Writing in Japanese
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Preface to JET Essay


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Express yourself baby

Who says writing in Japanese is just for Japanese people? 

Writing is a skill. It gets better with practice whatever language you write in.

For example, take the C I got for my final Japanese written exam at high school. Eleven years of substantial effort and practice later, I ended up winning a competition for an essay I wrote in Japanese. Didn't see that coming when I was at school I can tell you!

There are lots of ways to improve your written Japanese, but let's start with one of the most important because it encourages you to be a language scientist.

Google is your friend

When you're unsure about something you have written in Japanese (or English for that matter), put it in Google between "double quotation marks" and see how many hits it gets. The more googlits, the more common (and hence authentic/natural) the Japanese.

It's probably a good idea to check that the websites you're using as qualitative references originate from Japan and not from some enthusiastic albeit grammatical dubious second language learner in Arkansas.

(That said, the one and only person I've met from Arkansas spoke great Japanese and was a lovely guy to boot.)

Nevertheless, this method works as a general rule of thumb.