Thursday, 25 February 2010

Why the change??

If any of you notice the change in my writing style.. you might be wondering what has happened to me..

Well.. development, I hope!

The first time native English speaking teacher system was introduced in Indonesia, the teacher I had in my English course was an English lady and my course place was British oriented, so, I learned English the British way..

Moreover, during that time (when I was growing up), the books that were popularly read by teenagers were the series written by English writers, one of the famous ones was Enid Blyton (my sister and I pretty much grew up with her stories)..

However, as time went by, more and more books from the US come into Indonesia, along with the TV shows and movies. This certainly changed the English learning trend in Indonesia.

In case of school curriculum, the difference was not visible, but in the case of everyday use, there was a big difference, as American expressions and slang were becoming more and more familiar with Indonesian youth.

When I graduated from high school, I went to Australia to do my university study and in Australia, both British and American English is accepted in academic are, as long as one method is applied consistently throughout a certain essay/thesis. Since I always tried to write my essays in as simple language as possible, I did not have too many problems regarding language method. Plus, I was an overseas student, which meant, as long as my sentences made sense in terms of topic discussion of the essay, little grammatical errors would not cause me to lose marks.

After graduating from the university, I worked for an Australian institution for about four years, so I did not feel any difficulty regarding my English use either..

I started to feel the difference when I started writing my blog in English.. I tried to do part-time writing jobs, and most clients asked for American English.. which I was not very comfortable writing in, because I would not know whether I was making a mistake or not, and they said I made a lot of grammatical mistakes!


Last week, I received an offer for an online grammar check software. I decided to try it, and I actually think it is a good software.. When I was about to download it, the software asked me if I was going to download the British or American version..

I hesitated for a moment..

Which one should I use? What will happen to me if I consistently change my style to American English? Would it be a problem for me?

I have been trying to be consistent in using British English until now, but I have to admit that people and the world around me have been doing things differently, and I often feel that I can't move on without some adjustments..

Moreover, I have started confusing myself too at times because automated spell checks keep throwing me off my balance!

Will I lose out because I change my style? I hope not.. and really, I don't think so..

I would like to think of this as an enrichment process for my English skills, and a step further in pursuing bigger opportunities in the future..

Will I completely forget British style English? I don't think so either.. people don't easily forget the things they grew up with.. :-)

So.. here I am.. getting my little finger used to hitting the 'Z' instead of the 'S' .. and .. not forgetting to put 'a', 'an' or 'the' before a noun.. -this is just a start- ..

Let's see how this works out.. ;-)

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