Jon D. emailed me this question.
I’ve noticed many Filipinos are at about 90-95% with their grammar, which is usually great.
The customers of one of my businesses can be a bit … jingoistic (they tend to be older and more conservative). I’m wondering if you have any recommendations for helping your team to improve their grammar or sound “more American”?
My answer to that was:
You’re right, most are 90-95%.
I have a couple thoughts.
1. I’ve seen multiple people who work for me improve their grammar over the years. They weren’t perfect. Now they are. I’m not sure what happened.
2. I’ve hired a number of people over the years with perfect English. 100%. If you recruit well and are careful with it, it’s not that hard to find these people.
I asked my OFS’ how they improved their grammar over the years. They all gave me the same answer: assimilation.
I send them a lot of training videos and emails. They all got used to the way I write and the way I talk. That influenced their grammar.
Another OFS added that having a comfortable salary also helped. She subscribes to Netflix and Amazon which gives her access to so many American TV shows and movies. She also reads a lot of books written by American authors.
Last but not least, I think feedback also helps. I tell my writers when I notice their phrasing is a bit off. It doesn’t sound weird to them so I have to point it out so they know what to avoid.
– “Fill up the form” – we say “Fill OUT the form”
– “You can avail of this…” – we say “You can take advantage of this…” or “you can get this…” I finally just said “don’t use the word ‘avail’. It’s technically correct, but we just don’t use it.”
Small corrections like these can go a long ways toward helping them sound more like you.
Do you have tips or things you’ve done to help your OFS improve? Please reply.