possible when you are speaking, reading or writing. Not only does translating from your first language slow you down, it can lead to more mistakes especially if you try to make a word-for-word translation.
I think you will not have any problem making new friends. Talk to them as you would your friends back home. If you have trouble expressing what you want to, ask your new acquaintances for help. Most people are glad to be helpful.
Above all, be safe and return to your family in good health after you serve in the military.
The best way to achieve speaking fluency is by increasing the opportunities to speak English. The more you do it the easier it becomes. It seems to me that you are shunning (hiding away or staying away from) spoken English interaction. Your writing skills indicate that you have the knowledge but obviously written fluency and spoken fluency are two different skills. Go out and create more opportunities to speak and your hesitancy will lessen and finally disappear, over time, if you really pay attention and have faith in your abilities.
I don't know what you're talking about, your English seems perfectly fine to me! It's near enough perfect in my eyes.
If you walked up to me in the street and spoke to me in the way you have in the question, I would assume that English were your first language.
You have nothing to worry about, trust me :)
BTW - I study English Literature and Language at college and I will be taking it at University level next year so believe me when I say your grammar is really great.