Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Advice for fellow Arab bloggers

I made a recent observation for a fellow blogger recently about the use of language in their English blogs. I hold no claim to perfection, but I think we can all benefit and get our points across much more clearly to the English-speaking world, as Syrians, if we follow the following guidelines:

  • Wait after typing your blog and read it a few hours later to see if it makes sense
  • Check for spelling mistakes (Crucial and I can't tell you how annoying it is for me to spot them)
  • Check for grammatical mistakes, read the article to yourself as "the reader" and see how well structured your argument is
  • Some blogs on Syria planet are extremely well written, read them and copy their style if need be!
  • If you are writing a political blog with lots of essays and articles, read this. I did and it has influenced me considerably! George Orwell is well, you get the picture. He knew what he was talking about when it came to writing in English and I think many of his examples can even apply to those who write their blogs in Arabic.

I hope this helps you all! Any questions, feel free to ask me.

11 comments:

Puppeteer said...

I feel I'm the one targeted. Well, surprise, surprise, but I actually think in Romanian ;)
That's why my English sounds odd. (as a matter of fact, my Arabic is more or less the same, ask Golanya if you don't believe)

Wassim said...

Lak ahlen Puppeteer! Seriously though, my little comment to you earlier on Saroujah inspired me to write this as I thought many other bloggers might find this information useful! There is no targeting taking place here, just useful advice I hope :)

Golaniya said...

Hehe…no I think Wassim means me :D
I still don't take my blog seriously; I have numerous grammatical mistakes and typos. But somehow I don’t care. I think this post is like a spam!! In a positive way though.

Wassim said...

Well I guess if everybody reads it and thinks it refers to them then it seems like it's relevant and useful! Heck I've just read it and I think I should now practice what I preach :P

Puppeteer said...

Mean!

Wassim said...

Why am I mean?

sasa said...

Why Romanian Puppeteer?

It is a useful point Wassim. If we want to have an effect on native English speakers, we have to take ourselves seriously by writing properly. Yazan made a similar comment, when I referred to Fateh Al Islam as 'Hariri funded'. I should've referenced that statement, otherwise it just makes me look like a conspiracy theorist.

But Wassim, many Syrian bloggers don't have English as their first language. And I can tell you for sure, their native English speaking readers would struggle to write two words in Arabic!

Sasa.

Wassim said...

Hi Sasa,
You are absolutely right, most native English speaking readers wouldn't know two words in Arabic. It says much about the fact that we know very much about the West and how it operates, but it does not work the other way around. I still think it would do much good if we made that extra effort and can't hurt at all!

One thing which annoyed me at the Syrian Media Centre conference was how they distributed a fantastic brochure on Syria which could have been great had it not been for the many spelling mistakes and poor structure of the writing. I'm a stickler for detail sometimes and it's annoying I know but it's the little things like this which make a difference between quality and shoddy work.

sasa said...

The Syrian Media is normally quite slick, I don't know if you've seen their newsletter. But it still wouldn't surprise me. Typical SANA disease. Seriously, why do SANA bother.

Silence said...

My first visit to your blog..

I did like it..

Thanks for the tips...

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