Any resources for practicing writing and composition?

Hey guys. I want to practice writing and composition. I was wondering if there were any resources that contain English sentences that I could translate into Japanese (with the correct translations provided).

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I don’t know of any ready made resource for this sort of thing, but I do have an idea you can try.

Do you have a Japanese resource with sentences pretty much on or below your current abilities, grammarwise? Your textbook for example. If so you can sit down for an evening and translate a bunch of those sentences into your native language. You can even pick and choose how many of certain grammar points you want to practice. Let the sentences sit for a couple days (depending on how long you need to let the original fade from your memory). Then translate those same sentences. There will be multiple correct ways to formulate certain ideas, (different synonyms for example). But at least the original sentence will be there for you to check against.

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Ehh… I think it’s best to get out of the mindset of English -> Japanese as early as possible. Direct translations sometimes don’t work, and/or there may be multiple correct translations. Even in simple examples.

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4500 Japanese sentences is good when on sale if you’re looking for what Saida mentioned (translating to English), otherwise I would use a talk site https://language.exchange/ for typing and writting short essays for typing/handwritting

What would be the problem if there are multiply correct answers, if someone is just doing it for practice, not trying to reach one definitive answer?

And also, curious, how else would you recommend expressing our thoughts in Japanese then, if we’re in Japan, we’d still be thinking in English, but would like to be able to express our thoughts in Japanese to Japanese people, which would entail translation to some extent.

Definitely agree though that it’s ideal to not have to do that, but there’s still a matter of that in order to say anything, and practice saying anything, you have to have something to say. (if that makes sense).

But yeah, I don’t think I’m disagreeing with you, just wondering how you would suggest proceeding.

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These may be helpful.

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I just don’t know how you’d go about it, at least the way OP is asking which is like “Here’s English sentence X. Make a translation in Japanese, then compare to answer key Y.” Like you could come up with a sentence, check the answer key and be like “Well… that’s not what I came up with…” but it also not necessarily be wrong.

I think the best thing is to get feedback from native speakers, which is really easy to do with stuff like HelloTalk, etc. I’ll usually post or exchange things both in Japanese and English. You can get a lot of good feedback for what does or doesn’t sound natural, grammatically correct, appropriate word choice, etc.

I think shadowing resources are great as well, since you get a sample of native sentence structure, speech style, etc.

Might be surprised. I actually just got back from Japan. Haven’t been studying the language for even a year and a half. And for conversation, I didn’t feel like I was searching for 1-to-1 direct English translations.

That’s maybe more the point of emphasis - it’s more a question of the level of abstraction you’re working at, rather than “thinking in English” or not. Like the thing to avoid is the literal translation. I remember seeing someone in a Reddit post come up with 私はベッドに行く for “I’m going to bed.” Which is grammatically correct and works as an absolutely literal translation, but doesn’t express the desired meaning or concept of sleep.

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That’s basically what the Assimil active wave is. The books or pdfs from the old version of Glossika would be well-suited to this as well.

Thanks for all the suggestions guys!

There is now a new thread where everybody practices composition: Let’s talk 日本語 (beginner +). Come check it out!

I can’t think of any resource to do this, but what I do is take all the sentences from my textbook (Genki) and put them into anki E-J, so I see the English meaning and have to translate it to Japanese and speak it outloud. At first it was a little difficult but now I can translate most of them right away. It’s helping me with being able to produce the language. You could probably do something similar with writing, though.

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