Ulog 56: process to improve my English
By design, Steemit is a blogging platform that has social features and backed by a blockchain. That much is obvious. What is not so obvious is how well educated the user base is. Also, the users come all over the globe and a significant number of them don’t speak English as the first language. Yet their writings are exceptional. I think in many cases, they exceed the writing capacity of many native speakers.
I am not a native English speaker. I came to the USA when I was a young child of approximately 8 years old. Although my speech could have been better, I believe that because I live in a Vietnamese enclave, I have an accent that I haven’t been able to get rid of. I hear it all of the time. “There are people who came to the US much later in life than you did and they have no accent. Why do you have an accent?” I really don’t know why. I can’t help it. I’ve been trying to improve my English. I try to speak without an accent. However, the more I focus on it, the more disjointed my speech patterns become. It’s such a sad situation. Maybe there is an inherent issue with me.
So then you may be brought to believe that since I live in a Vietnamese community, that my Vietnamese is great. Quite the contrary! My Vietnamese is even worse. It sucks. I can read Vietnamese. I think anyone can read Vietnamese once you learn the basic. Understanding the context of everything you read requires something else. I think I have a general understanding. Anything beyond that and I would be lost.
So my English sucks and my Vietnamese isn’t that great. That doesn’t leave me in a good spot. I need to be able to communicate effectively to work in the corporate setting (probably true everywhere as well).
Even my boss has tried to help me. He set me up with a speech coach from the Wharton School. We met a few times. She has stopped coming. Maybe she thinks that I can’t be helped.
So now I must rely on the self-help. I notice that an administrator of a discord channel has an exceptional grasp of the English language and his Vietnamese was also superb. While I may suck at a lot of things, I can spot talents and what “good” looks like. And that person looks like someone who’s is good with the written language.
I wanted to talk to him. To learn his secrets. How did he learn to write so well and so eloquently? He was humbled. I am sure he must have spent years fine-tuning his writing skills. I, on the other hand, want a short-cut. Haha. Give it to me the cliff note version. (Don’t tell my high school teacher this, but that was exactly how I read Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities - via the yellow Cliff Notes).
I think everyone who wants to be a better English writer should do this as well. Here it is. Go download and install Grammarly on every computer and mobile devices that you use to connect to the outside world with. I think it will have an immediate impact. I am still using the FREE version and it has been working great. I think I may upgrade to the PAID version because I think it will be worth it. Clear Concise writing is the foundation of achieving greatness in this Information Age.
With that, I wish you all a good night. Don't let the bedbugs bite.