I am writing my PhD in English. I normaly go through 3 writing processes: drafting, reworking and finalizing.

For today, I write in English from the beginning. Since my mental focus lies on narrative, structural and argumentative issues at the beginning my English is very bad at this point of time. Thus I spend a lot of time to correct and rearticulate it at the end. I wonder if it might be more efficient to start writing in my native language and just translate it at the end.

What is the most convenient/efficient point of time to use English when you write an English text?

closed as primarily opinion-based by Chenmunka, jimsug, choster, user3169, Tyler James Young Oct 7 '14 at 20:20

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • Just a personal experience, but I've done my better work when thinking and writing important essays in my native tongue, and then translating them into the foreign language I was learning. This approach gives you another chance to refine your thoughts before translating them. It also causes you to seek counterparts for the more sophisticated phraseology and sentence structures of which you're capable in your native tongue. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Oct 7 '14 at 12:51
  • If you want to write well, you should write directly in English. Unfortunately, if this is too difficult for you at this point in time, you may have to do it the other way. – snailcar Oct 8 '14 at 1:33

I did that, and what worked for me is:

  1. draft in whatever language you think in at the moment. Mix English and your first tongue however you wish.
  2. rework into English. 2.1 give it to a better (or native) English speaker for proofreading.
  3. finalise.

good luck!


I agree with Tim Romano and Mark Shovman. I do some programming and my comments are sometimes in English and sometimes in my native language. You get more productive and fluent when you chose the language of the moment that feels right. Sometimes something is easier expressed in one language than the other so just put the comments down and do your thing. Finally perfect it as Shovman and Romano suggest.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.