My go-to online resources for writing in my second language
Whether it’s a lengthy essay or a simple text message, writing in another language can be quite overwhelming. And while Google Translate is getting better every day, it will never be able to get it all right for you. When students are working on improving their writing skills, my main advice is to read as much as possible in the target language focusing on the type of texts they’d like to produce. And for anyone attempting to write in one of the world’s major languages which is not their first language, here are some great online tools to help.
Type in a phrase or sentence and Linguee searches for translations in the target language. It provides tons of real world examples of how the phrase has been translated in other texts and places. It’s so useful to be able to search phrases as opposed to single words in a dictionary, and to see in-text examples rather than simple word for word translations.
I’ve written about my favourite online dictionary, WordReference, several times before. It’s great because it provides many common phrases for each word, and a space for users to ask for translations in the forums. Most likely your question has already been asked in the WordReference forums but, if not, ask away and you will likely get an answer from a helpful user within minutes!
Designed for language leaners, Lang-8 allows you to enter texts and have them corrected by native speakers. In exchange, you correct texts in your first language for others. It’s great to get feedback from real people and help others in the process!
Do you write in another language using online tools to help? Send us a comment about your go-to resources for writing.