First, I only speak and read one language, and that’s American English. It’s my native language. I grew up with it.
I live in San Diego which is close to Mexico and sometimes I’m embarrassed I don’t speak more Spanish, but so far, not enough to really do anything about it.
Although the majority of visitors to this site come from countries where English is the native language, a surprising number come from India, the Philippians, and Africa. In fact Google Analytics tells me people from 135 countries visited this site in the last 30 days speaking some 66 languages.
I know many of you speak and read at least two languages and often more than that. I’m impressed, really.
I occasionally get email from you. Often I can hardly tell that you’re not a native speaker and writer of English which means you can compete for freelance writing jobs in the U.S.
But sometimes it’s so obvious you don’t speak and write English well. Sure, you speak and write it better than I do your language, but not nearly well enough to get paid as a writer here and in other countries that publish in English.
Here is an example:
I read many guiding articles for writers and I really found them interesting. I am a dental student in India and I am interested in freelance writing as I want to become financially independent to some extent. So mam please guide me how can I start as I am not getting any oppurtunity despite of searching for couple of months. Waiting for your guidance. Thankyou.
While the English here is good enough for me to understand what the reader wants, it’s very far from being a sample of writing that’s good enough to sell.
I really didn’t at first know what to do or say when I got this email. It touches me; I want to help. So I thought for a moment, then I tried something I’ve never done before.
I googled hindi writing opportunities. (I had to first look up languages in India to even know what language to try – blush.) There are almost two-million pages. Now I’m sure only a handful or so, have jobs that a native writer in Hindi land and get paid for, but they’re their if you dig.
Next I tried spanish writing jobs. There are millions of pages. Yes, native Spanish speakers can get paid for writing in that language.
And so it is with every language I can think of.
Then I noticed translation which is a whole industry of it’s own. It may well be you don’t speak and write English well enough yet to publish here, but you can start doing some translation.
In other words, look beyond the United States and England for work. Look to your own country and language. Keep working on your English if you want, but don’t overlook writing jobs in your first language. There are lots of opportunities for writers in languages other than English.
Come back here to learn the ins and outs of the writing business, then take those tips and suggestions and become a star in the language you speak best. When your English is really good you’ll be able to write and get paid in both languages.
What languages do you write in?