Like other talents or abilities, linguistic intuition is highly unevenly distributed. While some students enjoy expression and also learn foreign languages relatively quickly, others are struggling and have to compensate for their lack of talent through great learning efforts.
Listening, speaking, reading, writing
The written skills differ from the oral ones; some are more likely to catch their ears quickly, others prefer to write in peace. Both abilities are divided into an active (speaking or writing skills) and a passive part (listening or reading comprehension).
The available active and passive vocabulary does not say anything about oral expressive skills, such as correct pronunciation and emphasis. In written communication, however, these factors are eliminated.
For this reason, writing appears to many as the simpler way to express oneself. However, it has its own pitfalls: it is not enough to name a few lousy words and infinitives and hope for understanding. Especially in the scientific field, expressive skills are considered an important quality feature.
Good language skills are also interpreted as an indication that the scientific tasks are also handled with care and precision; Even the best-themed scientist forfeits charisma when he is forced to express himself in a language he has insufficient command of.
Ghostwriter as a way out?
Anyone who has ever been embarrassed to have to write a foreign-language text as a student probably knows the problems involved, which will be discussed in more detail in the second part of the series.
Do ghostwriters offer a solution? In the short term, yes: If you need a high-quality text in a foreign language quickly, this task can of course be left to professionals – but in the long term, it will be better to acquire the necessary language qualifications yourself.
Foreign language skills can inspire a career, but lack of knowledge can hinder them.
The problems that arise when writing foreign-language texts include, in particular, the fact that research costs more, and writing costs much more time than with native-language work.
In addition, each language has its peculiarities: no matter how well students keep their language skills – a native speaker will hardly tend to consider the author a native.
This is the case even if the text contains no actual grammatical or content errors; but a slightly unusual word order, the use of a word in an unusual context or the unconscious creation of an ambiguity can be revealing signs.
Of course, all of this is no reason to turn away from writing foreign-language texts – after all, this is the only way to acquire the necessary methodological competence. However, you do not have to make it unnecessarily difficult: there are some hints on how to minimize the problems. These include, for example, the following considerations:
If you are writing in a foreign language, you should also use foreign sources if possible, because it would be very cumbersome to have to translate all technical terms yourself – especially because this threatens new mistakes, especially since the terms in some foreign languages, unlike in German, not from word combinations, but from more complex, several words circumscriptions exist.
It is no shame if the linguistic level is lower than in German texts; Who formulates short, concise sentences is much easier. Also, it is not advisable to first create a German text and then translate this: Some students tend to pack as much as possible in a long German box set, which can then hardly translate.
Also there should have been English-speaking students, whose stay in Germany has proved to be influential in dealing with their own language and which were then asked by the lecturer with the remark “barbaric teutonic!” To change the style of their texts and reduce the sentence length.