Does my writing have an “accent”?

Yes, English is my second language and that fact doesn’t bother most people except for the occasional caller who sometimes asks if he could be connected to someone who speaks English. My reply is often, “I speak English–but with an accent.” I admit it. I can hear it. But one day this question came to my mind: Does my written English have an “accent” too? Are my word choices or my sentence constructions giving me away, telling the reader, “Hey, this girl is not a native speaker/writer.”
Like any student of English, I learned the rules from grammar books, consulted dictionaries a thousand times and read voraciously because I believed that the process of osmosis works with language learning too. In college, my teachers often complimented my papers. I don’t know why, but the written word came easily to me and I fell in love with it. Yet I haven’t mastered it. I have come to the conclusion that the “accent” in my writing often lies with prepositions. I trip over those little words. They make me hesitate. In the corner or on the corner? Find it on Amazon or find it at Amazon? My “Dictionary of Prepositions” is nearby, but I often find myself sounding them off as if I could tell which one feels right to the ear. Sometimes it works. Many times, it is back to looking it up in the dictionary or on the Internet. I don’t know if I’ll ever master prepositions the way a native speaker does. In the meantime, they earn me a laugh. They keep me humble and they’ll keep me learning for as long as I write.

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2 Responses to Does my writing have an “accent”?

  1. If you can spell, you probably have no accent.

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