Subjects for journal entries
How do you figure out what to talk about in your notebook? I've been praticing my Japanese, but when it comes to writting I feel really limited in what I can talk about, without having to look up a lot of words. For example for one of my essays a year ago or so I had the describe the day and life of a cat. Was super hard because I didn't know random words like paw, fur, hunting, mice, or any things like that. Just disjoined words like cat, cute, ears, eyes, and stare at things, ものにじろじろします, for a funny part. Is the answer memorizing these random words and hope that they appear in conversation later so it wasn't just wasted effort?
You're so right. It makes me uncomfotable wrting an entry about my cat and knwoing really nothing to say. In the end, I don't 50% of the words I look anyway.
Same problem! Currently trying to write my diaries. But just writing them for myself, not on italki, because they're not interesting at all:D
yah, i have the same problem. i'm learning korean, i don't even know how to construct a single sentence.
大丈夫。no problem. just write about the simplest issue that comes to your mind. in my opinion unimportant daily events can be very interesting. so do not wait for something speacial, cause your daily experience could turn out very interesting. and according to my experience "the shorter the better".
if you keep writing and pay attention to the corrections, you will get used to using Japanese way of writing and speaking.
I think it has a lot to do with what your goal is in language-learning. If you want to pass the JLPTs (for a job or school), then making sure to practice JLPT-specific words and grammar into your notebook entries would be useful. That’s where writing short reports/essays comes in, because you practice a lot of vocabulary on a certain subject.
But if you’re looking to become a fluent, comfortable conversationalist, then no word is a wasted effort. They may not stick at first, but the more you hear/use them, the better you’ll remember them. Since fluency seems to be the main goal of most people on italki, you see a lot of notebook entries with titles like “友達と一緒に” or “日本語を勉強することは…” Some talk about movies or books, some ask questions about Japanese culture, and some even talk about their personal lives and what’s really on their minds. The idea is to use conversational Japanese and learn how to really express yourself. :)
(I also get the impression that these more personable entries are more likely to receive corrections because they’re more interesting to read. It's good to keep it to a few paragraphs, too; I think people shy away from super-long entries.)
For me personally, I haven’t written very many entries yet, but I tend to talk about my favorite anime shows or J-pop singers, or just about myself, what I’m up to, and the endless adventures of learning Japanese. Things I would talk about with a real person, so I can learn more conversational speech-patterns.
I have the same problem. I've found that speaking Japanese is much, much easier than writing it. A great way to hear how Japanese people speak normally about everyday things is watch dramas. In anime the dialogue is much more scripted, but in dramas you can hear how phrases flow into eachother. Its also a great way to learn every day phrases and slang, like めちゃ and ちょう for とても
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