Study Tips- Writing

Maybe you want to write a letter or email to your penpal. Perhaps you want to keep a diary in your target language. Maybe you need to write an essay for a class or proficiency exam. What do all of the above have in common? Writing! This study tips post will focus on writing—from improving your handwriting in the event that you are learning a language with a different alphabet or writing system than the one you are used to, to working up to being able to express your ideas fluidly on paper/screen.

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Writing practice journal entries

Writing journal entries is a great way to practice your writing skills. Here’s a quick peek at how I go about the process:

Choose a topic and go!

When I go to write a journal, I first think of a topic. The topics are things that I found myself thinking about over the course of the day, so I usually have a rough idea of where I’m starting and ending before I start. When I think too hard about what I’m writing, I start second-guessing myself and changing things, and the end result is stilted and unnatural , so once I decide to write, I just… start writing. Also, I want to be able to write fluidly, so I just try to keep my brain and pen in constant motion.

Ditch the dictionary

For fluidity’s sake, I don’t reference dictionaries or grammar books while writing unless I am completely stuck. Usually I can get to what I want through roundabout ways, so I prefer doing that to stopping and interrupting my flow to look something up. Then later, once I’m done writing, I might reference a dictionary or grammar book to see what I could improve. I don’t go back and retroactively fix my journal, though, because that would defeat the purpose for me. They are records of my thoughts and how well I could do at that particular time!

Don’t stress perfection

When practicing a language, the process is more important than the product a lot of the time! You just have to chug on through the journal-entry-almost-totally-scratched-out-and-rewritten days to get to those occasional one-or-two-errors-only days 🙂

About Bees

Hello, everyone! Here’s a self introduction post here so you guys can get to know me a bit better 🙂

You can call me Bees! I’m originally from the US, but I attended university in Canada. After that, I almost immediately moved to South Korea for work. That’s all I’ll say about my personal life here; I know you came for other things! Mainly…

Why did I decide to learn Korean, Chinese, and Japanese?

KOREAN (5.5years):

My interest in Korean started back when I was in high school. Languages have interested me ever since I was young—I spent seven years in middle and high school studying French, and I was originally planning on (and accepted to university to) pursue a major in French translation. If I hear a language and it sounds nice to me, I just need to know more about it! A close friend of mine introduced me to some Korean music and just… the sounds of the language were so beautiful to me. The intonation and the sounds I heard that English didn’t have just… I needed to know more about it. I started researching a little online, and just like hearing the language grabbed my attention, the shapes and structure of Hangul intrigued me further still.

That isn’t to say I jumped straight into Korean! I had an interest, but French was still my main concern. I decided that I would take Korean classes once I got to university, and that’s exactly what I did. Because understanding the culture from which a language comes is crucial to successfully acquiring that language, I also signed up for an introductory Korean culture class. The material I learned in that class was just so interesting to me, and I was having a bit of a crisis with my intended major anyway, so I ended up changing around my plan, Korean became one of my minors, and I haven’t looked back. Since coming to Korea, I have mostly continued to study and practice on my own except for a few months of government-sponsored Korean language and culture courses, and I am still in love with the language and country, far more than I ever was with French (sorry, Francophones, though it is still a lovely language <3).

CHINESE (about 8 months):

My interest in learning Chinese stemmed in part from my Korean studies and in part from my best friend. A large percentage of Korean vocabulary is derived from Chinese characters, so I decided to study Hanja, Chinese characters in Korean. I found it helpful, stuck with it, and finally I had 500 unique characters written down in my notebook! I thought to myself that I might as well learn Chinese, and that idea took root inside my brain and grew a bit until I actually decided to do it. Also, a close friend told me of his intentions to go to China for a few months to study the language, and my desire to share the experience of learning a new language him combined with my original minor thought to learn it, and that sealed the deal 🙂 Honestly, when I first started learning Chinese, I didn’t like how it sounded much. I was very much there for the visual aspect of the characters, but it has grown on me immensely!

JAPANESE (1 month):

I’ll admit it up front: I had a weeaboo phase back when I was in middle school. I was crazy about anime and manga, and watching subbed anime and listening to music that my friends sent me got me interested in the language. I tried to do some self-study, but the grammatical terms used in all the books and websites I used were so confusing to me at the time (particles? What the hell’s a particle??). And again, French was my main concern, so I just sort of let it go until recently. Here in Korea, there are so many people who learn Japanese, and I wanted to get in on the action! I decided to give it another go, this time using books written in Korean as my main sources. Since I now have a good understand of how particles work thanks to Korean, learning is easier than back when I was younger. Also, because Japanese grammar is generally closer to Korean than English, I can use Korean sources to help my learning process!

Anyway, that’s all! Feel free to message me if there’s anything else you want to know~ Happy studying, everyone!

Personal Chinese study master post

Hello, everyone! I want to compile lists of the materials that I use to study each of the languages that I am focusing on currently, and I have decided to start with Chinese. Keep in mind that these are just things that I like to use and that everyone has their own preferences and methods for learning. I’ll show you my favorite resources and explain what I like about each of them and how they can be used. Here’s my list of Mandarin resources:

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