I can’t form a sentence in Japanese. I mean, I can create one with the most basic structure – one subject-verb, but that’s about it. I feel so bad that even after four years of studying the language I haven’t made the progress I’ve wanted.
In order to counter this I figured Lang-8 would be the perfect place to be. In the past I tried putting up posts as regularly as I could. It wasn’t hard coming up with ideas. The problem area was grammar of course. Not knowing enough meant I would write sentences in the same manner as always, simple and childish, learning nothing new in the process.
And so I bought books and studied grammar. But I don’t think I studied it the right way. While I read the books from cover to cover, rereading all the practice sentences, I never attempted to make new ones. In fact, I found that very hard to do.
I’ve been trying hard to solve this problem. What I figure is if I expose myself to more Japanese either through listening or reading I should be able to get better at making my own sentences. I’ve also been religiously hanging out on HelloTalk. I’ve made some new friends after fine-tuning my search parameters. I’ve been very strict with myself and resisted the urge to reply back in English just because it’s easier.
I still have to put a system in place for noting down all the new words and phrases I come across from all these different resources. I want them all in one place for ease of access.
Also, here’s a little post I came across on Tumblr. It is a challenge for language learners to practice writing in their target language. It requires them to post something up on Lang-8 everyday for the entire month of January. It’s a great resource for anyone who struggles with topics. Good luck!