May 19, 2008

6 Reasons to Blog in Japanese

If you are learning Japanese, have you ever hoped to blog in Japanese? You can open your Japanese blog even today if you decide you should do so no matter how poor you think your skills are. Your Japanese blog will accelerate your learning, believe me. Here are the reasons why:

1. Have more opportunities to use Japanese
As you probably know, it is crucial to use Japanese to maintain and develop your skills. Are you learning from your teacher or language exchange partner? Of course, that's a good way to express yourself in Japanese. So, how many hours a week do you speak Japanese? I assume most of you attend 1-2 times a week and spend an hour or so for each lesson. Yes, having lessons with native Japanese-speaking teachers is simply fun.

However, I would like you to note that taking lessons is not the only way to use what you learned. And it is not enough unless you have a private teacher 24/7. To blog in Japanese, you don't have to buy textbooks, pay a large amount of money for school, or make a reservation for a lesson. Blogging provides you with virtually free and convenient lessons exclusively for you.

2. Get active
Blogging is active. You write about what you are passionate about. It's a lot more exciting than reading articles, highlighting new words. Reading is entertaining but somewhat passive. Learning Japanese tends to be filled with passive activities and it often gets boring. To keep motivated, you need to make your learning varied by doing many different kinds of practices. To increase hours to do something active, blogging is a must-try. What you need to do is just follow your heart, be real, and write about your own ideas that come from within.

3. Learn a lot by having your readers
Do you keep a journal in Japanese either in analog form or digital one? Then,who are the readers? Probably your are the only reader. I had been writing a journal in English for years, doing "fast-writing," that is what I learned from my college English professor. It's an innovative way in which you never use your dictionary without worrying about grammar or spelling. You just jot down ideas as they pop up in your mind. Although this is a great idea not to slow down your writing, there is a limit to how much you learn by fast-writing. You can't check if your writing is grammatically correct or not. You depend on words and phrases that you already know.

While keeping a journal is personal, blogging is public and you have your readers. So, you will have a little more pressure from them. This will impact you in a positive way. If you want to write quality posts, you may want to use your dictionary to avoid mistakes , check your sentences by google, and go on to Eijiro. This will enable you to expand your vocabulary and improve your grammar significantly.

4. Answer a pile of questions
It's a great opportunity for you to solve your "How do you say this in Japanese?" questions. These kinds of questions tend to pile up horrendously. You may even forget what your questions are. When you write a post in Japanese, you have to answer your questions. It takes longer than you expect. It is frustrating to realize that your Japanese skills are poorer than you imagined. This process may not sound pleasant for you, but it is a necessary step toward proficiency if you have a feeling that your vocabulary is limited and your grammar is weak. You can't be fluent in a language if you leave questions unsolved. You will consequently learn how great it feels when you tackle and solve these questions. You will feel refreshed and become wiser, too.

5. Learn Japanese on a regular basis
The more you blog, the more traffic to your blog you come to want to get. One of the tips to gain more readers is to post frequently. Writing more posts in Japanese means you will spend more time not only writing but also learning new words and phases as I explained in #3. By posting 2-3 times a week, you will probably spend at least 4-6 hours being focused on using Japanese, maybe thinking in Japanese.

6. Interact with Japanese (for free!)
Break the language barrier so that your blog will appeal to a large audience in Japan. You can gain current trends in Japan through your own media, your blog, by communicating with Japanese speakers. Thanks to the Internet, it's free to talk to them now. You don't have to buy an air ticket to share thoughts and information globally.

So, what do you think? Do you want to give it a try now?
Please let me know when you open your Japanese blog!

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