1. pinelopikappa
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    pinelopikappa Senior Member

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    Language trouble

    Discussion in 'The Art of Critique' started by pinelopikappa, Oct 2, 2009.

    I read a lot on this forum, and I really wish to participate with reviews.
    I do have something to say about what I read but I don't dare, mainly because english isn't my first language. So I have no faith whatsoever in my actual grammar or syntax opinions, constantly dreading putting my foot in my mouth!

    Translation: I don't want to sound like a total idiot, abusing the english language and all it's rules.

    I know there are more people like me in here, so how do you review english texts without being english-speaking? It has become an issue for me:redface:
     
  2. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    You might not have a solid grasp on the technicalities of writing in English, but there are more than enough people on here who do, so contribute in what other ways you can - things like character development, plot, imagery, flow...all of those things are vital to writing and don't necessitate a perfect understanding of rules of grammar etc. In my opinion, spelling and grammar are the very least of a writer's issues, so I wouldn't get hung up on those...the're the kinds of things that are either right or wrong, but the other things I mentioned require much more thought, and your review would be put to better use focussing on them, rater than on Sp&G.
     
  3. pinelopikappa
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    pinelopikappa Senior Member

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    Good point, very encouraging:)
    I'll give it try. These aspects are common in all languages, and it's good practice for writing anyway. Besides, even reviewing a bad review is a good thing (...:confused:), or something:D
     
  4. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    All points of view should be welcomed by the authors here at the site. It is wonderful to have people from different cultures and different languages participating and giving their personal points of view! Do not worry too much that your English is not perfect. I applaud you that you wish to come and join in the fun. :D
     
  5. ManhattanMss
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    ManhattanMss Contributing Member

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    Coupla thoughts: While I know you don't want to use your ESL status as a whiny excuse, you could put a comment below your signature to indicate what you said so well (especially) in your first paragraph above.

    Second is with respect to that dreadful feeling of putting your foot in your mouth. Know that everyone and anyone who calls him/herself a writer has had that very same feeling. If I point out to you that the word English must always be capitalized and that "it's" is not possessive (s/b "its" without the apostrophe), that's because I don't know if you're aware of that and not because I want to embarrass you. And, while you may not believe it, the truth is that none of that diminishes my respect for you as a writer, a person, or a forum participant. I base my assessment upon your very clear aim to learn something here and your courage to participate in order to do so.

    So, relax, participate, take your lumps along with the rest of us, and do what you have to do to learn something. I imagine you'll be pleased to find out how well that works;).
     
  6. pinelopikappa
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    pinelopikappa Senior Member

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    Thank you for your comments and every correction is more than welcome. I have no problem at all being corrected! I welcome every little thing because it makes me better. I am one of those people that fell in love with the English language and all its beauty after reading its litterature. Greek is still my great love but hey, I can have an affair with a foreign beauty, right?:cool:
     
  7. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Yes. Yes you can. This is the stuff of great romance novels, no? ;)
     
  8. thewordsmith
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    thewordsmith Contributing Member Contributor

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    pinelopikappa, don't worry about the finer points of the language. From what I've seen, you have a greater grasp of the English language than many people I meet on a day-to-day basis in America! Make your reviews and comments based on what you see and percieve. Not one of us here is perfect and anyone's opinions are nothing more than one person's thoughts, perceptions, and opinions, anyway. And we all, sooner or later, will say something that in no way relates to an author's intent for his or her work - so we all look foolis at one time or another.
    It's all about your personal response to a piece. Give your impressions. Discuss why you believe there is a problem or why you believe a passage works exceptionally well. For the rest ... you can always just say, "It's Greek to me!"
     
  9. pinelopikappa
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    pinelopikappa Senior Member

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    Thank you!:)
     
  10. HorusEye
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    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

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    English is my second language as well and I've made myself look a fool many times on this forum, but I've learned too much while being here to be concerned about such details. Few other places give you a chance like this to write freely and get almost instant feedback on it. It's worth gold.

    Also, the insecurity that stems from not being a native speaker can be a strength if it makes you try harder. In the realm of language we can be the immigrants who rise to great wealth because we got something to prove. :)
     
  11. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    Real translation: if something works well for you, or fails to work, then it's something more than grammar or syntax rules (that a sub-editor could sort out anyway), but is something fundamental and probably important, which the author could really do with hearing.
     
  12. whiskeyjameson
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    whiskeyjameson Senior Member

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    It can always be a chance for you to learn as well :) Plenty of other things to comment on that isn't SPaG. Don't let it hold you back. It would be worse to say nothing as long as what you're offering isn't totally ridiculous. Which, from the likes of things, wouldn't be.



    Best, Whiskey
     
  13. pinelopikappa
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    pinelopikappa Senior Member

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    Thank you all for the encouraging and helpful comments. I have already gained so much by participating here. It's one of those things that make me say: long live the internet!
     

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