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Non-native reference letter

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Non-native reference letter [#permalink] New post 06 Dec 2011, 02:50
Hi guys

I know this question has probably been raised before but it would really appreciate if you could shed some light into my situation.

I want to get a recommendation letter from my current supervisor. He speaks English as a second language and his writing skill is adequate. I expect that I can get a detailed and supportive letter from him, but the usage of language will be quite basic. It will be understandable, with relatively clear messages but nothing fancy. And I think there will be some grammatical errors as well as inefficient expressions/word choices here and there.

Would such a "rough" letter negatively affect my candidacy in anyway? Or should I ask an editor to work with him and edit the letter to make sure it sounds nice and all?

Thanks and regards

Last edited by minhbeta on 08 Dec 2011, 07:23, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Non-native reference letter [#permalink] New post 06 Dec 2011, 18:21
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minhbeta wrote:
Hi guys

I know this question has probably been raised before but it would really appreciate if you could shed some light into my situation.

I want to get a recommendation letter from my current supervisor. He speaks English as a second language and his writing skill is at best adequate. I expect that I can get a detailed and supportive letter from him, but the usage of language will be quite basic. It will be understandable, with relatively clear messages but nothing fancy. And I think there will be some grammatical errors as well as inefficient expressions/word choices here and there.

Would such a "rough" letter negatively affect my candidacy in anyway? Or should I pay for an editor to work with him and edit the letter to make sure it sounds nice and all?

Thanks and regards


As long as the basic meaning of what your recommender is trying to say is clear, you needn't worry. I have heard this question across several information sessions and every time without exception, ad com members have stressed that your recommender's grammar does not matter, it's the content that matters...

I don't know to what degree do school cross check with recommenders when an applicant is admitted, but I would imagine that the situation would be pretty sad for the admitted applicant if during the cross check, the school figures from the recommender's language that the recommendation was edited and/or written entirely by someone else..
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Joined: 02 Nov 2011
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Re: Non-native reference letter [#permalink] New post 06 Dec 2011, 18:51
scorpionz wrote:

As long as the basic meaning of what your recommender is trying to say is clear, you needn't worry. I have heard this question across several information sessions and every time without exception, ad com members have stressed that your recommender's grammar does not matter, it's the content that matters...

I don't know to what degree do school cross check with recommenders when an applicant is admitted, but I would imagine that the situation would be pretty sad for the admitted applicant if during the cross check, the school figures from the recommender's language that the recommendation was edited and/or written entirely by someone else..



Thank you for your response. I will ask him to go ahead and submit it the way it is then.
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Re: Non-native reference letter [#permalink] New post 07 Dec 2011, 04:54
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Yeah. As long as the guy is excited and writes great things, and the FEELING of the letter is good the language itself doesn't matter. Actually on the contrary, if he writes in his imperfect English it can give a good feeling of authenticity which would BOOST the recommendation letter.
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Re: Non-native reference letter [#permalink] New post 07 Dec 2011, 05:37
If your recommender's command of english is so poor that you believe it will impact adcom's ability to understand what his key messages are, than I would suggest asking him to allow a 3rd party (another colleague who can write) or you to edit his rec before submitting. Otherwise, adcom may question your judgement for selecting him in first place.

If you are comfortable that your recommender's key messages will be clearly understood by admin, despite grammatical errors etc.,...than I would not worry about it at all. Especially if you are an international applicant, adcom can't expect every international recommender to speak and write perfectly.
Re: Non-native reference letter   [#permalink] 07 Dec 2011, 05:37
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