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How to communicate with ESL fans

We know that communicating with our fans is so important, whether this be through our online posts, personal chat messages or email. Making sure our communication is effective and clear leads to building trust, respect, and strong relationships. This is a vital skill to learn in the adult industry and can be challenging at the best of times. When there is a difference in native languages, mastering communication and understanding the barriers to getting your message across is imperative. Read on to learn why this is important, what you need to be mindful of, and some tips that have helped me communicate with my fanbase.

Why is understanding the needs of non-native English speakers important?

Although the data shows that users of the biggest online porn platform are from English-speaking countries, the countries that round out the top five (France, Japan and Mexico) do not have English as their first or native language. What this means is that although people from these countries can speak English, it usually is not their first language. For example, in Japan, 99.2% of people have Japanese as their native tongue, and in Mexico, 90% of the population speak Spanish before any other language. Although we do not have access to specific data on the native languages of our fans, on the balance of probability, our fans from non-English speaking countries probably speak more than one language, and their first language will most likely not be English.

What you need to be mindful of

Unlike face-to-face interactions, working in an online environment means that you may not know that the person you are speaking to does not share your native tongue. Your first contact with fans and customers may be through typed messages or emails. When communicating with people who have English as a second language, there are several things to keep in mind to make sure you are building a trusting and respectful relationship.

Slang and colloquialisms are used more in day-to-day conversations in English, but it is worth keeping in mind that non-English speakers may understand formal language better. Slang is also different across the world, and depending on where someone learned and practised English, they may not understand the terms you use. English takes many forms (American and British English differ, for example), so spelling and what is considered offensive differs across the world.

some tips to help you

I keep my interactions as simple and straightforward as possible with everyone. To finish up, here are some additional tips:

      • Be prepared to repeat yourself or answer the same question in a different way. Most people are not trying to be difficult or waste your time; they just may not understand what you are saying.
      • When giving directions (e.g. for placing a custom order, or what payment methods to use) make it step by step, and remember that dot points are always your friend.
      • Some people use pet names in English that you may not like. It is ok to ask someone not to call you a certain pet name, but be respectful when addressing this.
      • Correct spelling and grammar are not necessary for native English speakers to understand what is being said, so don’t make a big deal out of it. If you need clarification, ask for it respectfully.

Rem Sequence is an Australian adult content creator, blogger and internationally published alt model. She has a background in psychology, philosophy and political science and has worked in health and sex education, youth work and trauma counseling for almost two decades.