'Mel on reading' is a little feature I created as part of my Fairytale news. It's my way to show my thoughts on topics that go from pet peeves in reading to my favorite things in books.
1. Messy side-bars.
2. Annoying design.
3. No easy way to follow.
4. Bad English grammar and misspellings.
And that is the point I want to talk about. You see, not everyone grew up with English as native language. There are many international bloggers and I was wondering: is this really so important that you won’t follow a blog? I can understand that there is a difference between bad and bad, but let’s take a regular blog for example. Mine.
I know I make mistakes and probably more than I expect, but I never felt like it’s such a big deal. It actually makes me kinda sad that some people might dislike my blog because of those mistakes. (I don’t even know, is my English bad? I used to thing I was good, but when I read things like that I’m starting to doubt myself.)
It also makes me annoyed. I spend a lot of time trying to filter all the mistakes, but what if it’s never good enough? Wouldn’t it be better to just realize that not everyone is fluent? Perhaps you should consider the amount of work it costs and give credits for the fact that someone tries. So I thought it might be fun to share the steps I make before I post anything:
1. The first thing you need to do is trying to translate your thoughts/feelings from (in my case) Dutch to English. Sometimes it’s really hard to find the right words and to form coherent sentences. This probably takes most of my time and it’s not always easy. Google translate can be helpful, especially when they give suggestions for other words. Sometimes I'm already thinking in English, that's also funny. I think you can understand that writing a review in your own language is less difficult. So why don’t I blog in Dutch? For one, the blogging community is small and two, I read almost every book in English so it’s a logical step. I also love English.
2. I use Windows Live Writer and it filters a lot of mistakes, but there is no good program for checking grammar. Learning grammar is always the hardest part of learning a new language. I’m good with grammar when it comes to Dutch, but English is completely different and that can be hard.
3. The settings on my laptop are in English, so when I write comments on other blogs it tells me where I make mistakes. It also shows any mistake Windows Live Writer forgot to mention in my blog posts.
What I’m trying to say? Please try to consider that not everyone is able to use the ultimate English. There are things you can change about your design (as in, don’t use neon letters and a dark background), but it’s not realistic to expect flawless English, especially not from international bloggers.