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Write Japanese - Better Japanese Through Posting in Japanese

Some of us don’t get the opportunity to use what we learn in Japanesepod101.com lessons; Japanese speakers just aren’t everywhere. But there is one avenue that we can take advantage of, one which is often overlooked. Our teachers mention it in almost every podcast. It’s the message board.

In case you haven’t noticed, there is a separate message board for every individual lesson at the Japanesepod101.com website. It is where users can post anything.

Recently, I have made a conscious decision to post something every day. It wasn’t easy at first, but it’s getting easier and easier.

One of my first problems was not a language problem, but what to post. But once you get your creative side working, it gets easier gradually. Also, after each lesson, someone usually thoughtfully puts forth a question for everyone to mull over. This is usually a starting point for a post. Or sometimes someone else posts something which I feel that I can answer to.

I will be posting something in Japanese after every lesson and invite other students of all levels to do the same. Posts need not be very interesting, witty, inciteful, or even gramatically correct, but the most important thing is to write something every day.

I’m sure everyone can do it! Even if you’re not sure, just put something, anything down. In a recent post, 美樹先生 asked us about what we mail order. I answered:

僕は、たまにeBayで買い物をします。探しにくい物をeBayで買うことができます。クレジットカード必要ですけどね。
でもeBayと言うのは通信販売じゃないかもしりませんね。
Boku ha, tamani eBay de kaimono wo shimasu. sagashinikui mono wo ebay de kaukoto ga dekimasu. kurejitto kaado hitsuyou desu kedo ne.
I sometimes buy things using eBay. You can buy things that are hard to find at eBay. You need a credit card though.

Even one sentence would do. A recent lesson mentioned Yakult. I posted:

子供の時に、ヤクルトは大好きでした。
Kodomo no toki ni, Yakuruto wa dai-suki deshita.
When I was a child, I liked Yakult very much.

Maybe if you can think of an interesting question that the jPod might enjoy posting about, you might also post that. In a recent post, I wrote:

私はブBulldogsの大ファンです。
watashi ha Bulldogs no dai-fan desu.
I’m a huge fan of the Bulldogs.

Subsitute ‘Bulldogs’ for another sporting team to show your support for your local side.

This prompted others to show their support for their teams, and introduced us non-Americans to Red Socks, White Socks (something to do with teams’ uniforms I think), and a celebrity listener.

Posting not only helps you writing but helps you find mistakes you don’t realise you have made. In a recent post, Akihiro先生 helped a student who introduced himself with the polite suffix ’san’. Akihiro先生 mentioned that:

自分の名前に「さん」はつけないので、気をつけて下さいね。
Jibun no namae ni ’san’ wa tsukenainode, ki wo tsukete kudasai ne.
Don’t attach ’san’ to your own name, so please be careful.

…in very polite Japanese.

Finally, I’d like to draw everyone’s attention to Bloglines.com . It’s an RF reader, which means that it automatically compiles posts/articles from any site you specify, so that you don’t have to visit them yourself. It means that to read every new post on all 500 or so JapanesePod101.com lessons instead of having to click on every message board, scroll down and check by hand, you can have them all automatically compiled for you. With the help of Bloglines.com, I am able to read every post on JapanesePod101.com, almost as soon as it is written.

That’s going to do it for today!

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