28 Jul 6 Ways to Tell Your Content Was Not Written by Americans
These days, many small business owners and entrepreneurs hire article writers and seo writing companies. Using freelance writers gives them the freedom to run their businesses without worrying about online marketing.
But, you need high quality writing to get your message across to your target audience clearly. However, when your hire article writers that aren’t native English speakers, you receive content that is written by a non-native English speaker. This, unfortunately, can come across as choppy and foreign-sounding. And, that diminishes the quality of the content itself.
6 Tips to Spotting Content Written by Non-Native English Speakers
So, how can you tell that your SEO content was written by someone whose first language is not American English? Here are six ways to help you spot “foreign” content writing:
1. Present Tense Errors
Confusing the two present tenses is a very common mistake made by non-American content writers. They are as follows:
- Present simple – Used to for regular/repeated activities, facts and general statements, such as “I do something.” Examples: I am a freelance writer. I do freelance writing. My small business creates SEO content.
- Present continuous – Used for temporary things, incomplete events and ongoing situations, such as “I am doing something.” Examples: I am learning to be an entrepreneur. I am working in the online marketing industry. My team is leading the online marketing world.
2. Past Tense Errors
As a native English speaker, there are times when the past simple tense is the way to go. However, when content is written by a non-native American English speaker, present perfect tense is often used incorrectly.
Where an American may write “I did that,” a foreign writer may write “I have done that.” The mistake here is that the present perfect tense should only be used to describe past events. Yet, they are relevant to the present time, such as “I have never plagiarized content.”
3. Mistakes Related to The Future
The English language uses four different structures when it comes to talking about the future:
- Future tense – Describes something that will happen, such as “I will write high-quality content” or “It will be hot tomorrow.”
- Going to – Describes intentions and plans, such as “The entrepreneur is going to launch a new product” or “We are going on a trip next year.”
- Present continuous – Describes future plans, such as “We are meeting with the client next week.”
- Present simple – Describes time sensitive events, such as “The train comes in at midnight” or “The concert tour starts this weekend.”
4. Preposition Mistakes
Many foreign languages don’t use prepositions. However, they are essential to the English language. Many English nouns and verbs depend on prepositions to convey ideas properly.
There are also times when non-native English speakers use prepositions incorrectly or use them when they’re not needed at all. If you read content that seems to misuse prepositions, there’s a strong possibility it was not written by an American.
5. Endless Paragraphs and Long Sentences
When Americans speak, we make pauses here and there. As a high-quality content writer, it’s important that those pauses shine through in the forms of commas and periods. Non-native English speakers have tendencies to write long, continuous content with no pauses. And, many who do use commas, abuse them by adding them all over the place.
For one thing, this is very unpleasing to the eyes. Your audience needs to be able to scan through the content, without feeling overwhelmed by the text. It also makes your content a boring read, as boring as it would be to listen to someone talking on and on and on with no pauses whatsoever.
6. Dictionary & Thesaurus Errors
High-quality writing means making your content unique. Often, this means finding various words to use to translate specific terms. Many foreign writers turn to the dictionary or thesaurus to find these words. They simply look through a list of words and choose one. But, they have no idea that although the word may have the same meaning, Americans just don’t use it in the same way.
The word “translate” is a prime example. Although decipher is listed as a synonym in MS Word’s thesaurus, no native American would say, “I need my online content deciphered from English to Spanish.” But, a non-American writer would in a heartbeat. This is a serious clue that your content was not written by an American.
Does your content sound foreign? We can fix that! Contact Jenn Marie Writing & Marketing today to have your content edited and refreshed