🔖 What do YOU do to improve your English?


#1

After over seven years of serving people from all over the world, and having reached a rather high coverage of Fiverr’s world domination map, I can safely say that I’ve seen more than I bargained for in regards to the use of English language and the way some are butchering it.

I won’t claim that my English is flawless - that’s simply impossible, and definitely not something I aim for. Although you should be aware that many native speakers will get annoyed when you excuse your English by saying things like “… and sorry for my English” or “sorry for my bad English” - I get it, for some it’s a way of appearing humble and kind, but if you want to show that then at least be that way until the end and don’t get all feisty midway :smirk:


Now, I’ve worked with native English clients that made it a challenge for me to understand them. I’ve also worked with clients who were using Google Translate, which led to further confusion and conflicts at times.

But do you know what pleases me most? Seeing people improve each day. I had a regular client with some really bad English skills, but every time I got a new order from him I could clearly see his progress, having reached to a point where it felt like talking to a native speaker. That was truly amazing to witness!!


You claim to be that perfect writer with perfect English skills and then complain you don’t get any sales, then suddenly everyone here jumps on your back saying that your gig/profile has several English spelling & grammar errors. It’s because you’re relying on free tools to do your work, and people can easily spot these. Trust me, it’s easy to distinguish a native speaker from a non-native one who relies on such tools :wink:

I dig confidence, I really do, but abusing it isn’t the way to go. Not only does it scare away your potential buyers, but it makes you look bad, and overconfidence isn’t something I’d want to live with if I were you :grimacing:


Also, I just had to mention these for the sake of trying to make a difference:

  1. You salute your buyer/seller with “Dear”, “Ma’am”, “Sir”, “Bro”, “Brother” and then you wonder why they appear evasive and not that friendly? It’s because we’re on a professional platform and we’re definitely not family nor related, and only our grandparents call us “dear” :smirk: So I’m kindly asking you to stop treating people like they are your family - they’re not, we’re not;

  2. Why are you purposely murdering words? Your Browser shows a red squiggly underline on misspelled words, you can’t tell me you don’t notice it. Is it really that hard to write “badge”? For I keep seeing “batch” like it’s some batch of tasks, or even “budge”;

  3. So you’ve decided to work on Fiverr, but you still can’t pronounce it? I see you use “Fiber”, “Feber” or even “Fever” like it’s some kind of fever; I get that you might have the money fever, but chill down a bit;

  4. Why do you call us “sellars”? It’s sellers with an “E”. We’re not cellars, and we’re not in a cellar;

  5. Why are you using “am” everywhere? It’s not “I am thank you”, it’s simply “I thank you”, why the need to insert unneeded words and increase your typing time? You can’t imagine how much time you save by removing unneeded or unnecessary letters or words!


So my question to you is…

What do YOU do to improve your English?

For it can open so many doors if you get at least good at it. Don’t believe me? Let me just name a few:

  • easy & proper communication with potential buyers, which in turn converts them into actual buyers;
  • clear communication with your seller, which in turn saves time by avoiding misunderstandings;
  • attracting new buyers by having really well written gigs and profile descriptions;
  • converting existing buyers into regular buyers;
  • turning the power of words to your advantage when dealing with troublesome buyers/sellers;
  • great, enlightening debates on the Forum with your Fiverr peers, etc.

When was the last time you’ve opened a book on English grammar, heck, on English as a whole?

And with the excessive popularity of mobile devices, everyone has access to free apps on everything English - be it grammar, spelling, punctuation, verbs, pronunciation, tests, you name it and it’s there in plain sight!


If this all sounds fascinating, then here’s some more food for thought:


#2

By the way, I forgot to answer my own question :sweat_smile:

I’ve decided to use a few English grammar & tests apps on my phone (not just any app, but from official sources like Oxford and such), and I’m preparing to dive into the the Chicago Manual of Style (though now I’m getting curious about the other style guides out there, too)

@gig_freak also recommended a great book called “My Grammar and I Or Should That Be Me?” - I took a glimpse inside it and it’s terrific!!

If any of you have some other recommendations, I’m all :eyes: !


#3

tenor
That escalated quickly. I do hope that the people you aimed this thread for, would actually be able to understand it.

“The Elements of Style” - It’s old but gold.


#4

Even as a native speaker, whenever I’m writing I always have a thesaurus with me to improve my vocabulary. It’s an incredibly useful tool to help to expand your vocabulary.


#5

The only time I truly get fed up is when looking for article writers and proofreaders. How can someone offer writing service when their gigs & profiles are full of errors?

I don’t fuss too much at non native sellers who offer gigs that are not writing related. I know there are many who weren’t fortunate enough to learn and be fluent.

I’ve worked with several illustrators who I am certain use Google translate, but we are able to understand each other and I get great work. I do find it challenging to work with sellers on a complex design, if their writing isn’t at least half way understandable.

I count my blessings that I went to school in the states and quite fluent. I still hire proofreaders and/or editor’s for all my books, bios, articles, blogs, etc. to be posted.

I know not everyone can afford it but I do wish sellers would at least put forth the effort to have a nice page.


#6

While it is indeed true that not everyone can afford English classes/courses, nowadays it seems that everyone has smartphones and/or internet access - therefore, in my opinion, the amount of free apps on smartphones that teach English, as well as the unimaginable vast amount of educational material offered freely to learn English online, leave no room for any excuses not to learn English properly and correctly (unless, of course, time is enough of an excuse)

P.S. access to Fiverr = access to internet, and from here the possibilities are endless as long as there is will :eyes:


#7

I’m very sympathetic to those who can’t use English well. It’s those who offer writing gigs and make claims of being professional writers who can’t even put together a sentence that annoy me. I’m amazed that they don’t realize they can’t write well. It’s as if they never noticed that they write so much differently from anything else on the internet.


#8

I don’t know why English speaking skills of non-natives are a suspect. Actually, my English is better than my Hindi and Kannada, my mother tongue. I can barely read and write Hindi and Kannada, for heaven’s sake. It’s the same for a majority of educated Indians. I am not worried about my English, I am ashamed of my lack of Hindi and Kannada skills, and complete inability to learn other Indian languages such as Tamil, Marathi and Telugu. But to give English some credit, it has made me a small fortune :neutral_face:

[Do you folks like my new favorite icon? :neutral_face: ]


#9

Yes that icon is one of my favorites too. I would never know you are Indian, from the way you write and the expressions you use.


#10

I’m the most Indian Indian :neutral_face:


#11

Is India a bi-lingual country?


#12

Haha, there are like hundreds of languages in India…


#13

Best way to improve your English? Stop using your current language as a crutch during the language learning process.

I live in Sweden. You would think that people would DRASTICALLY improve their English skills by interacting with me every single day. They do not.

Guess which people improve their English skills? Those who were not always trying to translate something into Swedish. Those who are not opening up subtitles when they watch movies. When you rely on your language always being there, you never learn.

This is why I am abysmal at Swedish. I use English as a crutch. Slows down your way of thinking. I have noticed vast improvements by not trying to think about English when I am communicating in Swedish.

Take this, for example:

  • I had both the English and the Swedish versions of Harry Potter & The Philosopher’s Stone. Read them side by side (basically word for word translation). Don’t remember a thing.

  • I have Chamber of Secrets in Swedish. Read it through without looking up words in the dictionary. you can pick up so much just by looking at contextual clues.

Same as if I watch ‘Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’. Not a clue what is going on (although, I have read the book in English). I suddenly found myself being able to absorb so much of the language because I had English subs turned off.


#14

The moment I dropped subtitles, a whole new world opened up in front of me: one where I could actually see those small visual / compositional details in a movie, where I could see the actors and all their facial expressions, and it was also the moment when I released myself from the burden of finding or waiting for a subtitle :triumph:

And it was a moment where I had realized I did not actually need subtitles :exploding_head:


#15

I have the part of the brain missing which is good at foreign languages. I worked in a Hispanic company for two years and only picked up a couple of dozen words but still couldn’t understand any conversation spoken in Spanish. I’ve tried sitting through movies and shows in Spanish and it does no good. I will never learn a foreign language. I was taught French for years as a child and can say a few basic things in that language.


#17

Subtitles annoy me. Even English ones. Since many of my friends rely on subtitles still (although, they have graduated to English subs), I can’t help but read them. Detracts from most of the action on the screen.

Most people I know do not need them, but they have yet to drop them. I wish they would.


#18

I read and post on forums to improve my English.


#19

Valuable article. I could learn a lot from your article. Thank you.


#20

@Woofy31
Ooh! You shared the link to my forum post in your post. :slight_smile:
['Tips for better communication in English"]
Thanks ‘dear.’ :joy: (I’ve said it -----> Now I’m your grandmother.)


#21

@Woofy31 I added a pic for you in my last comment lol.