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How to Overcome the Fear of Writing in a Foreign Language

by Michael Yarbrough

Writing is a useful habit. It stimulates your brain and gives you the freedom to express your ideas and opinions. When you write, you start thinking logically and figuring out how different thoughts are interconnected. This helps improve your communication skills as well. By writing and explaining things, you might even find solutions to any problems you may be facing. Yet when it comes to writing in a foreign language, you may feel like even the idea of doing it is daunting. Here are some tips on how to overcome the fear of writing in a foreign language.

1. Focus on the Process, not the Result

You feel fear when you don’t know something and you are afraid of getting unsatisfactory results. This is why you need to focus on writing itself and how to make your content high-quality and professional. Define what you want to write about. Just let your thoughts come out of you. Conduct research on other additional sources of information. This will help you enlarge your knowledge of the subject matter and view the topic from different perspectives.

2. Be Honest

Honesty is the best policy. When you are honest and open, it attracts people. They like it when you speak from your heart and convey your experiences and emotions. That is why you should communicate with many people, explore new things, and get used to new good habits.

3. Think in a Foreign Language

Every time you learn a foreign language, you try to translate the sentences into your native language. That is a pitfall. First, learn the context and how you should use the words correctly. Use a descriptive dictionary where you may find word meanings and interpretations. Learn the word order in English and follow it. Find synonyms and antonyms for words to increase your understanding of them. Deepen your knowledge with idioms. Communicate with native speakers and read. Reading will give you insight on making your English sound logically cohesive as well as get to know about some of the language’s peculiarities.

4. Simplify Your Thoughts

Avoid complex sentences. They only confuse your readers, and an overly flamboyant style might make them abandon your writing altogether. Your sentences should be concise yet informative. Avoid using passive voice as much as possible because it weakens your writing. It makes you seem unsure to your readers. Do not use ambiguous words that will be an impediment to comprehending your idea. Pay attention to grammar. Feel free to use quotes, but give credit where credit is use. Don’t forget to check your work for grammar, style, and plagiarism with a variety of tools like Hemingway Editor, spell checking software Ginger and the Unplag plagiarism checker.

5. Forget About Perfectionism

Being a perfectionist is a mistake. You will never speak or write what you want if you insist on every sentence being absolutely perfect. It is impossible to write perfect content, so don’t hold yourself back by trying to do it. Rather than focusing on perfection, focus instead on being unique. Your writing should convey your specific style and views. Do that and your readers will crave your next piece of writing.

Summing It Up

If you know a foreign language, do not hesitate to speak and write in it. If you want to write in a foreign language, let go of the fears you have in your mind about it and hone your writing skills. The crucial factor is learning how to think in a foreign language, which will put you on your way to success.

About the writer

Michael Yarbrough is a private English tutor, writer and education blogger who always has a keen interest in academic writing, educational technology and global issues. Check out his blog CultivatingEducation.com where you can find his insightful and engaging articles on educational topics.

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