Non-native English speaker. How much of a problem can it be?

Hey there.
In my country I’m a published author, but all my works have always been in my native language. However, since I’m a university student of English language and literature, my English should be pretty advanced. I’d love to write a book in AmE English, but obviously I can’t use all the nuances, language puns and informal idioms that are normally used in spoken English.
Would it possibly be a problem for you to read and enjoy content written in “academic” English?

I would like to add that the story is set in the contemporary era/near future, and that no location is specified other than a generic “United States”.


I think you should be good, you will need some good beta testers, as sometimes some words or sentences from our native language does not translate the same in English.

I had testers telling me that this sentence doesn’t make sense, when it would in my native language. I’m a French speaker.

So go for it, and just have some testers on hand :slight_smile:


Hi Daleko –

Many of our community members and authors (of both HG and CoG titles) are non-native English speakers, so I would urge you to develop your game.

Your writing experience will be a huge benefit for you, although you should still get many different readers to test your game and provide feedback, so that you can then make any adjustments needed.

There are also many different grammar and spelling apps and sites available to help you as well, so I’d recommend looking at those too.


Don’t see why that would be an issue, use of informal terms in English aren’t all that common in these books from what I’ve seen anyway, the forum attracts readers from all over after all so probably better that way, many of said people won’t have English as their first language either so I wouldn’t worry about too much. First and foremost you want to focus on your story and let everything else fall into place afterwards. :grin:


I can pretty much only repeat what has already been said. Look out for good beta testers (those that are native speakers and are willing to take a look at grammar too) and you should be good to go :slight_smile: (hi from someone from a non-English speaking country, who is also currently writing on a wip!) ^^


Yeah, why not? Go for it. Most of the forum users here aren’t native English speakers as well. Many published authors here aren’t too. So you would be fine. Probably.

As others have said before me, use beta-testers and editors if you run into any problem. We’ll be happy to lend you a hand if you need it.


Woah, thanks everyone! I wasn’t expecting such positive responses, I was rather worried about being told to give up. You gave me a big boost of confidence. Thanks again, I hope I can create something fun and interesting for this great community!


I’m gonna agree with everyone here, Daleko. You should start writing your game, and, considering that you studied advanced english on these stages, you should be well equipped to follow through with it. Even a couple native speakers as beta-testers would probably go a long way helping you. I learned English as a second language, too, and, in my case, two problems to watch out for are: accidentally spelling a word with too many or too little consonants, and using very samey expressions when something more elaborate might be called for. Luckily, I think there are plenty of sites that can help with those two vices


Idiomatic expression is the sort of problem that can be readily solved in editing. I do find that non-native speaking writers sometimes include literally translated idioms that are unfamiliar to native English speakers. However, given the English language itself is so widespread and diverse in its dialect, it’s just as easy to run into “authentic” English idioms that are regionally-specific and unfamiliar.

Bottom line is, you should be fine.


Wow, everyone is so supportive, that’s cool! I’m actually lurking here with the same question in mind, as I’m not native too, and hope someday I can start writing my own old idea. But it’s too early, unfortunately, I still struggling with the complex grammar. Anyway, good luck to you, and as was previously said, it’s a huge experience, go for it!


Thank you! :slight_smile:
I’d suggest you to read as many English novels as you can. Reading actually improves a lot your grammar comprehension as well. Moreover, I’d prefer e-books, since a lot of e-readers have in-builts vocabularies and automatic translators. Best of luck to you!


Thanks to you too! Yeah, that is exactly what I’m doing here - reading and probing, so to say. Hope to see your WiP here in a future!

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Oh, and also about grammar comprehension, actually I don’t notice grammar I just understand it from context I suppose, so when I need to write, I’m confused mostly. So, unfortunately, I think I have no choice but to cram it…:sob:

It likely won’t be an issue. Lots of games here (including some that are already published!) are written by non-native English speakers! Plus, there are plenty of native English speakers (cough cough like me and my fellow grammar freaks cough) that would likely be willing to help if you need it!


Haha, thank you! :grin:
I think I’ll write at least the first couple of chapters before posting the WIP here, I want to be sure it’s enjoyable enough even as an alpha version.


I might not even be able to tell the differences :rofl:


Non-native english speakers writing in english is just fine for 99.999% of people as long as they grasp the fundamentals, which you clearly do. The most probable hiccup would be with dialogue, I struggle with writing in character dialogue and expressions in anything besides my own native tongue (idioms, unusual/overly formal grammar, etc.) but so long as you have a native speaker proof read your work and give you suggestions it should be great, looking forward to your work!