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Discussion » Questions » Language » How do you learn to be expressive and natural when you write in a foreign language?

How do you learn to be expressive and natural when you write in a foreign language?

I suspect when people read the things I write in English it's obvious to them it's not my own language.  I feel like my own voice isn't heard in my writing.  When I was in school I got fives and sixes in English.

Posted - June 13

Responses


  • 13783
    I'll give you a ten. (If that is best.) Your writing is better than many here. Had I not seen your profile, I would not have known you were from Buenos Aires.
      June 13, 2018 9:26 AM MDT
    3

  • 45
    I wish I could have had you for the English teacher.  My parents would have been happy to see a ten on my school report.
      June 17, 2018 9:03 PM MDT
    3

  • 16435

      It's true, though!  Your written English is perfect, Martina; it's even better than that of many native speakers of English!  You put me to shame when I compare my Spanish fluency to your English fluency. 
    ~
      June 18, 2018 5:54 AM MDT
    2

  • 2141
    I have her for a few more days, Randy.  I'm working very hard to corrupt her perfect English teach her how to sound more like a native speaker.
      June 20, 2018 11:34 PM MDT
    2

  • 16435

      Hey, wait . . . !  ((((Martina, no le das caso a nada que Livvie te dice tocante a mi, ¡porfa!))))

    ~ This post was edited by Randy D at June 22, 2018 9:45 PM MDT
      June 20, 2018 11:39 PM MDT
    1

  • 45
    ¡Livvie ya me dijo todo de vos, Randy! 
      June 22, 2018 6:54 PM MDT
    1

  • 16435
    ¡Jajajaja!

    Sabes que es GRAN mentirosa, ¿no?

    ~
      June 22, 2018 8:22 PM MDT
    0

  • 1803
    Honey you are fine!  Most of us can't even express ourselves and be natural in the language we grew up with. 
      June 13, 2018 9:41 AM MDT
    4

  • 45
    Thank you!
      June 17, 2018 9:06 PM MDT
    3

  • 4326
    You need to read novels. Lots of novels. Any novels. Notice that they all have perfect spelling, perfect punctuation, perfect composition. Notice where they use one space and where they use two. Notice that every speaker in a dialog gets a new paragraph, and every paragraph is preceded by a blank line. Notice any writing techniques or figures of speech. Take notes so you know where you found what you know.
      June 13, 2018 6:35 PM MDT
    3

  • 45
    I'll try to pay more attention when I read in English.
      June 17, 2018 9:18 PM MDT
    3

  • 4326
    I cry when I think of how many novels I read and did not keep any record at all. Now I am old and I don't read any more. I don't have that much patience, I can't stand to sit that long, and my eyes itch when I look at a printed page. (I can't believe print has always been so small!)

    Did you notice the figure of speech I used there? I'm very proud of inventing that. "Stand" is a synonym for "endure" or "tolerate" and standing is a contrast to sitting, so that is a pun when I say "I can't stand to sit that long."
      June 17, 2018 11:35 PM MDT
    2

  • 16435

     La verdad, desde que la primera vez que leí algo que escribiste, no sabía que inglés no es tu idioma nativo. Lo dominas muy bien. (Estoy seguro que para tí, también es claro que español no es mi idioma nativo.) 

      June 13, 2018 8:09 PM MDT
    3

  • 45
    Sos tan tierna, Randy. 
      June 17, 2018 9:17 PM MDT
    3

  • 13783
    легко для вас сказать
      June 18, 2018 5:59 AM MDT
    2

  • 16435

      Step outside to the alley when you say that, pal!  Grrrrrrrrr. 

    ~
      June 18, 2018 6:02 AM MDT
    2

  • 16435

      Me acabo de enterar que este debe ser "habías escrito" en vez de "escribiste", ¿no?

    ~
      June 18, 2018 6:08 AM MDT
    2

  • 45
    "Habías escrito" es correcto.
      June 22, 2018 6:32 PM MDT
    1
  • ALF

    6148
    "We're a fairly informal lot here and I'm sure you'll fine. 
                  Welcome to AnswerMug!!"

      June 17, 2018 9:50 PM MDT
    4

  • 45
    Thanks.  I think I sound too formal.
      June 17, 2018 10:09 PM MDT
    3

  • 6148
    There's only a couple of people here that would actually say anything about your English and you've already met them both.  If they start bothering you ... just holler!
      June 17, 2018 10:18 PM MDT
    4

  • 16435

      (There's There are)


    When the subject noun is plural, the preceding verb tense must agree with it. 
      June 18, 2018 5:58 AM MDT
    2

  • 6148
    Here's one now. :)
      June 18, 2018 6:00 AM MDT
    3

  • 1398
    You have to pay attention to the natives. Usage varies with dialect and is often grammatically unsound.
      June 18, 2018 6:57 AM MDT
    2