What are your methods of utilizing newly learned vocabularly?

I’m currently in the process of improving my input skills with some creative writing, but unsure of how I can properly transitioning passive vocabulary to active. Guidance totally needed!
thanks :3


This is just personal preference, but I don’t really like creative writing as language practice when you’re still early learning a language. To me, I’d rather first get all the grammar down and then surround myself with entertainment in that language to get used to the language and to pick up the vocabulary. If you do this for long enough, you’ll be so familiar with the language that practicing to express yourself in that language will feel natural really quickly.

I feel like attempting to do this before you’re at that stage is not really useful because you’re too restricted in what you can do, and that’s not because you haven’t practiced it, but because you don’t know enough. So anything you acquire in the process is almost useless because once you know more, you have to practice again. Once you practice again, you also practice what you already practiced before.


Japanese Sentence a Day and writing about stuff that’s relatable to you. Daily for best results :slight_smile:

Also, writing words in a notebook and pronuncing them aloud while writing.

These things helped me personally a lot!


Hmmm, yes this does make sense… However how would I know when it’s time to begin gathering vocabulary? I already begun with Genki II and have two Quartet books on the back burner

I agree with @Iinchou that diving into production is the best choice if a goal is to actively use Japanese. I’ve mostly focussed on the passive skills, since my primary goal is to read and watch things, but practising the passive skills has done almost nothing for my production skills.

It’s probably different for everyone, but sitting back and enjoying shows in just Japanese is not doing much for my ability to comfortably express myself. Recognition and production are different parts of your brain, and (for me at least), that knowledge transfers extremely poorly from one side to the other.

Actually using it is the only way to get used to producing Japanese. Don’t worry too much about making mistakes. I used to not want to produce because I was worried I’d teach myself the wrong habits if I wasn’t getting corrected. But the “correction” comes from exposure to natural Japanese. If I spend 10 minutes trying to work out how to express emotion A, it will stand out to me when I encounter that same thing in a native show, and then I have a better idea on how it would be said.

I don’t think mistakes are as dangerous as I thought they were. Every child ever learns their native language by being wrong about basically everything, but then they keep hearing how it’s supposed to be said, and they retain that. But it feels to me like that retention is easier when the knowledge that you do have is cemented as active knowledge, and not just passive knowledge.

You can also use or just read around a website like langcorrect. That way you see a lot of common beginner errors and how natives would correct them. :slight_smile:

Best of luck!


And here I always thought you got pre-installed with DeepL. :eyes:

…then again, maybe you got unlucky and only got Google translate! :rofl:

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It’s sad how much it applies to me too. I read at N1 level but can barely manage a 自己紹介…

I came to realize that in life, not just japanese, to get good at something you have to do that very thing. Doing weight training will not improve your climbing. If you want to be a climber, just climb more often. Same goes with producing japanese.


I can have conversations in Japanese about current events, and history, and heavier topics like that, but… I sound like a cave person. :sweat: It devolves into a jumble of loose nouns and verbs in wrong tenses more often than I’d like to admit. I can communicate, but in a way that only a paid teacher would have the patience to sit through. The fact that I suck at talking to people in my native language or in English also doesn’t help. No Japanese speaking experience + prone to floundering in social situations = :upside_down_face:

I hate that feeling of blanking on words that I wouldn’t have to pause to consider if I was reading. I know that I know them, but I can’t get access to that knowledge in the few seconds that you have in a regular conversation if you intend to keep the flow going.

It’s very hard for me and very frustrating, but it’s going exactly as poorly as I thought it would, so it’s not like I’m surprised in any way.


Agreed, it’s not the job of random speaking partners to have to act like a teacher for me. Which is also why I want to get to a point where they don’t have to think along with me as much. Just to keep the conversation going, they naturally start trying to help me by offering me words. It’s not a conversation that can be enjoyed just as a conversation, so that’s unfortunate.

I will need a lot more hours of active practice, just like I needed many, many hours of active use when it came to reading and listening. It’s the nature of learning. ^^ Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Oshinさん. :wave:

I noticed I have a lot easier time with production when it comes to topics somewhat relevant to me, like writing short stories about crows sitting on power lines in front of my window or talking about manga. But when it comes to heavier topics I really couldn’t care less about (read: many question sections after the 読み物 in Tobira :stuck_out_tongue: ) I just can’t.

Practicing speaking even alone is a pretty good idea, though. It’s sometimes not about someone correcting you or not, because at like N3+ level one can already produce non-simplistic sentence, but more about just getting those words out.

honestly steven Krashen’s method always worked for me the best- which is just focusing on listening and reading. You don’t need to practice speaking in order to speak- when you get tons of input you unconsciously start to acquire the language. Again I’m talking about only my experience- iv reached c1 in English and french while barely talking with anyone. And after reaching that level It took me probably around 3 weeks of constant speaking practice abroad in order to fully activate all passive vocab. Nowadays I have 0 problems outputting.

Sadly I know that for some people this method doesn’t always work. There are plenty of expats living abroad having a perfect listening understanding and vocabulary but still having huge problems for outputting. i guess we are all different in the end. and if you managed to learn another language on high level you probably already know what works the best for you.