Look, it can be difficult at the best of times. We build a business, we design our marketing strategies, we plot a consumer journey. Along the way we update our LinkedIn profiles with our latest endeavours: projects, employers and opportunities. We will sometimes even comment on our connections’ posts! Whether they be in Dutch or English, it doesn’t matter because we master the English language like the pro that we are.
Or do we?
A quick stroll through LinkedIn (my own connections as well as others) reveals a different truth. LinkedIn profiles and job descriptions, blogs and articles, job opportunities and pitches for products and services: many are rife with spelling and grammar mistakes. The worst? Dutchisms.
“We will look what there is possible.”
And then there are a great many phrases that are not readily a dutchism yet recognisable for their Dutch counterpart, and somehow it is just not how you would put it in English. Those intricacies of language is where it matters. It shows your (intended) audience not only that you do not have full mastery of their language – which may be understandable in itself – but subconsciously it also prompts them to believe that you do not quite master the subject at hand either. That is how the human brain works: we see faulty language and we connect it to our expectations of a persons capability, however unfair that may be.
But don’t worry.
It happens. We know.
And that’s okay.
We cannot be good at everything we do. You are an entrepreneurial mastermind, not a linguistic champion! We understand. In fact, I have the exact same when it comes to German or French, or understanding taxes. Something about hearing the bell toll without knowing the whereabouts of the clapper. I get that too – but never in English.
Luckily, as entrepreneurs we have another skill that is highly useful in these instances: we have judgement. We have the ability to decide when it would be useful, or even necessary, to ask for back-up. We know people in our networks who can take a look at our texts, English and Dutch, and make sure they’re correct and proper and just as attractive as they were intended. Use these people. They can make a difference for your international networks.
Don’t know anyone like that?
Before Ninja ’n Son was conceived as a company, both Ninja and Son(ja) decided to have their English skills certified. We took the Cambridge CPE (Certificate of Proficiency in English) exam and had a lot of fun doing it. We both passed with flying colours: a full grade A certification. That means that whatever you throw at us in English, we will catch – and throw back at you with correct grammar, spelling and vernacular. Because that is how we roll.
We have extensive experience with all kinds of English text, ranging from (business) blogs to European funding applications, commercial copy and personal testimonials. Want us to check out your English? Translate your text, letter, or website? Don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re good, quick and reliable. Promise.