How To Write In A Foreign Language

Previous articles in these pages have discussed techniques for improving one’s speaking, reading, and listening abilities in a foreign language.  This focus is understandable, as most language students will have as their primary goal the speedy acquisition of conversational proficiency.  Until now, however, little attention has been paid to the area of written proficiency:  that is, how to improve one’s abilities to write compositions in a foreign language.  It is a neglected topic that merits discussion.  Writing proficiency is, after all, the capstone of language mastery; and the ambitious student will not shy away from accepting this challenge.  Sooner or later, there will be occasions when we will need to write, in our target language, a letter, email, resume, a short essay, or some other extended composition.

The arts of composition and translation involve a different set of skills than those required for speaking and listening.  Prose composition sharpens the linguistic abilities, focuses our artistic impulses, and drives us to discipline our wayward grammar.  We will discuss some general principles that will provide a foundation for future study.

Composition is the art of rendering a passage from one’s native language (for most readers here, English) into the target language.  From the start, the student must be guided by attention to the following three things:  (1) precision of expression; (2) grammatical accuracy; and (3) grace of style.  Precision of expression is the ability to write passages that accurately convey the meaning and spirit of the original.  Grammatical accuracy is fidelity to all the nuances and minutiae of our target language’s rules, syntax, and orthography.  Grace of style is the ability to write a passage that is more than just a clumsy, wooden reproduction of the original English.  Stylistic elegance is an art attained only by constant practice and exposure to good writings in our target language.

Ideally, our goal should be to produce a composition that a native speaker might recognize as something linguistically honorable and worthy of his own pen.  How to achieve these three elements of good composition?  We will discuss each of them in greater detail.


Precision Of Expression

Precision of expression is essentially the efficient use of words, phrases, clauses, and sentences to convey the meaning of the original English into the target language.  One must develop an instinct of what is correct or preferred usage, and what is not.  A helpful technique here is the concept of the exemplar:  we must seek out paragons of written style in our target language, and strive to write like them.  Precise expression first begins with imitation.  A writer works with his target language in the same way that a pizza-maker rolls and stretches his dough:  handling skills must first come from imitation of a master, combined with constant practice.

Every language has writers or sources that are generally considered paragons of good style.  Our task is to seek out such exemplars of style, and imitate them, in order to acquire a feel for what is good.  We cannot produce good words if we are not reading good words.  I would suggest here that students seek out the most respected news and current affairs websites in their target language, and constantly read the short articles or essays found there.  The language of the modern media is vital to master.  In the modern media will be found the most current words, expressions, cultural references, idioms, metaphors, and concepts of the day.  This can be supplemented by reading one or more excellent modern literary authors in the target language.  Short stories or books of children’s fables are well suited for this purpose.

The student of Brazilian Portuguese, for example, might study and imitate the written styles found in the articles of the website for O Globo; the student of Arabic, Al Jazeera; the student of Latin, the writings of Caesar, Livy, Celsus, Quintilian, or Augustine, as well as the excellent Nuntii Latini website.  Every language has such recognized media sites or respected stylistic masters.  When reading these articles or passages, we should take particular note of cultural references, common constructions, and idiomatic expressions that cannot be found in textbooks.  A good exemplar should produce writing that is lucid, relatively simple, and vigorous.


Prose is preferred to poetry.  The language of poetry does not make for good style, and should be avoided.  Poets write for aesthetic effect, and their constructions (often employing archaisms and unusual words or word order) do not conform to standard usage.  We should also avoid using excessively colloquial usages, as well as very antiquated language.  Such things are fine for quotations, but not as models of proper written style.  In general, older writers have a more solid, consistent masculine force, in contrast to much of the rather insipid and undisciplined writing encountered today.

Grammatical Accuracy

Grammatical accuracy is a function of two quantities:  syntax (the arrangement of words and phrases in proper order), and orthography (correct spelling).  Here again, correct grammar can only be acquired by constant exposure to our good exemplars, as noted above.  In the beginning stages of composition, it will be necessary to follow (slavishly if necessary) our exemplars in all they do.  Once a firm footing has been achieved, we can bring our own “personality” to bear on our compositions.  Grammar and construction drills done in language textbooks are a good start here, but they must be followed up by actual exposure to passages from good exemplars.

Grace Of Style

Grace of style is perhaps the area in which talent or innate ability has the most leeway.  To compose or translate well, one must himself be a good stylist.  A good translation stands as a work of art unto itself; and even a mediocre piece of writing may be elevated by a spirited rendition in another language.  The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, for example, was little known in the West until Edward Fitzgerald’s masterful translation of the original Persian brought it to life.

In general, the following common stylistic pitfalls are to be avoided:  (1) a monotonous series of short, staccato sentences; (2)  repetitious use of the same constructions or words; (3) clumsy arrangement of words that might not be pleasing to a native speaker; (4) improperly balanced sentences where one or more subordinate clauses do not properly connect to the main idea of the sentence.  A good test of stylistic grace is to read your composition aloud to a native speaker.  If he or she winces during your delivery, you will know what needs to be corrected.  There are foreign language listservs, chatrooms, and interactive websites where students can find immediate (and brutal) feedback on their writing efforts.


From my own experience, the following points also should be kept in mind:

1.  Beware irregular verbs, metaphors, and idiomatic expressions.  Every language has its own vexatious irregular verbs.  Unfortunately for us, the most difficult irregular verbs are also the most commonly used ones (e.g., verbs of saying, thinking, being, giving, having, going, being able to, wanting, putting, coming, bringing, etc).  We must be especially sensitive to such verbs and to their correct employment.  Proper use comes only with practice, cultural exposure, and attention to detail.

2.  Do not be afraid of the language.  Use a wide variety of constructions:  passive voice, indirect statements, subjunctive mood, and others.  Some commenters offer artificial “rules” that say you should or should not use certain types of stylistic flourishes (e.g., “avoid the passive voice”).  This view is unreasonably narrow-minded, and restricts the expressive beauty of the target language.  My personal advice, which I will enjoin, is to dive in, roll around in your language’s words and phrases, bathe yourself in them, and use whatever you will.  Nearly anything is fair game, as long as it is pleasing to the palate.  As Virgil says (Aeneid. III.436) we must “repeat, and urge, and repeat again.”

3.  Translate thoughts, not exact words.  Any written passage can be seen as both a construct of words, and as a construct of ideas.  We must be mindful of the whole, while showing deference to the constituent parts.  Before translating a passage, read it through completely to get a sense of its full meaning.  Do not try to aim constantly for a literal translation.  Our goal should be a translation that is faithful to the original wording, but not just a pale imitation of it.  Different languages have quite different ways of expressing the same idea, and we must not try to force our target language into accepting the same constructions of our mother tongue.

4.  Beware the computer.  Online translation services like Google Translate, and commercially available software translation services, are limited.  I have nothing against these services per se—I use them myself—but we should be mindful of their limitations.  Google Translate simply cannot produce a product that is both grammatically correct and stylistically pleasing.  They may be fine for short, simple sentences, but you cannot rely on these computer crutches.  I was recently reminded of the severe limitations of the computer when I bought a software dictation package (which I will not name here).  It supposedly could render one’s spoken words into coherent written text.  In practice, it was nearly useless, turning out only streams of gibberish.

On the other hand, the internet has opened up opportunities for Skype-related interactions and tutoring with native speakers.  I have no personal experiences with such services, but anecdotal accounts related to me thus far have been positive.

5.  Free yourself from your resources.  Too much reference to your dictionary or grammar books will only deflect your progress.  Cut loose from your moorings, and sail freely in these rough waters.  No dictionary or grammar book can give you a precise knowledge of what word or phrase to use in a particular circumstance.  The best preparation for composition is, as I have already said, the reading of vast amounts of text in your target language.  You will never be able to ride your composition bicycle until you remove your training wheels.  It is not a legitimate excuse to plead that one does not have the time to master these arts.  It is only a matter of will and priorities.  Effective study takes far less time than is generally believed, and the rewards far exceed anything that can be generated by idle leisure.

I will say one final word on these matters.  We should be mindful of Quintilian’s admonition (Inst. Orat. XII.3) on the importance of good character in speaking and writing well.  He sagely counsels us that

No one can be a proper orator unless he speaks with honor, knows honor, and hears honor.

Nothing good, in other words, will flow from our mouth or pen unless we ourselves are good and decent men.  This should be our ultimate object.  For our writing, as well as our speaking, is a mirror of our soul and of its mortal health.

Read More:  Learning A Language Is The Ultimate Act Of Self-Improvement

49 thoughts on “How To Write In A Foreign Language”

  1. Writing in any language is a worthy endeavor. Writing in any language is a worthy endeavor.
    Sadly many lack a sense of form or style even in their native language.
    When writing in a foreign language don’t fear making mistakes. Expect it but keep writing nevertheless.
    A bit of inspiration….
    For neither Vladimir Nabokov nor Joseph Conrad was English their native tongue but both managed to write masterpieces in their adopted language. Perhaps being foreign was enough of a discomfort or challenge and helped free them from the cliche that limits the style of mere natives.
    Keep growing and writing brothers!

    1. Speaking of Nabokov, I wonder when RoK will publish an article on Lolita game. I’m sure a lot of us are interested in netting younger girls, and it would be great to see a guide on how to do so in countries without draconian age restrictions.

  2. Hamsterese is the hardest foreign language to write in, in my opinion. It takes many years to understand this bizarre language that is unorganized and inconsistent.

  3. Quintus, I come back to ROK, just to read your articles…bro you can deliver…
    As far as languages, it is my specialty. I speak 4 of them fluently, and working on my English right now…
    أنا أتكلم العربية
    Je parle français (avec la cédille messieurs)
    I speak english
    Yo puedo hablar espanol
    And learning 中国人
    So far English is the hardest…not kidding-).
    And I can say now after living in the US for a while and experienced the world a bit.
    American girls are at the bottom of the barrel. Who would marry one?
    Brothers from America, you are not really helped these days.

    1. Blackwaterpark,
      Thanks for your comment. I hope you find the composition tips here useful for your studies.
      Remember that daily practice and exposure to the target language is the most important way to achieve mastery. But it looks like you’re well on your way there already. Good work.

    2. It’s been said that English is a language that lurks in dark alleys, beats up other languages, and rifles through their pockets for spare vocabulary.

        1. Chinese has what – 600 characters? Difficult for an outsider who wasn’t drilled in it as a Chinese youth. Very hard to function there without proficiency. The little yellow man doesn’t really need a great wall to keep outsiders out and their race a billion pure. Their impossible language IS THEIR GREAT WALL. German is the easiest and most phoenetic. If German was the language of China they would have long ago been consumed by all but sea creatures and would resemble the village people.

  4. I found the most difficult thing about becoming a native level speaker/writer was forging an emotional connection to the language. Time, exposure and preferably immersion is what’s required for that. Simply knowing what words to use in a foreign language don’t do them justice. You’re bound to use the wrong words, use strong words too soon or too often or are unable to convey your emotional connection to what it is you are trying to say (indifferent, interested or passionate about a subject).
    くたばれ (Kutabare) means nothing to me, uttering or being told fuck you invokes at least some sense of emotion , donder op (native to me) gets an emotional response 100% of the time.
    Great read.

    1. Ah, so you’ve went looking for 日本語 curse words and didn’t find any. Japanese is highly contextual and foreigners are not even looked at with low expectation to pick up on it. Hell, they’ll often see it as a humerous incident if they do.

      1. I think you missed my point. I’ve learned enough French & German in school to get by when I am on vacation. I picked up some Japanese when I was there last October. When speaking those languages all I did was string together a bunch of sounds I had learned to make myself understood.
        I grew up speaking Dutch and now live in an English speaking country. The first few years English felt the same as the languages above. A bunch of sounds I used & interpreted to communicate. It took a long time for me to have those sounds turn into words and eventually turn into meanings that touched the same senses and emotions as my native Dutch had done when I was growing up in the Netherlands.
        As far as Japanese being contextual, I understand that. Most (all?) languages are to varying degrees. When the sole issue becomes recognizing context you’re already well past the science of consciously deciphering sounds to form words you then have to translate.

  5. Ive been working on a second language for a couple years now. But besides actually being around people who speak that language and further more having them converse with you and try to teach you (Im a big white guy) I find it hard to retain and actually be fluid in that language. Famous quote of “if you dont use it you loose it” kind of deal. Is there a better way in trying to learn a second language then straight up moving to a country that uses that language as their first?

    1. I’m fluent in 3 languages and I can assure you that the only way to learn a foreign language is to sit down at your desk and spend hours upon hours upon days memorizing words and sentence clichés. And then you go out and try it on native speakers. There is no other way.

      1. That pretty much sums it up. 99% of it is brutal work. Not many guys are willing to do what it takes to make it happen.
        But then again, that’s pretty much the same story for any worthy goal.

        1. Correct. And don’t listen to destructive advice or excuses from people who don’t speak a foreign language. For example, I’m from Europe so I’ve had more than one person tell me “Yeah, but for you it was easy to learn several languages because in Europe you’re in the middle of all kinds of languages.”. This is incorrect. That’s like saying that it’s easy for an English speaking Canadian to learn French because one province in Canada is French (Québec). It does not make it easier. Think about it: if you live in California and you receive a few Spanish channels on your tv, how often do you view those channels? How often does an English speaking Canadian view French channels, even though he receives them on his cable box? The same goes for Europe: it’s not because there are languages around you that you are automatically exposed to them. What you do is you sit down at your desk, you kill all distractions, you memorize words, and you do it for hours, days, months and years, and only then do you become fluent in a foreign language.

      2. If you’re single, get a girlfriend who is a native speaker. You will still need to spend some time on your own studying structure, vocabulary, idioms and syntax, but all of those things are much easier to retain once you’ve trotted them successfully past a lady friend.
        It is so much more fun watching and being corrected by a beautiful face, as opposed to learning from an ugly old professor and sitting at a desk.
        Mastering the spoken language will come MUCH more quickly this way.

  6. I would like to take this opportunity to remind us here that proper mastery of a foreign language is not simply a matter of learning how to express known thoughts to others. It also acts as a genuine gateway into the comprehensive worldview of the other. By thus accessing a rich foreign Weltanschauung through the medium of language, you literally end up perceiving aspects of reality to which you were previously blinded, as well as (possibly) recognizing the respective blind spots proper to the new culture you have just begun exploring. This, in turn, contributes to enriching your overall epistemological and phenomenological constituency immensely, and is also a key factor in making you a genuinely erudite and well-rounded person, whom others endowed with appropriate levels of education will rapidly recognize as a whole other individual. Thanks for the great primer Quintus!

  7. I actually think speaking is the highest achievement, if you can speak well in formal and informal settings. To know a language well enough to write a well-polished novel would be an accomplished feat, I suppose, but for the most part your writing will consist of formal, albeit routine, tasks. I regularly wrote polished, formal letters in French and Italian for my previous employer, and received compliments from our foreign suppliers (who were surprised that an American bothered to try writing in their tongue, let alone do it well). I could probably write scholarly articles in full academic style in four languages (God knows I’ve gotten plenty of practice reading them!); but I could only hold my own in an intimate, intellectual conversation in two (English and Spanish). Even then, I sometimes have to describe a concept if I don’t know the word for it.
    I was fairly fluent in Spanish by my sophomore year of high school. But a trip abroad, and a job in a small market, immediately taught me that I knew a very formal, bookish Spanish. I would be saying things like “devolveré enseguida,” when I had done better to say “regreso pronto,” or “fracasó gravemente” when I had done better to say “se llevó calabazas.” Learning how to speak fluidly in both formal and informal settings was more difficult, in my opinion, than learning how to write an acceptably formal and elegantly stated prose.
    And of course, now that I’m into Greek and Latin, the mark of true mastery is precisely the spoken use of these languages. The languages are so grammatically structured, and so out of common usage, that they are almost exclusively literary languages. Even to study prose composition is a mark of some significant achievement in the languages, since most people since the 60s only bother trying to read them. The languages have become mere source material for literary theory and criticism, and the people working with them are often completely disinterested in the pleasure of philology for its own sake – to the point where they can’t even read well on their own. They have to consult commentaries and dictionaries every few seconds – these are professors!
    In this abyss of intellectual achievement, to have so mastered their grammar as to speak them on the spot, is a feat that maybe 2% of Classical philologists even bother trying. Not that long ago, many clerics could still manage it; my bishop studied at Louvain’s Seminary in the very last years when lectures were still given in Latin. He could speak Latin and ancient Greek with ease. Nowadays, I have a small group of four people who meet for the purpose of speaking in Latin. We progress somewhat slowly and haltingly, but with practice we hope to get better. When I think how sharply educational standards have fallen in two generations – the Boomers’ fault, like so much of the pan-crisis at present! – it amazes me that my bishop is fluent in two dead languages, while my professors have no ability to speak them, and I am having to claw my way up out of the pit with grueling effort and slow results. I’m not even bothering to try speaking ancient Greek, yet; I figure we’ll see about that when I make some real progress with the Latin!
    Long story short: I think that true facility in speaking a language can be an higher accomplishment than an acceptably polished, formal prose style. In fact, I think that may be one of the first things that a moderately proficient student of another tongue could manage to attain. Of course, some minds work differently; perhaps it is simply my experience of learning a language, that made the writing and the formal speaking come more easily than the comfortable and accurate ability to switch between various registers of formality in the spoken tongue.

    1. This is a fantastic comment, and one I take very seriously. Among the many great points here, I like these:
      1. Oral proficiency can be considered just as much an acme of skill as written proficiency. Absolutely true. I had no intention of elevating one skill over another. My major goal in this article was to show that writing skills are far more neglected than speaking skills. Writing may not be as commonly used, but it is still a language skill we need to master.
      2. Classical languages. There are still immersion programs where Latin and Greek can be taught as if they were still being spoken. Watch the great Luigi Miraglia here lecturing in Latin at Rome’s Academia Vivarium Novum:

      3. Speaking Latin is not a big deal. It’s a language like any other. In fact, you will learn it faster if you treat it as if it were still being spoken. I recommend Traupman’s “Conversational Latin for Oral Proficiency” plus Terence’s plays as good ways to improve this ability. I have no knowledge of Greek, but I do have a good command of Latin.
      4. There is a good listserv for Latin that you can get on if you want. All of the writing is in Latin, and most of it is very good. Interestingly, most of the scholars seem to be Eastern Europeans.
      5. I do agree with you that the preceding generations ruined the humanities curricula by dumbing everything down and taking away our classical heritage. I have spent a lot of effort, time, and money to make myself as well-versed in this field as possible.

      1. Yes, my graduate advisor recently sent me a link to a scholarship being offered to attend the Vivarium. Alas, I’m too old for the scholarship and, as a monk, am not likely to find the money to go anytime soon! It’s too bad, because it is exactly the education I would have wanted.
        After years of regular prayer (privately and in the Divine Office) in Latin, I am capable of rattling off Latin fairly fluently, in a post-classical style within a limited range of vocabulary. I find that I still have difficulty speaking in a very polished, classical Latin that draws upon my less-familiar vocab. I can rattle of the post-classical Latin because I have read, prayed and chanted so much of it, that I don’t have to generate forms based on my knowledge of morphology right on the spot; I simply know how to say what I want to say from constant usage. When I go outside my familiar syntax and vocab into a more classical idiom, I have to struggle a bit more. Practice will make perfect, though.
        I do have Traupmann’s book, and get much pleasure from it. Thanks also for the tip regarding Terence; I haven’t read any of him, yet. I taught myself Latin by sitting down with an introductory Latin grammar, a 10th century Sacramentary and a 9th century prayerbook, forcing myself not to move on from one page to the next until I had understood everything on it. From there I started studying the Fathers. When I got into my Master’s program and had to study for qualifying exams, I hadn’t even read Caesar or Cicero. Only Virgil, Ovid and Livy! By some miracle I received an “high pass” on my Latin qualifying exam – which was good, because it was one less thing to do, but bad, because it removed from me the terrifying impetus to devour mountains of good, classical Latin authors – Terence amongst them.
        What’s the listserv you mention? I know of a news site (run, again, mostly by Eastern Europeans) that puts out the daily news in Latin; someone in Norway was also doing telecasts of the news in Latin, if I remember right.
        Thanks for the kind reply and the tips. If I could ask for one more: I’ve noticed you have a good, all-around grasp of history and philosophy. I had a decent enough grasp on these things by the time I had a spiritual epiphany in my early twenties, since which time I have focused almost exclusively upon theology, with a bit of Aristotelian and Platonic thought thrown in. As a seminarian, I am neck-deep in theological manuals, Thomism, etc., and don’t have much time to do a leisurely and detailed reading of many different works on history and philosophy. Do you have a reading list you could recommend, of some of the books you have found most useful and comprehensive for someone who wants to cultivate a deeper knowledge of history and philosophy, but whose leisure-time is fairly tightly budgeted?

        1. Cui Pertinebit:
          For a fast overview of history, use H.G. Wells’s “Outline of History.” It’s old but still very, very good. If you want something more detailed, I would use Will Durant’s “Story of Civilization”
          For philosophy, a good overview of the major Western philosophers is Durant’s “Story of Philosophy”.
          Good summaries of these subjects can also be found from the Cambridge Universitiy Press, if you search under them as publishers.
          And like I said, using drama as a way of getting a grasp of spoken Latin is a good technique. Terence is considered a master of style. Plautus has a huge body of work also, and you should look at him too. The Loeb Classical Library has re-translated most of works in parallel Latin-English versions, and this is a great help. Seneca also wrote decent plays that you can find at the Loeb Series.

        2. Thanks for the recommendations, my friend. I have to say, we worked a lot with the Cambridge Companion to Aristotle this past year in my Greek class, and found it immensely disappointing. Scholars were writing articles that made little attempt to explain Aristotle, and far too great an attempt to justify their own ideas with disjointed citations of Aristotle. Maybe their other stuff will be better, though.
          I had read some of Seneca’s letters, but didn’t know he had even written plays. Our director of Graduate Studies happens to be an expert on Plautus and Terence, so I’ll have to tackle those and take advantage of his experience.

        3. Camaldolese would be the best description of it. I’m Catholic, but my hermitage is not incorporated into the governing structure of the larger orders; Camaldolese spirituality makes room for a half-way point between eremitical and cenobitic (community) life, under the Rule of St. Benedict’s spirit of moderation. I was tonsured a monk by my bishop, and my hermitage is in the process of becoming an institute of diocesan right.
          The past century saw the invasion of modernism and all its falsehoods into the very bosom of the Church. What many men have dubbed “Churchianity,” as I gather, eclipsed the true doctrine and nature of the Church. I believe that the Virgin predicted this crisis was to come, in her apparition at Fatima. I know some will think that religion or credence in the supernatural is a sign of idiocy or effeminacy, but, predictably, I disagree. The apparition at Fatima is striking to me, for the public notoriety of its miraculous events, and for the accuracy of its predictions about the 20th century: that Russia’s errors would eventually contaminate the entire Earth (Communism, Socialism, Progressivism), even putting the “Church in eclipse,” pitting the highest ranks of the clergy against each other in a major apostasy, dragging them and many thousands of the laity who blindly followed them into hell. I would say that is exactly what has been happening in Western civilization for the past 60 years or so. For that reason, I found it impossible to simply join one of the established orders, which have all been appropriated by the modernists, and became an hermit instead.
          Anyway, I realized some of the red pill truths about women a long time ago, but I also believe very firmly that a man needs to be honorable and virtuous. I was not willing to marry in the current culture, and I was also not willing to become an hedonist or sexual opportunist. I realized celibacy and a life lived in pursuit of manly virtue and the supreme Good was the only honorable path I could take, as a man in my position. I also realized that the monks preserved Western civilization the first time it went through a crisis, and we’ll need some of them around to do it again. I’m glad to volunteer for the job. I’ve amassed a library that covers the basic elements of mathematics, medicine, philosophy, law, etc., and I’ve tried to retain competence in basic mathematics (to algebra/trig), scientific knowledge and logic. I’ve got a library of many Classical and Patristic texts in the original Greek or Latin, and have undertaken the study of Greek and Latin as the key to the Western tradition. Also, frankly, I wanted to understand the authentic teachings of the Church before the modernists started disseminating their nonsense, always unofficially, in the 60s. Greek and Latin have helped with that – which, I’m sure, is why the modernists were so eager to banish Latin from the liturgy and the seminaries. I hope to God that there will be no call for me to preserve these things through a crisis. But, if there is, I’m ready to try and do so.
          I like to read the “red pill” sites, because it pleases me to no end, to see that even secular men are starting to realize that the Church and the Patriarchy were right about manliness, hierarchy, the role of authority and tradition in society, etc. I suppose that not all “red-pill” sites are explicitly reactionary or neo-reactionary, and I know that many guys are only interested, initially, in “game” for the sake of getting laid. But in the process, they take a big swipe at feminism. Feminism is the belly of the beast, at present; by dissenting from it, they put themselves on a trajectory that could lead them to neo-reaction/reaction/traditionalism, and in fact I often observe that this occurs. And then it is my turn to be “pleased and amused,” that men who frequent a site like this are starting to have some ideological common ground with men of the cloth, who have always taught things about contraception, sexuality, patriarchy, authority, masculinity, etc., that many men are just now re-discovering. I am glad that the pleasure and amusement is mutual.

        4. Brother Cui Pertinebit (love that handle, “to whom it may pertain!”), thank you so much for your wonderful comment.
          I shared your comment with the other writers here and truly appreciate the effort it took to articulate. I am wondering if it deserves its own forum thread, or a similarly-themed thread.
          It touches on something many of us have noticed, which is that the traditional teachings of the Church mirror much of what “red pill” wisdom advocates. In other words, we are only rediscovering what the ancient faiths have known for centuries.
          The ancient military orders, and religio-military orders, were profoundly immersed in masculine virtue. We have lost all that. May we rediscover it still. Salvete, frater.

        5. Gratias permultas tibi ago, propter verba tua tam benevolentia. Salvete dicam quoque, et Deus nos adiuvet!

        6. Cui,
          I have started a new thread at the Roosh V Forum on one of your comments here. It was that good. I would beg you to join our forum also, as we could benefit from someone of such obvious virtue an spiritual power. Could I persuade you to join?

        7. That may be possible, though I have to caution you that I’ve only just set out on the path to virtue and may be lacking somewhat in the spiritual power that I would supposedly bring to the mix!
          If it doesn’t involve anything that would disrupt my way of life, I may join. What would be required/involved? I really do enjoy the masculine exchange of ideas that occurs ’round these parts, and am always glad to participate, according to my ability.

      2. I’m only four minutes into Dr. Maraglia’s lecture, and am loving it! “Non habemus opus hac Latinitate viva ad humanitatem redintegrandam, quia iam habemus linguam communem qua possimus de his nugis loqui. Si loquendum est de Coca-Cola aut de MacDonalds, possumus loqui Anglice.” That got a belly-laugh! I’m proud of the monuments of English literature going all the way back to Caedmon’s Hymn, but I can imagine how a modern Italian might have different associations in mind when it comes to our beloved mother-tongue. Thanks a million
        for this gem; I would never have known about it, otherwise.

  8. I am a fluent non-native speaker of Modern Standard Arabic. Writing with style and precision is easy for me, and so is speaking. The problem emerges when you encounter colloquial devices that aren’t usually present in written form. When I traveled to Egypt I was basically mindfucked for the first week. It sounded like an entirely different language! Don’t neglect the common tongue: Most you encounter will be common.

  9. This is one of the all time best articles on ROK. It can be read literally or figuratively; always a sign of excellent writing.

  10. If you want to learn to write in a foreign language, first learn to write in the only language you speak. Ask yourself: if I’ve been living, learning, writing, speaking, hearing and seeing English for the past 20, 30 or whatever number of years of my life, and as a result I can’t even write the only language I speak, how intelligent can I possibly be? In other words, if an estimated 85% of the North American population can’t even spell the only language they speak, how intelligent can 85% of the North American population possibly be?

    1. Great comment. All points right on the money. Luckily we here at ROK have freed ourselves from the mental slavery of constantly worrying about what women think of our interests, writing style, whatever. Be proud of it, put it all out there, throw it in their faces, and watch them follow your lead. Which they will. You establish your mastery by virtue of your hard work, force of personality, charisma, and powerful physique. Fuck them. All of them.
      Who cares if dipshits here don’t value intellectual things? I have no desire to deny my soul just to be loved by a gang of dunces. This is the age of no compromise and no backing down. I could care less. In fact, I deliberately put it all out there just to test them and watch them squirm helplessly.
      But the difference is, I can back it up. Most cannot.

      1. Right to the point. Like a recent post said: great leaders are respected, not liked. Be a leader, don’t worry about what’s politically correct, do and say what you believe.

  11. To be honest, there’s probably something else that we all have to accept when we’re writing in a foreign language: We should never expect a qualitiy that equals to the one of a native speaker, it’s just totally totally impossible.
    Why should I even try to write a text in a foreign language, I could never compete with a native speaker. As long as I’m at least somehow able to express my thoughts – that’s all I need for me. If I need perfect grammar, syntax or expression I just hire a native speaker who’ll then write the text for me – or wait 10 years, till online services offer accurate translation for free.
    Wasted resources. I rather spend my time picking up girls or doing some productive work, instead of wasting 10.000+ hours into getting from a basic level to a master level.
    By the way, I’m German, English is my first foreign language. As you see it’s enough to express my thoughts, no need to further improve, it’ll either happen automatically, and if not, that’s okay as well.

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