Learning English the Hard Way

I've started this blog more than a year now and I haven't written much lately here. I've found podcasts are the best way to express myself on the web quickly. Almost everything I was going to write about got mentioned in my podcasts. Blogs still have a place on the web and I've wanted to do something with mine, so I came up another idea: maybe I should use this site as a way to get experience writing in English, which alone is really interesting, but also very scary for me. I've never written anything longform publicly in English. It feels like a fresh start, although I haven't changed the subject I'm going to write about: it's still technology and productivity. I've just changed the language.

I'm working with a swiss company where we speak English daily, but that's a completely different thing than writing on the web, where anybody can read your stuff and be mad about it. As we know, everybody knows English better than the next person, so I'm trying to use this "collective knowledge" to my advantage. I'm open to every advice related to grammar — you might want to fix some of my phrases too — although I have no idea what type of feedback I'll get. I'm sure I'll have problems with the language since I'm not a native speaker. We'll see.

Keeping a blog is a big challenge alone and I have no prior experience writing in English other than daily emails and Skype messages. The best way to learn is to do it the hard way and write. Also, there is a couple of people who might enjoy following this challenge. I have no other goals with this blog currently, but it may form into something else later.

I started taking an English class to learn grammar again back in March. I also had English in high school, but I never paid much attention to the class and forgot a lot of stuff since then. Years passed by and I had to relearn lot of words and phrases by watching TV shows, movies and listening to podcasts. I've been reading almost everything in English since I started working as a web developer. It's okay to start with, but the problem remains: my grammar sucks and I want to get better at it. My English class has ended and I haven't practiced the language enough.

But why this matters so much? First, not knowing English well enough is a problem. I usually work with people abroad, so great communication is a key. Second, I have same plans to do stuff for international readers, but that's still far away. Currently I'm not even comfortable with the longform writing of English. This is going to be a multistep process.

Couple of months ago I thought I'm good at English, but I'm not. I'm just as bad as anybody else. Writing stuff comfortable in a different language is a skill I can learn, but I have to practice it. So, here we go, I'm doing it. Just follow my stuff here and don't hesitate to fix my mistakes, but also follow up with me in email regarding topics I'm going to write about. I'll try to learn from every feedback I get. Just be nice. 🙂