1. Read in English 看英文书
When you want to master a language, you can never read enough.
The easiest way to get started with reading in English rather than your own language is to pick up a non-fiction[非小说类文学作品] book on a familiar, interesting topic. Non-fiction tends to be easier to follow than fiction (fiction authors use tricky[狡猾的] words to touch their readers’ feelings) and reading about a familiar topic makes it easier to guess what the author is trying to say to you when you don’t quite understand the words he’s using. Don’t use a dictionary unless you really have to—just skip the parts you don’t understand. If you make your reading feel too much like work, you’ll lose the fun in it, and the habit of reading won’t last for long.
2. Listen to native speakers 听英语演说
If you don’t speak English every day, this is rather tricky advice to follow. The Internet comes to rescue here through podcasts[播客] and videos from speaking events. Pick your favorite speakers and listen to them deliver their message. You will learn not only about how they use the language, but also how to captivate[迷住] the audience, and a bit about the topic at hand.
3. When writing in English, think in English 运用英语思维写作
This is one of the biggest things that separates a decent[相当好的] foreign language writer from a lousy one. The lousy writer thinks in his own language and then tries to translate his thoughts to English. But that simply doesn’t work: The idioms, grammar rules, and cultural differences make text written in this manner sound clumsy[笨拙的] and unnatural.
That’s why every time I set out to write in English, I push all my Finnish[芬兰的] thoughts far to the background and don’t even look back. Then I pretend to be English speaking until the work is done and I can move back to my Finnish self.
I suggest you do the same.
4. Write 多写多练
The best way to learn anything is by throwing yourself out there and practicing. In fact, I would give you the same advice even if you were considering writing in your native language. But of course, it’s even more important when writing in some other language.
When you are just starting out with your blogging, you should write something every day to really get your writing routine developed. After a while it’s okay to drop the pace a bit—although even then, if you want to become the best at what you do, keeping up the habit of daily writing helps a lot.
Write in different styles: lists, humorous posts注, serious posts, interviews, and if you have the time, even text that is completely unrelated to your blog. Just to get more practice.
5. Trust your gut[内心的感觉] 跟着感觉走
The human brain is an amazing machine.
This can be a bit scary at first as you don’t know how you have learned the sayings and word plays you are using, and can’t be sure if they are correct or not. Uncertainty[不确定] is the price you have to pay for trying to learn to use the language in a natural way. You just have to go with your gut and trust your brain when words keep popping up[突然出现] that you didn’t know you even knew.
I usually write freely on my first cycle, just trying to get the words and ideas out on paper. And then, on the second round of checking my text, I drop sayings that sound too uncertain to me, or run them through[浏览] a friend to see if they make sense or not. Usually they do.
6. Proofread 校对
When you have finished writing your article and it seems nearly perfect to you, the next thing to do is to check it for typos[打字错误], grammar mistakes, and just some plain weird sounding sentences.
The easiest way for checking for typos is to use a spellchecker[拼写检查程序], but checking for
grammar mistakes is a lot trickier. What I do is that I usually check the grammar first in Microsoft Word or just play it by the ear, depending on how much you trust your own English language skills.
And of course, if you want to play it safe, you can always ask one of your English speaking friends to double check your article.
7. Have English-speaking friends who are not afraid to correct your mistakes 结交肯纠错的外国朋友
The best way to learn to sound like a native is to hang out[出去玩] with them as much as you can. By paying close attention to how they speak, you will learn the sayings they use, the slang, and even the jokes that they throw at you. All of this is important in making your English sound more natural and conversational[对话的] rather than something learned from a book.
Instant messaging[即时通信], e-mailing, or even chatting with them face to face, if possible, are all good ways to learn from friends. And the best part in all of this? You can do it while having a great time getting to know new, interesting people.
8. Study spelling and grammar 学习拼写和语法
Yeah. I admit it, this doesn’t sound like a lot of fun at all. But to achieve greatness, you have to put in some effort. And in the end, the reward of learning and becoming more confident with your writing is really worth it. Go find the books you were using on your English courses back in school, or if you can’t find them, check if there are any good course books at the local library.
If you still want to go one step further, you can enroll[登记] to a language course. Just make sure to pick one that is mostly about creative writing because that will get you moving faster towards your goal.
9. Commas[逗号] and hyphens[连字符]—the tricky buggers[家伙]
Commas are hard. Hyphenation nearly impossible.
The good thing here is that not even the English speaking bloggers always get these things right. But does that mean you don’t have to worry about them? No. If you want to be a great writer, you have to try to practice the hard things as well. All you can do is to learn about using them and then always double check your text to see if your punctuation[标点] is correct.
10. Relax 放松一点
Last comes the most important tip of all: Relax, and enjoy your writing. To be a great writer, you have to put in a lot of effort, but it’s not going to happen overnight. So, while you are practicing, don’t panic[惊慌]. Just write the best content you can with the skill set you have right now. Put it online on your own blog and learn more as you go.
Relax, have fun, and share your thoughts with the world!