Today, one of my friends decleared that he will start to write his diary in English. His decision stimulated me, so I also tried to write down this blog in English.
The most difficult thing I usually experience when writing down English sentences is the choice of words; For example, there are many expressions meaning, 'write' in English.
According to a thesaurus, synonyms of 'write' are:
write down, jot down, put down, note, take down, record, register, log, list, sign, scribble, scrawl, pencil, compose, draft, think up, formulate, compile, pen, dash off, produce, etc...
I am a non-native English speaker, so it is quite difficult to understand such slight differences between these words, e.g. How different 'write' and 'write down' are?
To learn these differences of words/phrases is important, because I know, in English, the use of repetition of the same word is not a good writing style. But, even in this short entry, I have already used many repeats of 'write down'. Nevertheless, appropriate replacements of such phrases never come up to me. I guess it is just because the amount of words and phrases I learned from people who speak English is not sufficient.
Recently, there are many audio sources of English speaking people available from PodCast, Google Video, You Tube, etc. I am happy to collect these materials to improve my English skills, because there were no easy method to get raw English voices a few years ago.
However, I get discouraged considering how fast my four-years-old son learns Japanese. Everyday, he speaks Japanese even if what he said contains some grammatical errors or misuse of words. Thus, I understood that 'do not get embarassed' is a key to efficiently learn to speak a new language.
Another key that I have already lost and cannot be achieved is good memories of a child; it is not only about my son, but in general, children remember well phrases once they have heared.
Here is an interesting story. It has been a daily routine for me and my wife to read some storybooks for my son before he sleeps. When he was two-years-old, he couldn't read any Japanese letters. As we continued to read through the same books for many times every night, one day, he said "I read this today." And, to our surprise, he started to read the contents of the book without seeing any characters, but what he read was almost correct. Maybe, he remembered what we read to him by making a strong connection to the paintings in the book.
Now, he has completely mastered hira-gana and kata-kana letters, so we never see his astonishing reading from memories. It is a little bit pity for me.
Conclusion; Since I have no such good memories, what I can is to keep learning English.