Hey indie hackers! Lots of us here are non-natives who work globally. How do you improve your language skills while you don't have much time, and you need to work simultaneously? It is like a chicken and egg problem.
Engage in English-speaking communities. Instead of posting/discussing in your local native-language group, do it in an international group.
Personally, I write all my notes, documentation, description of ideas, articles, project research, etc in English (even if it is not my native language).
Grammarly is definitely a help, to get "feedback" to learn from and do fewer mistakes.
Great, thanks for the answer. Could you please elaborate on what exactly the learning curve looks like when using Grammarly? I am asking because I always felt that it can highlight the specific mistake 100 times, I accept corrections all the time, and then make the same mistake again and again.
This was the main idea of launching an app that will not only fix mistakes, but offer personalized language training based on them. Would you be interested in helping me to test this product?
If I write something that is not correct, I’ll try to figure out why. Google for some explanation, etc. To not make it again. When I do the same error again, then I recall why, and gradually it gets better (at least I hope… :))
Okay, got it. In my product, the main idea is that the writing assistant software fixes your writing and then the language improvement module spots the patterns in your mistakes and recommends specific training. Would you be interested in using such a tool given that the grammar checking quality is on par with Grammarly?
I'm pretty happy with Grammarly as it is, so as of now I wouldn't spend the cognitive load of evaluating other options.
I appreciate the offer to help test but I need to decline because of time prioritization.
When I read news, a book, or listen to a podcast, I try to choose the ones in English. This way I can improve my English as a side effect while consuming entertainment.
Alex, thanks. And what do you do when you read smth online (entertaining copy) and meet some words you don't know?
I usually google 'define [word]'
And if you could just double-click any word on any website to get its definition (thanks to the browser extension), would you be open to using this?
Similar to Paolo, I'd say watching movies & series in English, reading / listening to podcasts in English and try to speak and write as often as you can.
Writing is certainly the hardest and when starting you'll probably have to write copy / blog post etc. This takes a lot of practice to master another language. I use Grammarly when writing longer article.
There's not much other option than practice as much as you can.
Great answer, thanks. And for grammarly, what is your most common use case with them? Do you use Premium account or free plan is enough?
I use the paid one and I use it when writting anything "long", blog post, documentation, website copy.
In short, by practicing English as much as I can.
I read, write, and listen to English content, as well as use grammar and style checking tools like ProWritingAid. I actually read and write in English much more than in my native language.
Hey Paolo, and what is your use case for the PWA? I work on the competing tool, Linguix.com, and this is very valuable info to me.
I purchased ProWritingAid because it has a convenient lifetime plan, good features, and is recommended by writers I respect.
Although I mostly use the Google Docs add-on, I often copy and paste text into the PWA to edit text for documents and platforms other than Google Docs.
ProWritingAid's Chrome extension would be much handier for this, but it has a showstopper: the extension is always active in any text editing field, which gets cluttered with the extension's controls. I'd instead prefer to activate the extension by clicking a button only when needed. Hence my use of the PWA as a workaround.
I can't believe their extension is designed so badly.
Paolo, got it. Could you please try out Linguix extension https://linguix.com/extensions and share your experience to [email protected] I'd be very grateful!
Okay I'll try the extension. Do I need to create a Linguix account?
You can either sign up with email or Google/Apple, etc.