My problem area in Japanese

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!

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5 thoughts on “My problem area in Japanese

  1. One of the most frustrating things is when you understand what someone has said to you, and you are trying to construct a reply, but it’s taking too long to figure out how to say what you want to say, and it’s a long awkward silence, and they think you didn’t understand. Or when there are a few people having a conversation, and you can’t join in because you are just too slow and the conversation’s moved on by the time you figure out something appropriate to say.

    1. LOL. I haven’t ‘spoken’ Japanese with anyone yet, but I know how that feels! I think you will get better and better at it if you practice with someone on a regular basis. You can find language partners on HelloTalk. It can be at a pace you want. I’m sure you’ll improve very fast!

  2. I feel your frustration as well. It frustrates me that with all I have learned, when I talk I can’t make sentences. Many people don’t understand when I say that. I literally can’t make sentences after studying Japanese for how many years. It’s not for lack of trying it is just something that doesn’t add up for me. I hope that if you find a method that helps you make more progress, you can share your secret 🙂 thanks! -Kira

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