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Dec 16, 2010

A Chance for Output

For today's post I'd like to introduce another tool for improving your Japanese. This tool is a bit different from the others, for it focuses on output instead of input - which brings up another interesting point. The majority of your learning is going to be input-based, meaning that you'll be taking in and understanding Japanese to build your knowledge. Output means making your own Japanese, which is a good bit more difficult than simply understanding. Because it is more difficult, it will require some practice to become better at. So let's start talking about the actual tool for practicing and improving output.

Not everyone seeking to learn Japanese is able to be around actual Japanese speakers, which means that finding the opportunity to practice writing and speaking Japanese can be quite tough. This is where Lang-8 comes in. Lang-8 is an online community made for language exchange. You write journal entries in the language you are learning (in this case Japanese) and native speakers correct it for you. In turn you can correct the entries written in your native language. Every single one of my entries has been corrected by at least two or three native Japanese speakers, which means I always get to see what errors I have made and what I should do to fix them.

Many of the people that correct your journal entries will also send a friend request, which is a great way to meet people and get more dependable corrections from the same person. Also, by becoming friends with native Japanese users you can set up video chats and such to work on your speaking abilities. Lang-8 is by no means the only site of its kind, but I have had nothing but great experiences with it. So, if you're ready to start working on output give Lang-8 a shot.

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