Spoken English Without Thick Accent — My Freelance Super Power
A few minutes ago I wrapped up another zoom call with another prospective client. I have mentioned before that, god’s blessing, touch wood, work is now regularly flowing towards me. Allowing me to reduce my debt, take baby steps towards restoring my pre-pandemic life and salvage what little dignity I can salvage.
9 out of 10 times, the client will constantly remark, something of the following nature
‘Your English is really good. I can understand you. I work with a lot of people from Asia — India, Sri Lanka and Bangaldesh. I mean no offense. Your country has the best developers in the world. However, I find it hard to understand them. But, you. You speak really well’
Ever since I was a kid, I was fascinated with the English language. My abusive father, for all his faults, bought stacks of Phantom and Mandrake (and porn!) comic books to read. I would read those comics which were written in English. My school drop out mother (she was forced to drop out of school by by her Husband, my Father), taught me English Alphabet when I was only 3 years old.
After that, I ended up living with my abusive uncle for 6 years. During those 6 years, I had no access to TV. I also did not have access to proper food or mother’s love.
However, I did have access to the school library. I was constantly bullied at school (and I was abused when I returned to my uncle’s home, so, my childhood was an endless cycle of abuses, non stop, at home and at school). So, I spent all my free time in the library. The school library was very small. I had finished reading most of the books in a few months, and ended up re-reading the same adventures, again and again.
For example, I have read all the Sherlock Holmes stories, and the novels, some hundred times in my teenage years. Sherlock Holmes rescued me by allowing me to escape the tragic aspects of my childhood. Thank you, Arthur Conan Doyle.
By the time I was an adult, I was hooked on to Hollywood movies. In those days, English movies were the only movies where you could watch hot women with less clothes or no clothes at all. More importantly, these movies were from America which had amazing English. I would watch these movies, and then, I would practice the way they speak.
I would pause the movie, by-heart the dialogue, rewind it, listen, and pronounce. So, Hollywood Movies, ultimately became my English Tutor. By the time I reached college, I found out that my English was far better than anybody else in my classroom or anyone else I met in my life.
Then, I began my freelancing career in 2012, I found myself working more and more with Americans and English folks from UK. Or, Australia. Or, any of the countries from Europe. My developer skills are decent (I don’t claim to be an expert though. I am at best, a 4 out of 10 rated developer).
Yet, clients seem to enjoy working with me, simply because, they understand what I am saying.
On a more personal note, since I turned a teenager, my above average English seems to impress girls/women, a lot! I got a lot of dates and relationships because of my English Spoke skills. That’s a, pleasant bonus.
Last year, I retired from full time developer roles. The massive pandemic financial debt. Wife leaving me and taking the kids with her. Loss of dignity in society. Loss of home, loss of life of luxury and comfy. I even had suicidal thoughts for I imagined, my life is finished.
Then, thanks to my spoken English, I was able to repurpose my technical skills into a full time freelance coding tutor.
All said and done, I am truly thankful to Phantom Comic Books and Hollywood Movies for helping me with my career. And, of course, my clients for saying such nice things.