I knew from the start that I would in some way benefit by becoming Saigami's proofreader. Originally the idea had been that I could use the practice and experiment with my own editing skills. And I have learned many things in that respect, but there has been so much more than just this.
A natural assumption with proofreading for somebody whose primary language isn't English is that your edits would be many and major. Seny is too good for that. Besides the occasional tense or plural error, her sentences are fantastic. With maybe one exception (on a particularly busy week for her, to be fair) I've never had a sentence that reads like it came from Google translate. This frees time for studying word choice.
Never before have I had to examine the English language in this way. Words I would have added without a second thought weren't the words Seny opted to use, and when I wanted to plug them in, I first had to answer why. And when you start asking why you prefer one word over another, although they mean the same thing, you can't help but start questioning other things about the English language.
It has also helped shatter my world view. I grew up in a smallish town, and though I was aware of other countries, they seemed as distant as the world of a fantasy novel. Working with Seny has not only shattered this view, but continues even now.
There were things I expected us to have in common. Comics, obviously, and it's easy to find manga on the internet if you know where to look. That we would like some of the same series wasn't that unexpected. But then we found that we had bands in common. Movies, books, even television shows. I went from being hesitant about an interest assuming it would be unknown in Hungary, to talking about anything and just assuming she would know what I was talking about.
Hungary has started to feel like a place I could get to just by crossing the street. It has its own history, its own holidays, its own views, but at the same time it's almost a mirror. It doesn't show a perfect reflection of myself, but neither is it warped like a funhouse mirror.
The earth is awfully small for something so big.
I am an aspiring writer living in Ottawa, Canada, and the proofreader for the web-comic Saigami.