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How many writers here do not speak English natively?



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How many writers here do not speak English natively?

I was just wondering how many of you do not speak English as a native language, and how that has affected your ability and journey to becoming a writer. Im very interested to hear everyone’s stories as I do not know anyone in that position personally.

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jaybee19

I am a Pilipino and English is my second language. However I learned the language when I was still in Grade School (4th Grade) from a native speaker who lives in New Jersey and it made me become a bit more comfortable to speak in English. However, because the person who made me speak in English doesn't care about perfect grammar, I also can't compose my sentences with perfect grammar structures because I am not very familiar with it, and that I intend to speak and definitely write based on what I want to say without editing it that much and that affected my ability as a writer. It's always a challenge for me to proof-read and proof-read lots and lots of time before I publish what I wrote because I'm afraid of committing grammatical errors.



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jeffreyjose48

I am also from the Philippines. I learned how to speak English in school. I know how to speak tagalog, ilocano, hiligaynon, and caray-a.



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jaybee19

Wow! You're such a good language learner sir. It's fascinating to know that you can speak different dialects. I am from Mindanao and our language is almost similar to Cebuano Bisaya and so the only dialects I can speak are Tagalog, Surigaonon and Cebuano Bisaya.

I also learned English from school but not from the teachers who taught me. I learned by speaking in English everyday even if my classmates and schoolmates viewed me as a 'feeler'. I just told them I had to speak the language because it's what I also use at home whenever we have a visitor from the states.



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jeffreyjose48

That's nice that you speak English language because you have visitors from the states. I also remembered when we have visitors from the states. You really have to bring out everything you know about that language so that you can understand each other well.



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jaybee19

True. I am actually very grateful that I didn't feel very challenged while speaking English in front of English speaking foreigners while growing up because I learned to speak the language at a young age. I guess speaking with natives at a young age really helps with acquiring a foreign language more effectively and I guess that should be the main focus of schools that are offering courses about foreign languages. I mean, really, there's a difference when you're learning from the conversations you had from a native speaker of the foreign language you're trying to learn than from a person who is just knowledgeable about it.



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edencaga

I only know three. I can speak tagalog, english and bisaya but since I came from a province particularly in Mindanao, my native language is bisaya. People living in Visayas are more capable of speaking in english than of tagalog.



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jeffreyjose48

Its great to know that you know of those 3 languages. I have never been to Mindanao. But I have friends who came from Mindanao and know many languages. They know how to speak ilocano, hiligaynon, etc. Its because they have neighbors that came from different provinces.



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mark8625

I speak English since when I was in grade school. English is my second language but I can speak Portuguese language too. I do understand Arab and Hindi language as well. I love to learn more languages and add it to my vocabulary.



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jeffreyjose48

That's great. I don't know how to speak Portuguese language. I also don't understand Arab and Hindi language.



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mark8625

It is easy to learn. Their language is almost the same as we have. Arabic is really hard to understand but if you are working and living in the middle east you have to understand their language even the basic one. I do speak and understand Hindi also because my staffs were all Indians, Nepali, Pakistani and from Bangladesh, they speaks Hindi so they taught me.



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edencaga

Wow! looks great. How did you learn Portuguese? I want to learn Japanese or Nihongo and Korean. I am just fond of watching anime and Kdrama that's why learning those languages from east asia countries is one of my dreams. I even bought a Japanese dictionary book and Korean language book.



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mark8625

I used to work and live in Central Africa, in Angola specifically. Their first language there is Portuguese. Although they have many tribes language, Portuguese is their official language. When I was there I used to speak their mother tongue so that I could communicate with my staff and workmates there. Our company had hired a Portuguese teacher to teach us expat. My staffs and workmates were all helpful because they taught me their language most of the time.



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edencaga

Wow! You're so great. I envy people like you who speaks different languages. I hope someday that I can speak more languages too not only languages here in Philippines but other countries also.



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mark8625

I know you can. Filipino are among the smartest people in the world. We can easily learn new things like learning new languages as long as we really wanted to learn.



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superlicca

Here in our country, English is our second language. But I just became comfortable speaking in English when I studied in college. We had an English subject in my Elementary and High school but it was not the medium of instruction. But I still became familiar with the English language and was able to work in BPO companies.



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jeffreyjose48

I agree with you. In College, English was also our medium of instruction. Its good to know that English language has helped you in your work in BPO companies.



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esteban123

I also speak English even though it is just my secondary language, we are taught to learn English so that we can compete with the changing environment if we finished studies and want to look for a job. Although it was not so easy because we are not used to it before but as time goes by, we slowly learned and appreciate it very much since it is the most commonly used language nowadays worldwide. So far I can now speak English moderately well in my own opinion since I know I still have a lot of things to work out for it but I am willing to take them as a challenge.



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Corzhens

English is my second language that I learned in school. During my student years, English was the medium of teaching and that is the reason why we were forced to learn written and spoken English. Would you believe that there is a fine to pay when the students were inside the campus and they were caught speaking in our language? That's how rigid the training of grade school in those days regarding the English language. But unfortunately English is not a requirement in school anymore.



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mirodge

I must say that I am not proficient in English Language, since I was born and raised here in the Philippines and graduated from a public school during my Elementary up to my College days. Honestly, when you are studying in a public school we have an English subject, yes! I studied English grammar, the right tenses to use to composed a paragraph, but then after the class and outside the school we're not able to used it because we used our native language not the English language. And now, I am currently working and still trying to exert an effort to hone my English grammar.



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amelia88

I think it's fantastic that you're still so dedicated to improving. I also think it's wonderful that schools there in the Philippines put an emphasis on learning another language as part of the school curriculum. I think when you know multiple languages it really does open up a lot of work opportunities!



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mirodge

Yes, We are lucky enough that English language is being taught in our schools. At work we are using English language in communicating through emails, even though it is not require to us to use it, but we think it is more formal to use English when sending emails and reports.



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Youngshark

You are such a go getter and this will help you to achieve your dreams. If you have gone out of your way to learn even when you are still working then you will definitely get to achieve whatever you aspire for. Honestly speaking, I do not think that you are bad though according to your reply above.



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mirodge

Really? well thank you for the good comment, it boost up my confidence to strive more. The factor that helps me to become good at it, whenever I am not sure about the meaning of the word, I searched for the right word to use and review my content before clicking the submit button.



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Youngshark

Yes indeed. Do not doubt yourself as you have the power to reach the point that you may be aiming at. i am sure that the effort you have put will somehow be rewarded and you have as well motivated me by the effort you have put and sharing here is very important.



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jpk0007

Well, English is my third language. I am from India and the official language of our nation is Hindi. I belong to the western part of India where our local language is Marathi which is very different from the official language Hindi. So my native language is different from the official language of my country and English is the third language that most of the Indians learn right from there childhood. Most of the Indians who are born and educated in India will be fluent in at least three languages. The first language which will be their native language, the second will be the official language Hindi and third will be English.



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amelia88

It’s incredible to me to think that three languages are the norm there! Absolutely amazing that people are so hardworking and motivated to be able to learn three separate languages - I struggle enough with one!!



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jpk0007

Yeah I mean it is amazing that most of the Indians are very well acquainted with at least three languages but we don't have to take any extra efforts to learn these languages. They are a part of our curriculum from our school days, so we learn all these languages right from childhood.



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amelia88

I think that's one of the best ways to learn another language - to do it when you're young, so that you don't think of it as learning but more as something normal and everyday. As we get older there are so many more demands on our time that trying to carve out time to learn a new language can be really tough.



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mark8625

Hindi is something that hard to learn but believe me or not I know some Hindi language like Kaisehe bai? Katchara. I learned this from my Indian, Pakistani,Nepali and Bangali staff when I was in Dubai.



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cmoneyspinner

English is my native language. Thanks to the Internet my journey has been enhanced. I love watching foreign films and working in a global environment with people who speak different languages. I learn many words and expressions. Since I live in America, it is not uncommon to walk in store or other public place and hear people speaking in a language that is not English. It used to be I had no idea what they were saying. But I find that every now and then I can actually pick out a few words and understand what the people are talking about. I'm not eavesdropping, LOL. How many writers here do not speak English natively? It's just that they are talking lough enough for me to hear them. I didn't learn these different languages in school. I learned them because of the worldwide web.



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beerthooyah

English is also my second language. This forum is my avenue for me to enhance my english writing skills. Although I love my native language, but I have to accept the fact that in order to be competetive one must be fluent in English language.



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amelia88

English is my first (and only!) language, so I’m incredibly impressed by so many of you. To be so fluent in English when it’s your second or third language is commendable! You should all be very proud of the command over English that you possess!



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rlpzbeermoney

English is actually my third language and I converse, chat and think using the English language. I think this is because of the games I played in the past. Most of them were in english and I began writing in forums as a kid where all the people wrote in English. Call me unpatriotic but that's just who I am.



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NerdIndeed

Haha, I'm sure you love your country. Just because you prefer to speak or write in a different language doesn't mean you're turning your back from your mother tongue. I know a lot of people who also favor English because they want to sound professional all the time whether in or out of their respective workplaces.



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rlpzbeermoney

But that's like the main lesson during the country's language month. If you don't speak your own language, it's like you're not proud of your culture. Something like that. But I really am unpatriotic in many ways. I don't like the Philippines that much to be honest.
I don't like those kind of people who use English to sound professional. I've also found people using English as the basis of their education. So if a person isn't well versed in the English language, then he/she isn't educated. Which isn't right.



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NerdIndeed

Dude, why do you hate the Philippines? Is it because of the failed justice system? The corrupt government officials? The poorly made infrastructure and services? The noisy neighbors who sing videoke every single night making it hard for you to sleep? LOL.

As for me, I am 50-50, and I do have a love-hate relationship with my bayang sinilangan. I wonder what will it be like 20 years from now.



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emiaj55

English is also my second language and not my native. But in our country, it is part of academics since gradeschool, so I had been pretty much used to it. although I am really familiar with conversational english. Our english is used more for educational purposes such as research studies. It has always been a national discussion on whether our children should be taught in english language as there are those who feel that we are losing our love for our language and our nationality as less and less of us learn the larger part of our language. Now a lot of our people know english more than our own language.



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jayjaydimson

Me because English is not my native language, tho I know how to write and speak in English, not just fluent like American's. Tho it doesn't matter as long as you both understand each other.



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jaybee19

True. A lot of people here where I live treat English as a verification of someone's knowledge and intellect and I really hate it especially when they laugh at people who commits grammatical errors. For me that is definitely wrong because English is just a language and being able to understand the message is the most important.



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theresajane

I am from the Philippines, my mother tongue is Bisaya and my second language became Filipino. English is basically my third language. I am always thankful that we are taught English since our Kindergarten days, just the basics. As we go up from one grade to another, the level of English language difficulty increases too. Though there are a lot of things to complain about our country, giving us the privilege to learn English is one of the things I am most thankful for.



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Kakashi2020

English is my second language and I've studied and used it in grade school until college. I'm very comfortable using it in both speech and writing.



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Martinsx1

The only problem which I can say to have encountered with working online as a freelancer who English language isn't my mother tongue would be getting across some forums where it's strictly stipulated in the site rules that only English language speaking natives are needed on the site. In such cases, I would be forced to stay clear of the site.



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thejoyrevolutio

I not a native English. I did learn English since I was in kindergarten. Here it is common to have a lot of English proficient people. English is commonly used here. I don’t think not being a native English speaker matters a lot in writing. People who learned English I think would be more wary with grammar. You can always improve your English by reading.



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Youngshark

We were taught almost everything in english back at my school. I have as such used the language for a long time starting from the lowest leveld of education. This has enabled me to develop complete fluency with an understanding that can be rated as excellent. I like to call it my second language although I know it more than my native one.



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Barida

Wow! This is amazing as learning the English language right fork. A young age must have contributed so much to the way that you write and speak the language. I believe that what matters most is that you really able to communicate with the language as well.



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stbrians

English is not my native language. I just learnt it in my school times. I can say that the little English I speak and write was bought with much money.

English being my second language has affected me greatly. I cannot construct good sentences and have many grammatical errors. Sometimes I cannot figure out the right words to write. Mother tongue interference has affected me too.



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Martinsx1

There is no doubt that not being a native English language speaker would affect your word constitution especially when it comes to fragmented sentences.

Some people would say that English language is easy but truth be told, it's more harder to write than what people make it out to be. I have personally had my challenges back in the past but I'm always working on getting better as the day progresses.



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stbrians

You are right there. The only good thing is that we communicate. Such writing has never prevented me from creating online



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stormbreaker10

Present!!! But in some point since here in our country, we've been expose in english language which is become our second language here and that's why we manage to understand atleast the basic english language, take note we can speak to but it's like bumpy road english speaking.



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Martinsx1

Being a native English language speaker doesn't really have much impact on one's abilities work online as a freelancer because there are so many tools to help you get the best out of your writing without much stress and free from any sort of grammatical errors. An example of these tool is grammarly.



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iambeth

I agree. No matter how proficient in the English language you may be, you can still benefit from using tools like these. I've used grammarly in most of my communication papers.



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amelia88

Honestly as a native English speaker I come across so many forum posters who communicate in English way better than I do, and English isn’t their first language. I think the requirement to come from a country where English is the main language is outdated.



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jayjaydimson

English is not my native language, but I know how to speak and write it, not just very fluent because I'm not American. English is in our curriculum so I learned from it.



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rlpzbeermoney

You don't need to be from an English speaking country to be proficient in the language. Take the Philippines for example. Who would have thought that Filipinos would be so well versed in the English language that most of the English teachers in Asian countries are Filipinos.



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amelia88

I worked in Japan for some time (I’m American) and met many Filipinos who had English that I would have assumed was native. Many of them also taught English in Japan, so their grasp on the language was fantastic.



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theresajane

I agree with you. I'm just glad that our country offers free lessons for students in English especially in public schools, compared to other Asian countries like Korea, who would pay a lot just for their kids to have a special English Class after school.



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nrnlss

English is my second language and I worked hard to learn it, however I am still not good at it. I still struggle with grammar and pronunciation. I am glad that my blog is in my native language, so I won't struggle writing it.



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ElectorAlexande

English is our second language in my country but the official language for business and government, my command for English is very good and I speak like a native and sometimes I claim am a native speaker which I know I am not.

English is taught in every schools here and that's what we use for education in the entire country except in the Islamic North where Arab is spoken.



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Kakashi2020

There's always a big demand for Native English Writers, I guess it's because people think that Native English Writers are better in both grammar and composition, which I really think is not true. I'm a Filipino and I spent the same amount of time learning my native language and my second language which is American English. Thays why I'm fluent in both writing and speaking English. I think having "Native English Writers" as a prerequisite for writers by some clients is unfair.



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amelia88

It's actually been interesting seeing so many responses here that English isn't the native language for many posters. I'm so surprised because I would have never known that was the case, and I'm a native English speaker myself. I can't tell any difference between myself as a native English speaker and most other people in this thread, so I also think that prerequisite is outdated/unnecessary.



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focusedwriter10

"Native English Writers"
This prerequisite by some clients is totally unfair. Unfortunately, there are some writing sites that are operated by people with the same mentality. This makes me sad and angry at the same time.



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MomoStarr16

I live in the Philippines and Englsih as you know it is our 2nd langguage. I am not good at it but I am always trying to make good at it. Because learning english is important for us. We will understand many things posted anywhere else because a lot of articles are written on english language.



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DISTEFANO115

My native language isn't English but ever since I was young I was surrounded by so many western movies, English books, and articles. I studied literature and English and I am very used to it since we have practiced it a lot in school.



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NerdIndeed

I'm sure there's a lot of non-native English speakers here. But what's impressive is that even though it is so, some are still excellent on the language and is on par with Native ones. I believe everything can be learned and nothing is impossible so not being from an English speaking country is not a hindrance in pursuing one's dream of becoming an English writer.



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jayjaydimson

I write articles, but English is not my native language, tho I know how to speak in English and write things in English.



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jaymish3

I speak fluent English. It is not the main language spoken in My Country. I was lucky because my parents made sure that we learned English and that it was our first Language. I also went to college in a native English Country. I would say that I speak English to native level. However that's my opinion. They are clients who refuse to listen and insist because I am not from a native speaking Country I can't speak and write English to a native level.



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allyn2017

I don't speak English fluently, but I can understand and write but still I have a really bad grammar and I am still practicing to have a better grammar and hopefully I will be fluent someday.



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Kakashi2020

Are you asking about Native Speakers or Fluent Speakers of American English? Because I'm not an American nor British and that means I'm not a Native English Speaker. But I'm really fluent in English, I've been using it as a second language since I was 5 years old.



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MomoStarr16

It will be a disadvantage for a writer if they don't speak English nor know how to write one. It will lessen their audiences and may be hard to be a famous writer. But being a writer, if you really want that your work will be read by many people you will be the one who let yourself study English to reach out a lot of people worldwide.



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mftmadam

English is not my native languange, I'm Filipino so I speak Tagalog more often. But English is the international language so that makes it my second languange. Since grade school I've always loved that subject, so I grew interested in it and read lots of books and watched lots of american TV shows. Now I can understand English pretty well, I can use it a little better but not fluent yet. It's conversational level I guess? and I'm looking forward to be a better English speaker.



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coolavender

English is not my native language but it's heavily taught at school and it is one of the official languages of my country. It is the medium of instruction for most subjects and it is also a common ground for our people as we are a multilingual country. We have several native languages and dialects. We even have our own version of Spanish. You can find hundreds of cognates between Spanish and Filipino, our national language. I speak decent Spanish because it was taught at school and there were many Spanish books in my grandparents' house. My knowledge of Spanish has helped me handle higher paying tasks in some of the sites I've joined so I'm very thankful for this special skill which isn't too difficult to acquire.

I can categorize myself as an average English writer and speaker at this point. Not being a native English speaker limits my freelance writing opportunities in many ways but I guess it's something I have to live with. Non-native speakers of English can achieve the same level of fluency as that of native speakers but not their culture and that can make a lot of difference for some clients. What I can do is to make the most of the opportunities available to me and thanks to the internet, I also have the power to choose my clients and my earning sites.



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mdayrit

English is only my second language. Aside from learning it from school starting at preschool up to College, I also enjoy watching English movies and TV series, as well as reading English books which in a way helped me enhance my communication skills. My native language is Filipino/ Tagalog.



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astraherondale

Non-native English speaker here! But you know what? While I find it easier to converse using the vernacular, it's actually easier for me to write in English. Weird, right? It's because our society focuses more on teaching English in school, while less emphasis is placed on nurturing the mother tongue. Sadly, in our society, those fluent in English are revered, while those who are not are called dumb. This obsession with the English language is a result of our American colonization, and it's sad how it so deeply rooted in our culture. Oh, if only we could appreciate our native language as much as we appreciate English!

Anyway, looking at the brighter side of things, I guess it's a good thing that we can easily communicate in English. It is the universal language, after all.



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sonnyisabeast

This is a nice post. As I reflect on my journey to becoming a writer and how English is my second language, I find that your curiosity is a very interesting one. English is my second language and I find it easier to write in English than in my first language. Sounds weird, but it's true. I learned the English language at the age of 5, but I never really used it as frequently and proficently until I was 20. But the moment I picked up my first novel, I wanted to be a writer. Before I became a writer, I worked in a different field for 14 years around colleagues whose first language was English, and found that I kind of have a wider vocabulary than them. There are even some that I occasionally catch speaking with grammar errors. That got me thinking, if I believe in myself that I am better than some native English speakers, then maybe I can make it as a writer. So I polished and tried to improve my English writing skills more, and am still doing it now, because I firmly believe that two of a writer's most important tools are grammar and vocabulary. Forgive me if I write this response with some grammar errors, cut me some slack, English is my second language. :-)



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jeffreyjose48

I am a non-English speaking person because I am from the Philippines. I started to learn English when my mom started to introduce the names of my things when I was one year old, feeding bottle. Things like my feeding bottle, milk, bib, toy, mittens and the like.



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jaymish3

I think most people here are not native English speakers in that they were not born in a western country.However most people learnt English from a very young age and as one of their main languages. However its is not uncommon to find especially online that most people are discriminated against on grounds that they are not Native English speakers. it's not uncommon to find your work is dismissed strictly this on those grounds. They are some writing that's where you sites that do not accept non -native speakers.



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focusedwriter10

I am not a native English speaker. Our academic system uses English, and that's how I learned reading, speaking and writing. I am okay with the language, but it is good to note that English is not a measure of intelligence. Instead, it is a language like any other, although it is widely used, which makes it essential to learn and understand it.



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katarinamurtin

i think most of us. For example I am Serbian. English is so different than my native language. Thank God I studied it in school. I managed it really quickly, thanks to the movies and tv shows i watched as child. I also speak Slovak and German + Balkan languages that are similar to Serbian.



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koki12346

English is not my native language, but i speak it fluently. I've been learning english from when i was 6 years old - when i started watching comedy kids tv shows. And from then i just speak it as it is my native language.



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