Fairytale News | A blogging confession.


'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.
This is the part where I try to discuss something that has been bugging me lately. I love reading discussion posts, but I see this trend where everybody is telling us what they like and dislike when it comes to other blogs. Let’s say, someone makes a top 10 of things they dislike. Most of the times they are regular things like:

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.)

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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.

90 comments

  1. I'm definitely more lenient towards bloggers whose native language isn't English. Hell, English is my native language, and I still struggle trying to form a sentence correctly sometimes. For example: if English isn't your first language, but I can still understand what you're trying to say, then that's fine. You're obviously trying to do it correctly, and that is the most important.

    It would be like if I wanted to start blogging in Dutch. As long as I was making a serious effort to translate correctly, I would like some leniency from the Dutch.

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    1. Yes, that's exactly what I was trying to say :D As long as you understand what someone is trying to say, it's okay right?

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  2. Mel I've never, ever noticed anything on your site that would be considered "bad English." Besides, sometimes I read back over something I've just written and think, "Well that makes no sense." I don't even have an excuse because English is my native language!

    You're doing great. I think it's enormously cool that you read and regularly communicate in a second language, and with such proficiency that a casual observer wouldn't realize you are not a native speaker.

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    1. Awh, thank you so much. It's reassuring to hear that even people with English as native language make mistakes.

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  3. Well I'm from Poland so obviously English is not my native language but I gotta tell you that when I speak or write in English, I think in that language as well. I don't translate my thoughts from Polish to English 'cause I'm already thinking in the later. I might be weird like that. And when it comes to grammar mistakes sometimes I confess, sometimes I do them on purpose because that's the way I talk normally. I don't want my blog to be absolutely proper, I want it to give off a feel like I'm trying to make conversation with the reader. I want it to be friendly and reflect my personality if some grammar mistakes are the cost of that, be it. I'm a bit sad that it might put people off but I'm not gonna change myself OR my blog which is the mirror image to myself, just because it might annoy some people in some ways. So yeah, the point is, it's okay to make mistakes. We're all human after all. AND I can tell you that many international bloggers have better skills in grammar and spelling than those whose native language is English so no worries ;)

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    1. Oh, I know what you mean! Sometimes I'm talking English in my head or I speak English to my boyfriend, just because of habit, haha. I think it's great that you want to reflect your personality. And you are right, l just need to be myself and if that's not enough, that's their lost.

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    2. Preach it Mel!

      And I have that as well, I mean sometimes after speaking in English in school for the whole day and I come back home, and then my parents ask me something and I reply in English. Kinda embarassing really :p

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  4. Your English is really good, Mel. You don't have to worry about it. I, too, am an international blogger and while I've never been the best in speaking English, I'm rather comfortable writing it. I know I make mistakes sometimes but as long as they're not horribly embarrassing, I'm confident with my English.

    While I think native speakers should cut some slack for those of us who try, I have to admit that even I get a little judgy about grammar mistakes when I notice them. But only when they're really repetitive and all-too present!

    I've never had many encounters with those kinds of blogs though so they don't bother me too much. Most if not all the people I follow, whether a native speaker or not- really have good grammar. Great post!

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    1. I guess I had one of those days where I was doubting myself. Most of the times I feel confident about my English, but after seeing a couple of blogs I was starting to question myself..

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  5. I have never noticed any misspellings or any bad grammar at ALL from you! Those people are just being overly picky! I know how tough and hard it is to actually do something in another language, so you should NOT worry at all.. seriously. I can't believe people actually made you feel this way. I love your blog, and your reviews are much better than a lot of other people, so don't stop doing this!
    - Farah @ MajiBookshelf

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    1. Thank you Farah <3 I just had to get it off my chest. I feel so much better now after this confession!

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  6. I don't think you have anything to worry about, you have great English. As a Canadian, I speak English on a daily basis but that doesn't mean I don't make mistakes. In fact, I'm quite bad at catching my own mistakes, so for you guys to be reading and then writing in another language is something to be admired not criticized. Don't let it get you down Mel! Keep up the awesome work :)

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    1. I'm definitely going to continue this way! Blogging is so much fun :D

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  7. Woo for Windows Live Writer, I simply adore it! I actually live in North America so I know my English pretty well but I only learned it when I was around 7 (immigrating ftw) so I can kind of relate. I think I write well in English but I'm always paranoid that I'm making a mistake of some sort. And don't worry at all about your writing, English is my first language now and I don't think I can write as beautifully as you. I would never not follow a blog because the blogger is in a country where the native language isn't English, I think the diversity makes the blog even better! I always love to know what people in other countries are reading and how they're opinions differ than mine (but I think our opinions won't differ that much). Just do what you feel is right and we will not penalize you in any way! :)

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    1. Windows Live Writer is the best! Awh, thanks <3 Yes, seeing different opinions from all over the world is amazing! And I think we have similar opinions most of the time.

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  8. I am lenient to everybody's bad English mistakes, as long as they don't spell TONS of words wrong (like more than 10) because there is always spell-check in Blogger and Wordpress. The ugly red lines under the word should also clue you in.
    Although I was born in America and I dunno if English or Chinese was my first language, my grammar is pretty bad. I absolutely HATE past tenses and future tenses and all the other tenses. It's so hard to keep track of what tenses I use in my reviews, even after revising it three times. Plus, I like writing very long sentences and it gets confusing sometimes.
    But don't worry Mel - you're definitely not alone in this!

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    1. Yes, spell-check takes away most of the mistakes, but things like than/then can be tricky and that's not something such checks filter for you. I'm happy I'm not the only one!

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  9. Wow... I never call out someone's mistake. Usually I just think it's a typo and I have even made a few of those. You shouldn't let it bother you. It's your blog and sometimes mistakes happen and if someone doesn't follow you because of it ... well that's their loss.

    Angie

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  10. Oh Mel!! *BIG HUG* You are wonderful darling! I think you write really well! Don't let those people get you down! Seriously, it takes a lot of guts and moxy to put youself out there the way you are doing and writing a blog in a language that is not your first language. I for one think you are doing a great job and I think you have plenty of loyal followers as well. I struggle with trying my hardest to proofread my blog posts before they go up and it doesn't matter everyone makes mistakes. We as bloggers have to be our own editors and that makes this even harder. You are doing great!

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    1. Thank you Pabkins, I'm definitely happy with all the loyal followers I have and I adore each and every one of you :D! These comments were just something I needed <3

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  11. I think you make a really great point! First off, I just want to say that I've never actually noticed any "bad English" on your blog (you have better grammar than a lot of people I know who actually are American-born/English speaking) and second of all, I would still love your blog even if you did make tons of mistakes. :) I have family members and friends whose first language isn't English, and don't write very well, so I can really get behind this. Just because they get confused about grammar sometimes doesn't mean that they aren't whip smart or passionate about the topic they're writing about, and it makes me angry when people put them down. Yes, there is a huge difference between English grammar/spelling confusion and pure laziness, and the laziness drives me nuts, but it can be pretty easy to spot if you read the blogger's bio and read all their posts. I still write my posts and then catch a major error after they've been published and cringe at myself. Until now, I never really thought much about bad spelling/grammar deterring me from a blog, but now that I think about it, the first thing that comes to mind are blogs that I've skipped because they tend to use a ton of slang or write like they're texting. But, still, a blog should really be judged on it's content, so if I really liked their book choices and opinions, I'd probably stick around. Great post! :)

    Alice @ Alice in Readerland

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    1. Thank you Alice! It's great that you might give more blogs a chance. I can understand that really big mistakes can annoy bloggers, but that doesn't take away the content. And thanks for the compliments, that's so kind <3

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  12. This is quite a valid point! I think I definitely give some leeway to bloggers in terms of spelling and grammar (especially grammar), particularly if they're international. I can appreciate that it would be really difficult to write reviews in a language that is not your native language. But I can't help but shudder when some really basic errors are made. Like it's instead of its or they're instead of their or there. It's just those reaally really basic grammar points kind of make me a bit -_- (these have to be repeated though. I mean, once or twice are probably just typos or something.)

    That being said, I don't think I've ever noticed your grammar or spelling being terrible or anything like that. You're doing fabulously, so don't even worry about it <3

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    1. Thanks Nara! I agree that basic errors can be annoying, but yes, perhaps there are just typos. Sometimes I'm re-reading my review and I don't see any mistakes, until you post it and re-read it later. Those sneaky mistakes you just don't see the first time.

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  13. I'm not bothered by bad English grammar or misspellings. I'm pretty sure I make tons of mistakes myself, so who am I to judge.
    Plus it's a personal blog, not a blog affiliated to some other income generating site that have editors on their payroll. So don't worry about not being flawless in the grammar department :), we all make mistakes.
    Read Books and Blog | Addicted to Films

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  14. Wow the fact that you actually think in Dutch sometimes but write so well is amazing . Don't sweat it regarding the grammar . I make so many mistakes but blogging is FUN not work so chill out people and just say what you want to say ;)

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    1. Yes, I think it's important to remember that blogging is fun :D and the community is (most of the time) fantalstic.

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  15. Oh Mel. This is such a great post. I, too get annoyed with a blog design that's way too busy. Also, wonky formatting. Gah! Drives me nuts. So much advertisements that the page takes forever and a day to load!

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  16. Seeing the misspelled words or grammar doesn't bother me at all because a lot of the blogs I follow, the people are not from English speaking countries (I think). Plus, I myself, have a tendency to only spell check or reread what I've written sometimes, but should all the time (Laziness!) because I tend to have simple errors in my reviews from typing too fast!
    But I am also 'southern/country' (lol, I'm from the US) and many people where I'm from here in the states tend to write the way we speak which is hard to fix because It's what I'm use to. I'm trying to work on that though because teachers I've had have mentioned this in a few of my college classes.

    Great post and blog! But I still don't understand why a person wouldn't follow because of grammar errors. You read a review to see what a person thought of the book not to criticize their writing. And plus I don't consider my writing or my blog to be 'professional'. I'm already stressing in college so I don't need stress about my writing on my blog because that's a place for me to relax and have fun!

    Janina @ Synchronized Reading

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    1. Yes, I totally agree with the last thing you said: I don't want to feel stressed, I just want to have fun, to tell my opinion and discuss it with others :)

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  17. As long as the post is understandable, I don't mind some grammar errors and misspellings-I know I still make mistakes and it can be hard to edit your own writing. The thing that gets me is when people misspell a character's name (yes I've seen this on a couple of occasions)-did they not check their book to make sure???

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  18. I think the main thing with people not wanting to read blogs with "terrible English" is more about blogs that are just really HARD to understand, and not because of a typo, but a post after post. And yours definitely does not fall into that category! When I think of grammar mistakes that turn me off a blog, mine is generally really basic things--like not using periods at the end of the sentence, and then just having the entire post be one HUGE sentence, which I've seen. As long as things are understandable, I think you're good!

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    1. I think you are right, thanks for sharing your thoughts Stormy :)!

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  19. I remember reading a post about this recently and thinking the very same thing. I'm bilingual, but I grew up in England and so never had to really 'learn' English. It just developed in the same way as my mother tongue. Mel, honestly, your English is a lot better than some of the people who live here! I've never once even considered the fact that it might not be your first language. You're doing a fantastic job. :) I've never been put off by the fact some bloggers might not be able to use language or grammar 'correctly'. One of my favourite things about blogging is the international community, and I would hate to feel like I needed to exclude people just because their use of English might not be perfect. As long as I can get the basic gist of what someone is saying, that's all that matters to me. :)

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    1. I'm happy that you also noticed it. I was starting to worry it was just me, haha. Thanks for the compliment, Sam, that means a lot to me :) And yes, as long as you understand what someone is trying to say, that's all that matters. Being able to talk with people all over the world is an amazing experience and you should cherish that :D

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  20. I have to agree with Sam about your English! Don't you worry about those jerks who're complaining about bloggers who have "terrible" English. Here's the thing: I don't think anyone is able to speak or write English perfectly -- not even those bloggers! I'm not saying that grammatical errors or spelling mistakes don't bother me, because they do, but there's a difference between feeling something, and making your feelings known. Sometimes, even though we're taught to tell the truth, it's better to keep our thoughts to ourselves. Rest assured, though, that I've never once thought that your English is bad! For a person whose first language isn't English, I think you write it very, very well.

    So thank you for sharing all this with us, Mel. I hope you gain a bit more confidence after all the wonderful comments you received above. I know how difficult it can be, translating from one language to another. I have to do the same thing with my schoolwork, and it's FRUSTRATING, because Google Translate more often than not gives me really weird translations! What I'm trying to say is that don't fret too much about your English. It's good to be aware of the mistakes you're making, for sure, but don't you ever let those bullies get you down. Those people need to be taught a lesson on being humble. You're wonderful just the way you are. <3

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    1. Yes, like they say in Bami: "If you have nothing nice to say, better say nothing at all" (something like that :p) I definitely needed all these wonderful comments, each and every one of them made me smile. This is one of the reasons I'm so happy to be part of this blogging community <3

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  21. First of all, your English is GREAT.

    Second of all, you should never feel like you can't blog in English if you can't speak/write it properly. If anything, blogging is the perfect way to practice your English. And so what it's not 100% perfect? I also probably make a ton of spelling/grammar mistakes because I don't proofread my posts carefully and I don't care all that much - and English is the ONLY language I can speak or write, really. If anything, you spelling and grammar and whatnot is probably better than mine is on my blog because you're so conscious of it and I'm just like: "I'm the laziest person in the world and I can't be bothered."

    And finally, your blog is so pretty that I'm sure everyone's too busy to drooling to notice the non-existent grammatical issues ;)

    No, but seriously, you're doing a fantastic job and anyone who takes blogging so seriously as to expect perfect grammar and spelling needs to pack it up and go home because I just don't want to hear it.

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    1. Haha, you guys are really too sweet <3! I really needed this and now I'm more like: whatever. If you don't follow a blog for such a reason, that's your loss.

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  22. Awww Mel thanks for sharing your heartfelt thoughts on this. I see mistakes here and there in the blogosphere and I'm sure I make my own as well, it's only natural. And it's harder for you translating from a different language too. I'm sure if people like your content they will follow you!

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  23. I think it's somewhat wrong to focus on someone's grammar mistakes, specially when they mention the fact that he/she is not a native English speaker. Yes, if the errors are too big and too easy to spot (like using there instead of they're) I can understand it a little. But if it's something like tenses (heck, I hate past and future tenses. Oh, and let's not forget about the phrases that start with "if" or that have "if" in them. I never manage to remember how the verbs are supposed to be like in those sentences *shudders*) it doesn't make any sense to me.
    And if I can understand why someone is being hard on an author and the editors for not being extra-careful about those errors, I can't say that I accept someone judging the grammar errors of a blogger. After all, we don't have editors to point those mistakes. And like you said, there's no program that will check for those grammar mistakes.
    I never noticed any mistakes in your blog, by the way. Don't you doubt yourself! *hugs*

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  24. The only thing worse than a messy sidebar is... TWO messy sidebars. Ahhh those are like the bane of my existence, I almost leave immediately if people just have images and countdown widgets up the wazoo just cluttering up everything. My eyes!

    As for the spelling and grammar, I would NEVER leave a blog because someone struggled with English. I actually admire that they are even trying, because using another language is tough, and kudos to them (you!) for trying. And Mel, you have nothing to worry about because your blog always looks great and I have yet to spot even one mistake. Pretty sure your writing is even better than mine most of the time! :)

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  25. I want to hug this post so much! It practically resonates with how I always feel whenever I publish a post. I always have this constant fear of being judged by grammar nazis. But as the months go by, I am gradually overcoming my fears whenever I see someone leaves a comment on my blog, thus, they must have understood what I'm blabbering all about.

    Most of the time, I am intimidated whenever I am around bloggers who are notorious grammar nazis. Instead of interacting with them, I just shut up for fear of getting judged. I am more comfortable interacting with someone who doesn't mind my grammar mistakes.

    As for visiting other blogs owned by people who struggle with English, I don't really mind even if their English is bad. I just try decipher what they're trying to say. I even want to give them a pat in the back for trying to reach out even with the said barrier.

    However, I have a very different standard for books you know. Unless they're uncorrected proofs, I want them to be flawless. Well, they've got paid editors to do that so you have to expect the best. Plus, you're spending a significant of money to buy 'em so....

    As far as I am concerned, your GRAMMAR IS VERY GOOD! Don't let those bullies get the best of you. :D

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    1. *I just try TO decipher*

      *pat on the back*

      *Well, they've got paid editors to do the correcting so you have to expect the best*

      Gosh, I am now getting paranoid. Hahaha!

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  26. I don't really mind a few grammar errors, they are easy to make. I didn't realize English wasn't your first language for a long time! So that should tell you something! I think you do really well! I can't even imagine having to translate my thoughts and feelings, but I am really impressed by your ability!

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    1. Thanks, it's very good for my confidence to hear so many people say they didn't realize I'm Dutch :D

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  27. I don't care if there's any bad grammars from other blogs. I make mistakes too. The thing that I like the most, is seeing the thoughts and perspectives of others. Great post, Melanie.

    -Dannielle

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  28. Gah, I hate poor grammar and all, but it's not a huge problem for me because I get that people sometimes need to rush their posts. BUT, I do get pissed if it's in a review. Random posts are fine but in actual reviews, they've gotta be somewhat correct in spelling and grammar.

    Lovely post, hun! <33

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    1. Yes, I think there is a difference between laziness and making mistakes because you are a foreigner.

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  29. First of all, I feel super impressed by bloggers (and writers!) who choose to use a language that isn't their first. It makes me regret having only English (I don't speak another language anywhere close to want to write in it).

    As far as poor grammar in posts, I usually try to cut the blogger some slack. I know I've made mistakes in my posts. The only time I won't follow a blog is if the grammar is consistently so poor that I have to read each sentence multiple times. It makes it impossible for me to enjoy reading the blog and isn't that the point of following someone? As long as the mistakes are relatively minor, I don't have a problem though!

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    1. I'm happy that we get to learn so many languages here :) And you have a point with enjoy a blog!

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  30. Hi Mel! It's my first time to visit your blog, and I really liked this post a lot.

    Yes, there are so many bloggers who choose not to follow because of a few spelling and grammar mistakes. English is my second language, so I'm guilty of making mistakes, too. I believe that if you can actually understand what the blogger is trying to say, then that's fine. Some are even rude and leave comments telling them to fix their grammar/spelling.

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    1. Hi Dre! :D Yes, I always find it rude to pinpoint someone mistakes - at least, it depends on how you say it.

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  31. I don't think too much about it if the blogger is writing in his/her second language, but I find I do judge when English is the person's native language. Misspellings don't bother me so much, because typos are a fact of life, but it drives me nuts when people use common expressions wrong or use a word that they don't really understand.

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    1. I can understand that, because I have the same with Dutch :p

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  32. Spelling and grammar (to a certain extent) don't bother me when it comes to reading blogs. I do like to see good spelling and grammar, but for reading blogs the actual content of the post completely wins out. Unless someone writes liek dis & puts no efrt in @ all then I wouldn't NOT follow a blog because of spelling/grammar.

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  33. You’re good, Mel so please don’t think otherwise. But for myself, I have confession to make: I’m scared of grammar Nazis. I’m not good at English and it’s a continuous learning process for me. So sometimes when they put that label on their bio, I’m reluctant to interact with that person. I don’t want to embarrass myself so why would I try? But bottom line is that we all make mistakes and for me learning from those mistakes help me improve my English.

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    1. I think blogging is a great way to improve English. I learn new things about it every day :D and yes, it can be frightening when someone says he/she is a grammar nazi.

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  34. Love this post. <3 You are awesome Mel. I kind of do not like bad grammar. But I adore your blog and I think you write pretty amazing :D I'm Norwegian so I know about not having English as first language. But I feel that I know more about English than I do Norwegian sometimes (A) Thank you for sharing. <3

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  35. You make a really good point here and I couldn't agree more! I definitely see how grammar and sentence structures are a big deal, but since I started blogging, I've realized (or worried might be a better word) that my native French and consequent English writing for reviews and blogging might not be as awesome as I always thought it was o_O Like you, I worry that others might not like my blog because sometimes I might come off as confusing or worse because English isn't my native language. Honestly, I think your reviews are really well-written. The point(s) you are trying to make are always clear, never confusing! Thanks for sharing your thoughts though - I'm glad I'm not the only one bothered by all of this sometimes!

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    1. It's always good to hear of other people that they struggle with the same things. It makes it much easier to share your insecurity with people who understand you. Thanks for stopping by :D!

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  36. I wouldn't worry too much; I've seen worse spelling and grammar on English-speakers' blogs. I actually find it sort of amusing that the people who apologize the most for their English language skills are often the people who need to do so the least!

    Spelling and grammar are important, but I also know that even proofreading doesn't always catch every mistake. I'm willing to overlook some small spelling and grammar issues -- if I can tell they are honest mistakes. I'm less likely to tolerate blogs that have the same misspellings and grammar issues over and over, because those are obviously not simple mistakes. I'm even less likely to tolerate books with those same mistakes (and there are more of those kinds of books out there than one might think)!

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    1. Sometimes people make those lazy mistakes and I can see why that is annoying!

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  37. Honestly, I never would have guessed that English was your second language if you never said so :) But even if a blogger's English isn't very good, I would still read their blog as long as I know what they are trying to say! I mean, the blogger is probably putting forth a lot of effort when they write posts in a different language than their first...

    If the majority of the blogging community spoke, let's say, Chinese, I would hope that they would forgive a few hiccups in my grammar and still talk to me. And really, who doesn't screw up with their spelling and grammar sometimes? English is my first language and even I mess up sentences when I speak/write them :P

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    1. Awh, it's very nice to hear so many people say that :)!

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  38. I definitely understand what you mean, but usually you can tell when someone is international with certain grammar mistakes. I'm very lenient on grammar for those people (and by the way, you do an awesome job! I'd never know English wasn't your first language if you hadn't said so). I have to admit that I AM a grammar Nazi, though, so if I see mistake after mistake (mainly misspellings), it will turn me off of following. But it's mainly native English speakers, so the bad grammar just seems like laziness on their part.

    Nobody's perfect. Everyone makes typos sometimes - hell, even I find random typos in my posts sometimes that my computer didn't catch - but I have a limit. My limit is more like: If I see 5+ typos/misspellings in one post. That's when it starts to get annoying and distracts me from what I'm trying to read.

    This was a very insightful post, Mel!

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    1. Interesting that you've set a limit to the amount of typos/mistakes! Almost like reading 50 books before DNF it :p

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  39. Well I'm probably going to sound redundant here since I'm like the one millionth comment (I tend to exaggerate) but I have never noticed a problem with your English/grammar. I am a bit of a grammar freak to the extent that I tend to notice and care more about mistakes than most people but I try not to judge people when they make mistakes and I am not so inflexible that I would stop following a blog for it (unless we are talking REALLY BAD writing to the point of non-coherence...then maybe). Everyone makes mistakes - I do all the time! And I may have decent grammar but my spelling SUCKS! And English is my native language! Most of the time when I am commenting or writing a review I am speaking very casually and am more focused on getting my thoughts down than writing perfectly. As long as I don't have to decode your review for what you are trying to say, it is fine by me. So you are more than good in my book :)

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    1. Yes, I think you are right. As long as it's clear what someone is trying to say!

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  40. I don't really focus much on blogs with grammar mistakes. I do LOTS of them, and I barely notice others'. Plus, if the post is interesting, nothing else matters. You do make a good point of us not being native English speakers. I think that should be taken into consideration all the time. Arabic is my native language, and up until I was 13, I couldn't form coherent sentences, let alone blog. I've come a long way, obviously, but I still carry some jealousy for people with impeccable use of words.

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  41. You know, I haven't thought a lot about this as far as translating or using another language than my own. I do think us Americans are spoiled since most of us only speak our own language and all the world basically speaks ours, but we don't speak theirs. I would love to see that change. My husband is fluent in Spanish and I've been trying to get him to only speak Spanish on Saturdays so the children learn, at least, but it has been pretty inconsistent. I'd also say that you do really well and I've seen native Brits and Americans use bad grammar and misspell things. I mean, I do it sometimes and I'm an American. :) I hadn't ever thought that this might be a concern for you. (See how oblivious I am.) So, whatever and however you are blogging seems to be working. =D

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    1. Haha, yes, you are lucky that almost the whole world speaks English, but on the other hand: I do feel proud that I'm able to speak more than one language :) Most of the times I'm trying to keep my concerns for myself, because I don't want to look like a whiner or perhaps someone who is trying to get compliments.

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  42. I never expect flawless English from any blogger. Not even the English ones. Because we all make typos here and there, and I think it's more about what you're trying to say, not if you say it in the perfect way. I'm always impressed by international bloggers where English is their second language. I think I probably make more mistakes in my reviews (with typos and such) than other bloggers because I just don't have the type to comb through my posts with such a narrowed eye. And I would hope that other bloggers wouldn't be so picky about things like that. When I read published books, grammar is not on my mind because (to be honest) I know how hard it is for publishers and editors to catch all mistakes. Even online magazines make mistakes. No one is perfect, and I'm reading for content, not perfections. Great discussion, Mel. I've seen people saying things like grammar is something they look for in a blog. (And personally, I don't care about that as long as we can talk books and understand each other) :D

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    1. "and I think it's more about what you're trying to say, not if you say it in the perfect way." YES, exactly this! I also don't pay much attention to it in books. Most of the times I'm so swept away by the story that I don't have the time to look for mistakes.

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  43. I agree! I'm all for clean blog designs and easy ways to follow, but the whole "you can't make grammar mistakes" is kind of ridiculous. There's a decent amount of bloggers who's second language is English, so they can't expect their post to be flawless from top to bottom. I'm one of those, so I always make sure to check my post at least twice before it's posted, but if you DON'T KNOW that whatever you wrote is a mistake, how can you correct it? I don't care much for grammar as long as I can understand what the person is trying to say.

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    1. Haha, yes, you can't correct mistakes you can't see..

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  44. I honestly wouldn't have known English isn't your native language if you hadn't mentioned it. You're doing great!

    In terms of international bloggers in general, I think many have their nationality listed in their sidebar bio, which could help clue readers in that English might not be a native language for them--and readers tend to be pretty forgiving of mistakes once they know that. Also, from my personal experiences with languages, there is often a discernible difference between the grammar mistakes a non-native speaker/writer makes and those someone who just has atrocious grammar makes.

    I won't be turned off from a blog that has typos or errors here and there (and goodness knows I have typos in my posts, too!). I would, however, probably be turned off from a blog that uses a lot of slang or has no subject-verb agreement anywhere. The mistakes have to be frequent and in some subjective way /annoying/ for me to leave.\

    Great discussion!

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    1. Look, typos in my comment! Where's the edit button? ;)

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    2. Haha, and thanks. A lot of people said that and it's making me feel very confident :D

      Yes, I think the mistakes someone makes in another language is very different from lazy mistakes.

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  45. Honestly, grammar and spelling errors aren't my biggest priority when I'm visiting other blogs. It's the content. So, as long as you've gotten your point across, you have nothing to worry about. I think you are doing a great job here and I wouldn't have even known English wasn't your native language if you hadn't told us. :)

    Also, I think people should keep in mind that even published works contain errors, despite how many editors proofread them. I think it's really harsh for blog readers to judge us non-professionals so strongly.

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    1. I'm really going to treasure this post, you guys are awesome :)

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  46. I was going to repeat basically what everyone else did, and then I decided I would just say:

    I LOVE YOUR BLOG AND IF ANYONE COMPLAINS ABOUT GRAMMAR AND UNFOLLOWS YOUR BLOG FOR IT THEY ARE SERIOUSLY MISSING OUT.

    <3.

    (Windows Live Writer -- is that made just for English or can I use it in another language? My language skills suck and I would love a program like that to see whether I even remember the grammar rules from French and Arabic...)

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    1. Haha, you are sweet :D! You can change the settings and add different dictionaries, so that should be possible!

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