Do you speak English?

Each year, there are hundreds of opportunities for journalists around the world – to attend conferences and trainings, apply for fellowships, and submit works to contests. These opportunities give journalists a professional edge that brings them raises back home or job opportunities abroad. However, there is often one small catch when reading the fine print: English proficiency required.

Have you faced language barriers as a journalist? Do you feel it is necessary to speak English in order to advance professionally in your country?

Please identify your country if possible. Thank you.

To All, My share of thought...

I am pleased to dip my share of thought in this page. Journalism has the depth still to be discovered. Journalists around the globe were and are in the process of learning, even in their up most career peek, Language ( what ever it is) always has the advantage. Not even English, French, Arabic, Chinese, etc leave the edge of sharpness among the readers, I am from Pakistan, just hold the experience of 20 years in professional journalism, I feel proud about the new generation of Pakistan, exploring the ways and ideas of true journalism along with having proficiency in English and they are serving with authentic US and British accent,in local and foreign media organisations. We are breathing in 21st century with high-tech, I am deputed in Malaysia as special correspondent of Pakistan's newspaper group, I have tried and learned Malay language besides English, I feel the new world as I interact with commons.Learning any language is a gate way for any culture to learn for. My best wishes to the IJNet for providing us the new forum. Zubair

New Technology of online

New Technology of online translation breaks language barriers and improves everyday casino online

Well, what I think is really

Well, what I think is really curious is that in such big amount of messages left by journalists of so different places, nobody made the simple question: how to apply to these opportunities (when English speaking is strongly recquired). Anyone? Sandro Lobo, BRASIL

All interested colleagues are

All interested colleagues are welcomed in The Center of ESL journalists Our link is: Give your support be our member

Hi all: Its a

Hi all: Its a time-appropriate initiative to conduct the courses in English. Beacsue English is now a global language. So, we all have to learn and practice it for our goodness as well as to get information of the whole world. Any way, keep the good work up. Cheers!!! Parvez Babul, Associate Editor, Weekly Manikganjer khobor, Bangladesh.

Hi everyone, I'm from

Hi everyone, I'm from mainland China. Although I've been learning English for many years, I still feel that I can not handle it quite well. And as I start to take journalism studies very seriously now (yes I'm still a student trying to be professional), and hoping to be an international journalist one day, I really think that English is very important. I used to think that my English is quite good, but I realized mine can hardly compare with native English speakers, who are well awared of which word contains negative meaning or positive meaning, and can better refine their language. It definitely requires more time and energy from myself to achieve high level of English, both spoken English and English writing. (Recently I'm reading The Element of Style written by William Strunk Jr. and E. B. White, and very surprised to find that many of the techniques taught by my previous English teachers are all considered DON'T DO in this book...) I start to take a lot of notes of words and expressions used in those outstanding newspapers, hoping that I could use them when it's my time to write. :)


Yes, I think every Journalist

Yes, I think every Journalist should learn English. i am very intrested to learn fluent english.

Islam Pakistan

This is good

This is good news Regards Dahir Alasow Mogadishu,Somalia Somali Journalists Leader

Hi there? I am happy and very

Hi there? I am happy and very much interesting with the topic. As I can see, English is an International language in most parts of the World however not all countries speak and use it. In my country Tanzania we basically use Swahili as our national language but there are also tribal ones. From my point of view, I am sure that we journalists need to use English for becoming International Professionals because sometimes I face some difficulties when translating stories from Swahili to English language of visa versa. Please consider my application because I need the opportunity for better knowledge and to advance the Profession. Regards, Jacqueline Mosha, Email: mosha _ Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Hello Dear, I am TV

Hello Dear, I am TV journalist from Pakistan. My mother tongue is Urdu. Literacy ratio in Pakistan still remains at 50 percent. There are more than 55 TV Channel in the country. Mostly in Urdu language. Although, being a post graduate from Karachi University, i can read, write and speak English but not fluently. I worked for Urdu channel. Here, most of journalist lost opportunity due to language as their weak point. Providing platform is very encouraging for foreign journalist. Faiza Sidiki

You people did a great

You people did a great job.Everyone faces a big difficulty when express himself in a second language.I am agree with Faiza Sidiki, she is quite right about . A.Waheed Murad Journalist Islamabad Pakistan

I guess you are right. It

I guess you are right. It requires a lot from people to measure up to the standard Queens English. But that is not to say that we are not 'doing our jobs'. We can hold our own anywhere in the world.


Though am an African, all my

Though am an African, all my education right from nursery school has been in English. My last University Degree was taught in English. But somehow before I can apply for nay other training opportunity these days, someone wants me to go get - I hear - English Proficiency Tests!!!... What a joke? Sincerely I feel very offended. I think it is high time cases like mine are given a second look and an option for those who have schooled all their education or who have proof of the language like myself should be given an outright positive consideration. I do not actually need to go seat any exam to prove my English language prowess. All my work is done in English, even this communication right now is in English. OK for that reason, I will never apply to join a training course that brings up such conditions.

Davis J. Weddi Kampala (Uganda)

English is a must.Lets face

English is a must.Lets face it. Steven Mvula, ZAMBIA

Dear All spoken and written

Dear All

spoken and written English, i believe are two different things, so a challnge is bound to pop up with most of the journalist, simple assuming that fluence in speaking, makes it a given that one can write gramatical correct english piece banking on one's fluence in speaking. there is need to for online course.


Engilsh speaking not a

Engilsh speaking not a style.. Hi I am a journalist from Bangladesh. I make news on water and river issues. It’s really hard to write on these issues without knowing English. And not only that, now where we go or if need to stay as a journalist have to know English well...Every where need to know English well or to find out a real information. English speaking is not now a style...It’s an essential for every type of journalist. In my point of view Water issues is now a giant topics whole world. So I need specially to learn English. Hope here we will get some access, where journalist can get help. And can get access to speak English with other journalist. Will we get help from you?? Syed Mahbub Murshed Bangladesh

i am Bibhuti Rath a

i am Bibhuti Rath a journalist now working in OTV belongs to Orissa a state of INDIA. soo we work in our mothertongue that is Oriya and our second language is english.

my openion is yes english language is very much essential for the journalistic profession because what ever it may be if u dont know this language then it is impossible for ur part to make a good news> it is because where u will collect the datas for the news i think 90% datas u will find in english language only > and u just analyse urself that u dont know this language > so how u will go through the data and make a news copy. quite impossible for our profession > i saw many journalists those who were in this profession mainly in small news papers they were not enough educated in english language so they were facing problems when in a press meet we are going to meet a national leader or a international person> thats it so in my openion it is necessary

Bibhuti Rath Bhubaneswar Orissa india

I think a free English course

I think a free English course can be introduced online. And it would be very helpful.

Abu Rushd Md. Ruhul Amin News Editor, BanglaVision (A private TV Station) Dhaka Bangladesh

Hi I am a journalist from

Hi I am a journalist from Bangladesh. I make news on water and river issues. It’s really hard to write on these issues without knowing English. And not only that, now where we go or if need to stay as a journalist have to know English well...Every where need to know English well or to find out a real information. English speaking is not now a style...It’s an essential for every type of journalist. In my point of view Water issues is now a giant topics whole world. So I need specially to learn English. Hope here we will get some access, where journalist can get help. And can get access to speak English with other journalist. Will we get help from you?? Syed Mahbub Murshed

Sure, English is the

Sure, English is the connecting link. If you have average command of the language you can easily communicate with people around the world. In a vast country like India, with sevral languages, the proficiency helped me very much to mould my career. I wrote reports in English and tey appeared in Telugu and Tamil, the local languages spoken by people of South India. But since, I arrived in Saudi Arabia I found that for working in this part of the world you have to be fluent in Arabic. English won't help you at all. If you want to Communicate wit the local Arabs, It's ideal to develop fluency at least in spoken Arabic. Forget about the grammar and other basics. Even while communicating with official heads, Arabic skills would be an advantage.



As a journalist I haven't had

As a journalist I haven't had language barriers. I speak English fluent and speaking english has helped me a lot while reporting on daily basis because there was and there is high presence of International Community in Kosova. I think that English is a need and journalists should learn english. I have used many opportunities, taking part in international journalism trainings. And it has helped me a lot on my profession. Though it is not our native language, there are many journalists here that speak english but not all of them. In our newsroom for example few journalist speak english. I can see what difficulties they have getting the informations right.

Journalist from Kosova

Yes, A Journalist should know

Yes, A Journalist should know english even he/ she is working in a local language newspaper. No doubt, English help the journalist very much in their proffession. If IJNET will do anything for help to the journalist to develop their english skills, it will be a good step.

hakkim nattassery, india

hi am so glad to see that

hi am so glad to see that other people know that English is a big problem in our work especial in Africa where some journalist they dont really speck english except their local language i will be happy if some one will vistit East Africa and teach other journalist because it real important in our work i hope learning another language is very good and it will help a lot coz nowdays we have to meet alot of people from over the world and we need to work and learn a lot of things from them so if we dont speack Eglish or we dont understand its really problem. thats what i was thinking. Sophia Tanzania

Hi, thanks to ljnet team,

Hi, thanks to ljnet team, Great Topic English is very essential to every journalist across the globe. It is the only tool to break communication barrier in every society. Every good reporter would vie to translate a good story into English to enable the readers and viewers understand the current issues around the world. The use of English saves the cost of hiring a translator either as a proof reader, editor or whatever. it helps to check grammatical errors Sometimes we are asked to translate our essays to English if English is not our mother tongue while applying for fellowship programmes or contests which means that, English is very essential to the journalists, it makes reading faster and work easier too. I submit that English is a very important aspect of journalism profession. Journalists whose native language is not English should aspire to train in English through trainings and read books and materials written in English language through translator dictionaries. This is very important. Sometime l learn to translate French publications through the aid of a French dictionary because l want to catch up with the global trend. It is time killing translating from one language to another. Therefore is it important for every journalists to read and understand English to enable a good networking in the journalism profession. This is one of the barriers most people willing to apply for training programs in the United States and Britain are faced with, the fear of spellings ,writing to please the judges, name it. Grace Ekang Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

From Benin, That'i is real!!

From Benin,

That'i is real!! I think you must find the opportunities for journalists in french speaking countries to improve their skills in english.

English is very important as

English is very important as a means of communication and in my country i think it is a real problem as most journalists fail to grasp information being dispensed to them or even to get themselves heard because they normally run out of vocabulary and miss the whole point that they might have had or even contort the whole story.

متاسفانه این مشکلی است که همه

متاسفانه این مشکلی است که همه ما با آن ذست و پنجه نرم می کنیم. همیشه با این مشکل مواجه بوده ام. تا بحال فرصت های جالبی در این سایت معرفی شده اند ولی بخاطر آشنا نبودن به انگلیسی نتوانسته ام از آنها بهره گیری کنم.

English is very important

English is very important for journalist. English is second language for, There is the language barrier among the journalists. To develop proficiency in English training should be given to those journalists using English as a second language. Sachen Gautam ABC Television , Ktm, Nepal

Right i really think that to

Right i really think that to be or become witness of the history and the time any journalist must learn English or have English as second language wherever they have to go in the world. I came from an institutional country where English and French are both official languages. But i came from the area where french is more spoken than English, but we as school children have to learn English at school. French and English became compulsory for all who aspired to work anywhere. So i really think that English or have English as a second language is important for a journalist to access information in many parts of the world and even at work. I joined the English speaking journalists network back home in Cameroon in order to improve my communication skill in English and i have cousins who studied in the anglophone education system as well. As a world class citizens its good to speak and write in english and not necessary the grammar but what someone can read and understand. I am living in an amazing (scottish country). Charles ATANGANA Glasgow, Scotland

For news media published in

For news media published in English, the question becomes irrelevant. The language of publication to the journalist is like the cutlass a farmer takes to the farm. English is a thoroughly lively language and has been evolving with the times. Journalists are supposed to be world citizens and should be abreast with the evolution of the language in various parts of the world. I have lived with English since I was born and I enjoy writing and reading the language. Mine is a bilingual country where English is treated by officialdom as the inferior of the two official languages - English and French. However, with time, the majority Francophones have come to discover that English language rules the world and so have been adjusting by learning English thus inadvertently giving the English language the recognition it deserves. Nobody should pretend to publish in the English language when he/she does not master the language. People like me hate to read or hear bad English. Chief Bisong Etahoben Yaounde - CAMEROON

This is great topic, thanks

This is great topic, thanks for IJnet team. In my case, i have also faced language barriers as a journalist. I have noticed many training opportunities and fellowships, but my practice is in national language . If all criteria met, barrier of english fluency come there. I can write and speak english, but not fluent as native speaker. So, my suggestion is that, all kinds of speaker should be given equal opportunity based on their experiences and their understanding level. Amrit Dahal ABC Television

Great topic. Hossain Toufique

Great topic.

Hossain Toufique Iftekher Bangladdesh.

I think English still play a

I think English still play a vital role in our job as a journalist concerning the problem one go through expecially when u are in the mist of foreign collegue during international workshop or trying to express yourself.i remember my trip to Brazil with some African journalist late last year.yes it was fun but the major problem still communication problem with other journalist from South Ameria and some Francophone country. The English speaking group were more than the none English speaking group,so we had alots to gain because the programme was 80 percent English programme but was held in Brazil .

Emmanuel Ehizojie Lagos,Nigeria.

offcourse! this is very

offcourse! this is very important to be fluent in english to comunicate with the globalised world.

Shafiqul Islam Jibon Bangladesh, currently in the UK

Understanding English is not

Understanding English is not the ultimate. Language barrier has been a major challenge in human relations - locally or internationally. It is, therefore, necessary for journalism trainners and fellowship resource persons/organisers to reckon with the UN-recognised basic international languages. As a Nigerian, I am at home in an English Language environment. However, internationalization requires universalness.

Pius Odiaka Nigeria

English will minimize the

English will minimize the barriers of communication because is is a global language.

It looks like a real

It looks like a real competition! Who knows english is in and who does not is out. English helps a lot, is a necessity in our work, but knowing it excellently or not doesen't make us worse as journalist. Good luck for all of us! Matilda, Albania

I have noticed that there are

I have noticed that there are more opportunities to attend trainings and workshops held in english rather in french, for example. I come from a SADC country where papers are mostly published in french. When attending trainings, hosted by Sadc states, we are expected to deliver stories in english. What a tough, but not impossible task! We feel at ease in participating to debates etc, in english, but when it comes to practical exercice we are faced to hurdles… So its a paradoxal situation for us who write in french but have to attend trainings in english…………


I support the idea in the

I support the idea in the first post -- we need to do sth to help to reporters to improve their English skills. We need to learn how to write and to work in English. It is great if there were more internships in the US media for reporters from all over the world and it didn't cost so much. I personally always face the problem with English. I attend different language courses all the time, but what is the point -- this is all different from what the editor needs me to write in English. I wanted to enter a very good journalism school in the U.S. to study investigation reporting. Everything was going very well, all the people in the university really liked the idea to have me there... but my TOEFL test was not high enough. And what? -- they had to send me a letter saying my proposal "is declined." I am still so disappointed about this case, haven't made myself to apply to any other program after that...

In The Gambia where I am

In The Gambia where I am practicing as a journalist for over two years now, journalists have come under regular attacks for not being professional in their profession. these critics ranges from public servants mostly to individuals who do not say much about irresponsible journalsm unless if personally affected, but often blame us for not knowing how to write amid hard-to-trace gramatical and speeling errors that newspapers usually make. They are right. Some of our mistakes are not becuase we are in hurry, but because we do not know. And since we do not have any journalism school we rely on capacity buildings to display our journalistic skills. this is however far from being sufficient enough to equip us we the required skills to practice. i hope the training will help me develop my horison.

Dear All, In my country

Dear All,

In my country Myanmar, there has been difficult to say English. Generation since about 1958 it's time of beginning of Junta, English language has been restricted in governmental schools. One has to learn Eng. at 5th grade since then. So generation before this period are skill in English and after that has been too weak in English. And then Myanmar is a country of strong traditional. If a young lady speaks English, the other will focus her as too too socialized that cannot be accepted. Most of graduated boys and girls are weak in English.

But I'm the one who learned English since K.G.It's Baptist's Catolate School at my native town, Myaungmya. Then I like English for at my little age, I used to read English books such as novels of Dennis Robbin, Babara Cartland, Pearls Buck and also looked English movies, Ten Commandments, Mother India, Dr.Zhivago. So I speak English but I cannot in my country just abroad such as at Bangkok, Bali, Singapore and others. I like English well. Thank you.


Yes, I face language barriers

Yes, I face language barriers as a journalist in my country Pakistan, and I feel it is necessary to speak English in order to advance porfessionally in my country, please infrom what you can do for me ?

Murad Khan


Yes that is true. Most of the

Yes that is true. Most of the journalists in my working station are also deprived of such oppertunities due to the language barriers. Language is a tool to communicate, and given its wide use, to speak English is vital for journalists not only to get international trainings but also to update them on any issue. Prem Kumar Luitel Nepal Television Nepal

Hello, Great topic for


Great topic for talking.

As a foreign journalist who speaks and writes English as a second language I suggest the establishing of The Center for ESL journalists in order to assist in overcoming the language barrier which is the most common problem of non-English journalists.

Very often foreign journalists are not tied in the competitiveness with their Western counterparts, English-native writers, who were born, grew up and educated in the Anglo-Saxon system. Very often, it is less important to have a good story than the fact that it has been written in "English-native style".

Why it would be a sufficient reason for disqualification of journalistic work?

Where are the professional proofreaders employed in media companies?

More and more it seems to me that this is obvious professional discrimination, within the profession which should propagate the fight against the any type of discrimination.

Journalists from abroad are quite aware of one truth: how good the story has and how good a translator hire, article can never sounds in "native English-style”.

For this reason I propose the establishment of on-line

ESL Center for Journalists.

The main task of this organization would be seen in the proofreading of articles of foreign journalists.

The service would be free for journalists.

Editors would be paid from NGO funds.

Center for ESL Journalists should be enable free online courses such as "English for Journalists" or "Writing for journalists .

In cooperation with individual publishers Center for ESL Journalists should to provide free electronic literatures about journalism and English language.

Center should inform foreign journalists how to promote their work on the international journalistic market (Submission articles, communication with editors, how to find the appropriate editors,etc…)

This letter has been written with the help of dictionaries, the Google translator, the existing knowledge of English, and has not passed the professional proofreading. On this way, I wanted to turn the attention of all lovers in the journalistic profession worldwide.

Therefore, I pray from the heart native - English editors, journalists, newspaper companies, NGOs and other stakeholders to provide support categories to provide realization of this project.

Articles, Adverbs or Adjectives must not be more important than journalistic messages that arrive from any part of Globe, in order to make someone's life easier and better.

I have established Facebook group Center for ESL journalists.

More details on:

Be a member of group.

Give support to us

Sasa Milosevic Freelance journalist, Belgrade, Serbia

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