One of the hardest transitions from going between English and Japanese is the mannerisms and structure that the English language holds. If I were to give an example, one idea that I don’t think would translate directly that I find myself attempting to express terms such as “sounds like” (sounds interesting, sounds like fun) or everyday weird English sayings like “under the weather”. Of course I can directly translate these if I try, but I don’t think Japanese people speak in this sort of way. Furthermore, I’m sure there are also Japanese mannerisms that fall in the same category that have indirect translations into English (お願いします is one that immediately comes to mind).
Consistently I attempt to do direct translations of thoughts I have into Japanese, which I feel like it’s a hindrance to my overall learning. I’ve been trying to avoid using Google translate as a tool to test my Japanese knowledge, as I know it isn’t always accurate to the language and reinforces the use of said “direct translation” method (I can directly place all of the words I’m thinking of into the order of a Japanese sentence and google gives me the English translation that I’m looking for, but it may not be actually correct in Japanese). I also have noticed that if I change out different grammar particles, such as using に instead of で, the translations don’t always change, which shows that using Translate is an ineffective tool to ensure I’m giving grammatically correct sentences.
What are some resources or practice methods that I can use to help move myself away from this sort of study habit? Should I just start practicing grammar and exposing myself to more Japanese content (I’ve been using Bunpro and Genki I as study tools, but I haven’t gotten too far into either of them yet), or is there another resource I should look into for learning specific mannerisms and sayings used in everyday Japanese? I’m interested to hear what you all have to say!