Stop apologising for poor English
Looking across various internet forums, from time to time I see people asking a support question, and straight away they add their apology for their poor English.
Most of the time, the question, issue or general query is formed correctly. English and not native English speakers can read and understand what the author got on his mind. The addition to showing the author’s weakness in the language (where he is not an English speaker) is unnecessary.
It is unnecessary, but it sometimes shows the ability of that person to acknowledge that their language may not be perfect. He or she knows that, and by acknowledging it, I can bet that they are trying to be better in the future.
This some time ago applies to me, however, I know that right now I don’t have anything to apologise for.
I am not a native English speaker and never will be, even that I am permanently living in the United Kingdom, and the UK is my home.
When I first come to the UK, I knew that my English was good, but not good for the way people been using it here, especially in Yorkshire.
I work hard to get it better. Additional courses and working constantly on improvement point me to the statement that I will not apologise for my English anymore, as my English is good, and I am working constantly to be better. Writing and publishing on my website in English is one way to improve my language skills.
I made mistakes in the discussion, in writing, however, I am trying to learn from it as much as possible.
It is not straight forward as you think.
Been a Polish speaker, you cannot translate word-by-word what you want to say from Polish into English, as this will not make sense at all.
The way, how English is formed compared to Polish, is like reading part of the sentence from the back and then adding on the end what’s been on the front. And imagine that my brain needs to analyse and process that.
I am making mistakes. In writing, I know that my weakness is grammar, but it’s as well for a majority of English people. There is a lot of people who struggle to write something that will have any kind of sense, even that they been born here and live here for a while in their life. However, they don’t have that problem in ordinary discussion.
If you write something somewhere and people will come back to you with “sorry, I don’t understand what you mean”, then you can “apologise” for that (but not for your try to write in language, that is no commonly used by you in your life). Don’t put yourself down. Re-read what you wrote down, and re-think what you want to say, and try to say this differently.
It’s like learning new words. Pick one new word and try to use it at least 5 times during a week in conversation, and you will see that this word will not be new for you anymore.
Use supportive tools like Grammarly or Outwrite. I am using them daily, and even that on every text that I write (fast, to do not forget what I want to say), I got red underlines showing me that I misspelt something. There is nothing to be ashamed of if you work towards self-improvement. Keep trying.
You shall be ashamed of you trying to speak/write in English when you don’t bother about it (the form and way of using the language). When you are overconfident in yourself and do not accept any form of criticism, then you got a problem. If you not learn from your mistakes and not trying to improve, then people will know that your language is bad.
If you say/apologising for your language, then you are aware of your weakness, and I believe that you will not allow yourself to keep at the same point all the time, and you will try to improve.
I made common mistakes, that is hard for me to change, like describing things that normally (for English people) is referred to as “IT”, where I tend to use “SHE” or “HE”. It may sound strange but in the Polish language many sentences describing a thing referring to IT in personalised form. This may sound strange, but yes, that’s how this language is built, and other around the world languages as well. It’s tricky for our brain to change perception on describing all non-living things as IT.
It’s like with magic “THE” in the English language (the moon), or “A” and “AN” (an apple). These things rarely have their equivalent in other languages. In Polish, these forms don’t exist, and in many cases, they are combined with personalised form even when describing things.
This is why it is hard to translate what you want to say in Polish into English. It’s as hard as trying to directly translate English into Polish. People will look at you, like you would like to talk to them like a prince, a person from a higher class, thinking that you are the master and they as just people. You will sound stupid, and if people will not start laughing at you (most will), they will ignore you. Only a margin will try to correct you and give something from them to you - their knowledge.
I learned this well. There is only a margin of people who would like to correct you when you missay or misspell something. They would like to help you to improve, only you need to want this help. The majority however will don’t care, as long you make mistakes (and will not help you to correct), they will treat you as someone worse than them to their advantage.
If you respect yourself and you know your weak points, stop acknowledging them to the whole world, as the world doesn’t care about it.
Work and improve. Appreciate people, who, despite your mistakes, trying to understand you, and want to help improve you and your language.