How was your experience with Lang-8?

Hi everyone,

I just wanted to know your opinion about Lang-8. I think it’s an awesome web app but I am kind of lost honestly. I just started and I am thinking about making a topic per day (+ correction for someone else). Since I already use WK plus other resources, Lang-8 will only be like a small practice with a couple of sentences.

I like how active it is, though when I get answers I get more confused than anything else. Here are my problems.

  • Many Kanji that I don’t know, well it’s normal with native speakers…
  • I don’t understand what they say at all
  • There is no real source that I can use to translate what they said (google translate make things even worse)

So the best solution would be that I post only one sentence at a time and make sure that it fits my grammar level. I still want to know your opinion though as most of you are better than me. Also how was your experience with Lang-8?


Did you give them any instructions? Like “please use simple kanji” or “please explain in English if possible.”

You can add stuff like that.

And as we all know, natives aren’t necessarily the best teachers. They don’t know what kind of grammar point you wanted to use, they will just make it grammatical in some way. That’s just the nature of it, so it does kind of help to already have a strong base before you start using those kinds of corrections.

Especially in Japanese. Like if I was learning Italian or Spanish I can somehow work with google translate, though helping someone with Kana/Kanji doesn’t really solve the problem lol.

I guess you are right, I should have mentioned a bit of explanation beforehand, next time I will make a simple sentence and wait until I get better. Thank you!

I haven’t posted on Lang-8 in long while, but it was good overall when I did use it.
Of course I’d get corrections sometimes where I had no idea what what I said was wrong, or why what they said was better. Other times, I’d have multiple people correct a sentence, each in a different way. Why the different correct ways? Often not clear.
But, I did end up becoming Lang-8 friends, or partners, or whatever they call them, with a few people who would do a nice job explaining things.
Spend a bunch of time correcting Japanese natives English posts, and eventually you’ll find some that friend you, and make good study partners.

I also have a Chrome extension (IPA Furigana), that will add furigana to everything. Helps with all the kanji you don’t know.

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Whoah, since when is Lang8 back open? For the longest time, any time I visited the website I was told registration is closed to new users and I’d have to use the HiNative app instead.

I use Hinative :slight_smile: You can put your level in the language you’re learning so they won’t write answers that are too complicated. Also, you can always ask them to write the answer in English/simply
If that’s not possible, you can use as an online dictionary to look up the words + kanji

I just checked, it is still closed to new users.

To the OP (@Draga) : I agree with Leebo. Although native speakers may know what sounds correct (or natural), those who haven’t gone through some form of teacher’s training will struggle to present explanations that are accessible to learners. Worse yet, if a learner is not a high enough level, there’s a chance that an over correction could cause the learner to misunderstand the intent of the correction. (This has happened to me before). Using your Lang-8 post as an example, maybe you intended to use those sentences in a more formal context. The person who corrected your sentences just assumed that you wanted to use more casual speech and made corrections accordingly.

I think what could help is that you’re clear about what context for which you’re writing and you stipulate how you’d like your feedback. (e.g., “Please correct me using simple Japanese and, if possible, tell me why you corrected the mistake”). That way you can catch anyone adding or taking away parts you feel are important. It may scare away quite a few from correcting, but the person who does respond will looking give you what you’re looking for.

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LOL why is it closed? I didn’t even know that. I made an account like a year ago and never used it haha, now I just started.

@LucasDesu Thank you!

I don’t know the exact details, perhaps because they’re trying to force people to use their new app?

Which one? xD

It’s called HiNative. It’s decent, but I prefer HelloTalk. And I think if I had access to the lang8 website, I’d perhaps find it more useful than the HiNative app. But I wonder, if new registrations are closed and as old users become less active, will general activity decline? It seems strange to me, but all they’re doing is killing the community, in the long run.

Kind of. They’re not earning anything with Lang8 or something like that, so they opened a service that actually pays off for them (as far as I understand).

I’ve been using Lang8 for ages and it helped me with my learning process a lot (especially as I got more familiar with the languages I was learning). At least based on my experience, I get many corrections within minutes of posting. Although it’s been closed for ages, I don’t feel like the community has been declining at all? Which is kind of weird. That’s why I only recently found out it was closed when I tried to recommend it to a friend.

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Yeah, it makes sense. Though I can’t see why they couldn’t just start charging for membership for Lang8 too. I heard so many good things about it but I was quite disappointed to discover that I can’t sign up.

And I’m glad to hear it hasn’t declined, but it does seem inevitable that the userbase will eventually, given enough time.

It looks interesting, I will probably try it, thanks for the recommandation :slight_smile:

With HelloTalk, I get all the corrections I want to my Japanese while talking with natives at the same time, which I think it’s quite more practical. If you want to get corrections on small texts, you can use HiNative.

EDIT: Post at a decent Japan time. You don’t wanna make a question on Hinative and be like 4am in Japan…


I think it depends on what you’re after from lang-8. Are you just looking for general practice by chatting about topics like music or sport in each entry, or to target specific grammatical/vocab aspects of your language learning like te-form or past tense? Or something else? I’ve found using it in different ways get different responses.

For example, I use it to practice using the Genki textbook. So as the title I’ll put something like 「から」と「まで」のれんしゅう, and I’ll usually add a note for myself as to the page number I’m working from. This let’s anyone who’s kind enough to help me out know exactly what I’m focusing on, and that way they tend to correct the specific language aspect that I’m trying to improve. Though if I’m using a bit of grammar or vocab wildly wrong then they’ll let me know as well! I usually do no more than 10 practice sentences per entry, and make sure I have any other requests like no kanji please at the top.

If I’m using it to talk about a general topic like music, I’ll get corrections on all aspects- vocab, grammar, etc. Which is great, but it can mean the explanations are longer and more confusing!

I also make sure not to use more kanji than I know- if I’m not sure I just use kana. I’ve found that native speakers will generally follow my lead, so if I’ve gone with all kana in my entry they’ll usually do the same with any explanations and make the explanations nice and simple. When I first started using lang-8 I tried to use more kanji than I actually understood by using dictionaries and so the native speakers would also use a bunch of kanji and it just confused me!

Anyways,I hope this helped and best of luck with learning Japanese and using lang-8!

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Damn I completely forgot about that, I need to remember it lol.

@lollypop Thank you so much for your comment!

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+7h from France :wink:

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Feels bad man…

PS : Not so far Portugal!


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