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Starting out with writing practice?

#1
In a class there might be assignments that the teacher gives you feedback on. In this forum, I mostly hear about Lang-8. I was wondering about what else people might have tried and how it went. Or if you used Lang-8 from the beginning, how did you start?
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#2
(2017-11-23, 9:53 am)HelenF Wrote: In a class there might be assignments that the teacher gives you feedback on. In this forum, I mostly hear about Lang-8. I was wondering about what else people might have tried and how it went. Or if you used Lang-8 from the beginning, how did you start?

When you say writing practice, do you mean kanji or do you mean writing essays?
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#3
HelenF, could you be a little more detailed? Writing can mean many things.

Lang-8 is not allowing new user accounts to be made. It kind of sucks. Are there any other places focused on long form written output apart from lang-8?
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#4
I mean composition, though not necessarily essays. E.g. eventually I'd like to be able to write email to friends or post on forums.

Ah, still no new user accounts on Lang-8? I saw that a while ago but thought they said it was a temporary technical problem.
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#5
(2017-11-26, 11:41 am)HelenF Wrote: I mean composition, though not necessarily essays. E.g. eventually I'd like to be able to write email to friends or post on forums.

Ah, still no new user accounts on Lang-8? I saw that a while ago but thought they said it was a temporary technical problem.

My understanding is that they're transitioning Lang-8 to their new HiNative service, which might be useful but is a very different thing.

Although iTalki is primarily for speaking practice they do have a writing feature called the Notebook.  I haven't used it personally, but you can explore a little bit without singing up.
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#6
Well you're not going to become able to write emails or forum posts by not writing emails or forum posts. I suggest finding examples of these two genres of writing and finding some patterns in the language that you can use to practice writing some new phrases.  Then maybe ask on hinative if it looks good.  Also while emails and posts may share some patterns, usually they are very topic specific. So in the same way as above, find examples of writing about some topics that you might want to communicate about and in the example fine some chunks of text you can  cut up, play with and make new sentences. Maybe make a mind map of useful phrases for that topic.. Like if its food,  find out how to say what the ingredients are, or how its cooked...
(like this but Japanse...)
[Image: ghO8aPP.png]
Possibly you want to express your feelings and opinions. Find some examples in the same genre as you want to write in and play with them...
Would be what I would do if I had time to focus on writing.

You can still search the public lang8  records with Google "site:" operator. (site:lang-8.com "Eメール" "email") This might be a good place to find examples.. Also side by side bilingual corpuses(linguee or here)  or blogs or YouTube or bilingual story books, or graded readers.. ect

Also i would start to build a personal glossary.
Its annoying looking up how to say something over and over.
Edited: 2017-11-29, 9:42 am
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#7
Looks like the italki notebook might be a suitable replacement for lang-8!

m8719705030, those sound like some good ideas. Basically, read things related to what I might want to write, with attention on looking for patterns to re-use, and take notes.

I'm having another go with "Japanese Sentence Patterns for Effective Communication". I stalled at it previously due to too much unknown vocab, and it seems a lot more accessible now.
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#8
When I learned other languages (including English), I found that posting on social media (I like message boards and comment sections under blogs or videos, more than the big social media platforms) resulted in enough feedback...not from people correcting you, they don't really do that (not unless they're trying to be dicks), but just from people using a lot of the same expressions and collocations you're using.

Let's say for instance you're asking or answering a question...like in this thread. If a dozen other people answer the same question, they're very likely to say most of the same things you said. If you made a mistake, and another person writes the same thing correctly somewhere in the thread, you notice. That's feedback, without the tedious "classroom" aspect of it.

It might actually be better than having someone correct your mistakes...because with a teacher or study-partner, most of the corrections will be grammatical...it's very hard to go over subtle stylistic problems, in a teacher-student dynamic. So you can still develop unnatural patterns, which are very hard to unlearn later. Social media, on the other hand, allows you to self correct when it comes to style, too.

P.S. Unlike in a classroom or similar setting, on social media your subconscious works towards the same goal as your conscious will. (For all kinds of reasons, that make social media so popular and addictive...but the most important one is that, as a social animal, you are subconsciously trying to fit in. So you are psychologically conditioned to try and copy the way others act and speak, which means you're learning how to write correct, natural Japanese without even trying.)
Edited: 2017-12-01, 4:31 am
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#9
(2017-12-01, 4:21 am)Stansfield123 Wrote: When I learned other languages (including English),
I'm curious.  What's your native language?
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#10
(2017-12-01, 4:36 am)phil321 Wrote: I'm curious.  What's your native language?

Hungarian.
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#11
That makes a lot of sense! And I think I'd prefer trying to communicate rather than writing mini-essays for the sake of it (though probably need to do a bit of that to start with).
Edited: 2017-12-06, 7:59 am
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