How to Overcome the Fear of Writing in a Foreign Language

Updated: Jul 13

Have you ever thought about why you feel nervous when you intend to write in a foreign language? It is generally assumed that a large number of people would prefer to share their feelings and thoughts with others through speaking rather than writing. It seems that it is a part of reality that cannot be overlooked. The reason lies in the very fact that people often find writing more thought-provoking. This short essay aims to emphasize some main points that may preclude you from putting pen to paper. The points are divided into two main groups namely mental and technical. Subsequently, it will discuss how the fear of writing can be incapacitated.

1. Write as simple as possible. Misunderstandings can easily happen not only in a native language but also in a foreign one. This justifies why the majority of people are afraid of writing in a foreign language. Mentally, some people strain pressure on themselves to write down complex words and sentences. They may presume that it is a way of proving their language skills. However, the fact is that language is considered as a means to communicate with others meaningfully. To convey our thoughts and ideas to others, we should make use of simple and understandable words. Otherwise, we fail to establish secure communication.

2. Stay away from the supposition that you have to be a perfectionist in writing. Another mental impediment that often prevents us from writing is the idea of perfectionism. The matter is that writing is a skill that can be improved gradually. We can never be perfect writers. You can focus on developing your style of writing instead.

3. Acquaint yourself with words and phrases of a foreign language. Sometimes, the fear of writing finds its roots in not knowing significant terms and expressions of a language other than our mother tongue. The language of a nation is the language of its culture. Getting to know a new culture requires us to gain knowledge of its language. Technically, the exchange of ideas cannot be effectively completed unless we become familiar with the idioms, phrases, and vocabularies of a language.

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