Needed your honest opinion

Hi English Experts!

As you probably know, one reason to improve my English skills was/is to expand my professional skills and to add a second language to the possibilities in my applicant-offering. I myself am sure that I have been able to improve my English skills a lot (with your valueable help of course). But what are my skills worth?

Well, to put it in a nutshell, today a job-offering came across me, in which a very well command of English is required. To describe it: An employer is looking for a technician (mechanical engineer) to support their quality- managment. As (since) I guess my professional skills as well enough to do that job, I wonder whether my English skills could be well enough too? I mean, as in that job you have to swim inbetween a flock of engineer-sharks in the English-water you must be careful not to be the food for the sharks suddenly and that depends very much on the English skills.

As in my environment aren?t any other English-user than you, I don?t have any possibilty to prove that and to get some opinions concerning my skills and on the other hand who else than English proficient, English teacher and native speaker could appraise my skills? So I ask you for your [color=green]honest opinion!

Please don?t try to be kind, tell me what you really do think.


Hii Michael,

Clearly I don’t know what your accent is like and how well I could understand you if we held a conversation. As a result I can only comment on your written English as it appears on the forums. Since you first appeared here in April this year I see that you have entered over 300 comments. Now it is clear and I know you are fully aware of this that you make mistakes but they are in the main mistakes that don’t in all honesty get in the way of you making yourself understood and they are also mistakes that you conscientiously try to put right.

My overall assessment is very much influenced by both your enthusiasm and your determination. Your enthusiasm makes you express an opinion as best you can and your determination makes you persist in explaining your thoughts. Whenever I speak a foreign language, I am inhibited for fear of making a mistake and getting my tense wrong, my adjectival ending wrong, my choice of word wrong and so on and so on. You clearly have no such problem and it is clear that your knowledge of and familiarity with English will improve. As to the requirements of the job you refer to, it is difficult for me to comment on your suitability for that particular post. My feeling is that a potential employer could not help but be impressed by your tenacity in expressing yourself and should have no fears as to your ability at being able to hold your own in most situations.

I hope my comments have some relevance. From my perspective as a teacher I can only say that I would be happy to have you in my class because I sense that your enthusiasm would be infectious and also that you have that precious gift of wanting to learn more and more.


Hi Michael

As you probably know :wink: I’m not an English expert, but I have a question to ask:
why don’t you go to the nearest certification center to take a nationally recognized (English skills) qualification test(s)?

Employers more often prefer to have some sound validation of the skills claimed.

Michael, I teach all the engineers and managers that come to a couple of American companies from Germany. Your English level is approximately typical of theirs. A very small number of them have a really amazingly good command of English. The rest are in your category: They have approximately a low intermediate command of grammar and idioms, but have a rather large vocabulary and can be understood almost all the time, with moderate effort on the part of the reader or listener.

I would not hesitate to take that job, if I were you, because your English (although it has a lot of problems) is not worse than the typical newly arrived CEO or CFO of an American division of a German company. In fact, I think Dieter Zetsche’s English was approximately at your level when he arrived in Detroit, and he was able to run Chrysler! Of course, Dr. Zetsche’s English improved very fast, and you should make sure yours does too.

These traits of yours are some of your best assets – I envy you for them, believe me. How often have I not felt inhibited, exactly as Alan describes in his post, to the point of feeling literally crippled. The result is often a terrible frustration at having to keep my words to myself (which, incidentally, is not always a bad thing for others, I guess!).

Especially German employers!

Go for it, Michael!

Hi Michael, just to add to what our team have already said: Your current level of English (actually, this is a rather awkward construction) is one thing.

However, what’s far more important is your ability to learn and make progress. As Alan said you have posted more than 300 messages here on the forum. You have been interacting and communicating with native speakers of English as well as ESL speakers. As Jamie pointed out you certainly have some room for improvement when it comes to your grammar and the use of idioms.

What really counts is that you have lots of potential and as you have shown you are capable of improving your skills.

That’s what your employer wants to know so go ahead and tell them…
Also, Tamara made an interesting point – here is some information on the TOEIC exam.

And a final thought: My English is far from perfect which is good because it gives me the opportunity to learn something new every day. What’s more, I can interact with such interesting people like you, Alan, Jamie, Amy, Conchita, Tamara, Slava, Charles, Hercules, Spencer, Tom, Jan… you name them.

Accept the learning process as a vital part of your personality and make the best of it. You are more than your English language skills because you can improve them every single day. Imagine what your English will be like in a few months if you continue asking questions!

Speak to you soon,

TOEFL listening discussions: A conversation between a dorm mother and a resident[YSaerTTEW443543]

Hi Michael

There isn’t much I can add to what everyone else has already written. Your command of written English is good. You have no trouble communicating what you want to say. You’ve definitiely shown improvement since you began posting here and I expect you will continue to improve. You should definitely continue to work on the errors that you make.

If your posts are any indication, I assume that you are just as fearless in speaking as you are in writing and that is very good! But, it’s not possible for us to judge your spoken English since, as Alan pointed out, we haven’t heard it.

Your level is just as good as many Germans who have to use English on a regular basis at work.

Sorry, I don’t have time to write more at the moment since I’ve got an appointment. I’ll just end here by saying
Go for it! :smiley:


Hi Alan, Tamara, Jamie, Conchita Torsten and Amy!

Thank you for your immediate response and I?m nice surprised about your explanations. You not only appraised my English skills, you also encouraged me to throw away my doubts. So I think that I?ll apply for that job and tell the employer what you figured out as my assets. Hopefully that he recognizes what fortune my employment could make him. :wink:

There is just one thing, I would like to ask you, left for the moment. I mean, as I don?t have any certificate of my English skills, would it disturb you, if I refer to this site (possibly this topic in particular) when the speech comes to my English skills? I didn?t write this topic in that intention, but this idea come up to me during the day and after reading your replies.

Let me make sure, that if anybody of you don?t want me to refer to this topic I won?t do so. I only thought that it perhaps could be as interesting for an employer to see his potential employee chatting as to see a certificate only. Indeed, especially German employers like to see a certificate, but why shouldn?t I give him the chance to see me in action? If he wants, of course! Unusual challenges require unusual steps.

However you decide on my latest question, be sure that I go on being grateful to you.

And of course, when I feel good enough I?ll make an exam, but especially for the current application it is too late.


Hi Meichal,
I might reply late but I would like to like to add something from experience in engineering field. Most of engineers are very good at English in general but what is important is that how to have a very good attitude at work. Most of the employees do not work on this and just concern about their interest forgetting or trying to forget how to compromise with others. In my own perspective, communication skills at work environment is very important as well as your professional. This was my little advice to you and I wish you all the best for your life.


Hi Michael!

Although I answered your personal question to me about the speaking exam (and speaking skills generally) in my thread, you can continue wherever you like and need - there or here.


Hi Baraa!

Nice to meet (meat? :lol: ) you on this site. I?m happy to see anybody who seem to know the behaviour in a bench of engineer-sharks. :wink: I mean, from my experience one of the most important sentences you must know, if you are an engineer, seem to be: “That wasn?t me!” or “I?m not guilty!” :wink: I agree with you, when you say that possibly many mistakes could have been prevented if the different offices?s would have communicated early enough, instead of having endless discussions after discovering the mistake and then trying to point out that always the others are guilty and not oneself. Have I got you right?

By the way, what is your profession and current job? Perhaps you may tell us more about you? I?m sure that I?m not exaggerating, when I claim that all users of this site would like to learn more about you, since, at least, two of your first three replies are really interesting. So I?m looking forward to your next posts.

Hope to see you soon


Hi Michael,
Yes, you’re smart and you’ve got my point. This is the Engineer-Shark environment; as you called it; but I usually think about it and try to drive it into team work instead of just push guiltiness to other colleagues. Yes, everybody does mistakes but if there is cooperation, the right compromise solutions would be found. This subject cannot be ended in this hurry. I hope the way of management and leading thinking changes for the best.

Here is a few lines about Baraa. I am a telecom engineer. I work for leading company Ericsson. We had some many projects and tough works in GSM, GPRS, EDGE, 3G and so on. I wish you all the best


Hi Baraa!

I wish you all the best incorporating your individual engineers in your team.

Baraa, please excuse my inquisitiveness, but I?m eager to learn either you?re a member of the leadership of the company Ericsson or you spoke about the market-leadership of your company? Please don?t feel offended, I wouldn?t evaluate an answer, it?s not just clear for me what you meant.



Hi Michael;
I meant Ericsson is a leading telecom company.