Keeping a Language Journal

Hey all,

Recently I’ve been really into 30 day challenges, as they are a nice chunk of time to try out and ease into a new habit and see if it makes a positive difference without the overwhelming feeling of commitment (this month is planking, and today I made it 2 minutes without stopping!)

Next month’s challenge is trying to keep a language journal, writing down thoughts and feelings and whatever like I would in English, but in Japanese (an Portuguese, on a much much lower level) instead. I don’t want this to be a “study log,” but more a practice in expression.

I want to do it daily, with a sustainable yet still challenging amount. For those who have kept a language journal before, any advice?

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I’ve kept a diary in Japanese for several years. I use a hobonichi techo which basically means I have an A6 page to write about every day, which is very manageable.

It’s improved my hand writing greatly a result and occasionally I will check my entries with a service like Lang 8, (especially when I try out new grammar) but honestly it’s mostly a safe space to relax and enjoy using the language without worrying about it too much.

Of you’re struggling just try doing bullet points, that’s helped me on days I really can’t think of much.

Good luck with your diary project, might be worth having some prompts for each day as occasionally my language can get a bit samey, but things like this can help me try and extend my expressions a little bit.

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I’ve been keeping a daily diary in Japanese since the start of 2021.
I usually write 2 or 3 short paragraphs about what happened during that day which takes a bit of time for me, but it’s been a really great way of becoming familiar with vocabulary which is “every day” stuff to me, but is pretty uncommon for people who do not share my job and hobbies.

My top tip is that consistency is more important than quantity. Some days I have a lot of interesting stuff that I’m excited to write about. Other days I write a brief entry about work being busy and having sausages for dinner. The important thing is that I do it every day and it’s all good practise :slight_smile:

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This is the second time I’ve heard about these today - are they really good?

If you have the money to splurge.
It is just like any other journal, just that it is really expensive so you would definitely want to use it since you bought it. If not, any blank notebook from Daiso will work the same way.

Yes, I love mine, I use fountain pens a lot so it’s beautiful to write in. They are expensive though, originally it was a sort of incentive to actually write in one every day but now it’s just habit.

Sorry about the double post, but I really rate this book for journal keeping in Japanese, some nice prompts, ideas and grammar explanations. I think it’s out of print now, I bought it second hand.