Japanese Blogging with Ameba

Are you ready to start blogging in Japanese? Your best start is at the widely popular website Ameba. But before you get started, ask yourself whether you are ready to blog in Japanese, which comes with its own set of pros and cons to your studying experience.

If you don’t have anyone to correct your posts, then it may lead to building bad habits. Especially if you’d prefer writing lengthy posts about complex topics when your level of Japanese isn’t ready for that. So, be careful when entering into the Japanese blogging world. The best way to learn how to blog in Japanese is to read a lot of blogs in Japanese. A good way to start is to post pictures with brief comments.

People are more likely to find and read your blog if you post about the topics of the groups you are in. Once in a while, I’ll post a video in Japanese Sign Language, and people from my JSL group take notice and comment or message me. Blogging isn’t just self-centered, but also a way to make friends.

The Groups

There are so many benefits to joining a group on Ameba. It’s a great way to learn Japanese focused on your interests, meet people who you have things in common with and find blogs as well as share your own blog.

The most common threads on a group board are 自己紹介 (self-introductions) and ブログ更新しました (blog updates). These are a great place to start to advertise yourself and find blogs. There are various ways to introduce yourself and your blog, so read through how others in the group have done it and follow suit.

A group I recommend for all levels is しりとり遊び (shiritori play). You may be surprised by how many ways there are to play shiritori! It’s great for practicing reading directions and learning new vocab.

Ameba Now

Ameba Now is basically a Japanese twitter. That said, having an all Japanese twitter-like program is great for your immersion environment.

Ameba Pigg

There are so many features on Ameba’s MMORPG Ameba Pigg, that it’s really hard to explain in one blurb. The game is really worth playing and discovering this amazing world for yourself.

I would say the two most useful features for improving your Japanese is Pigg Life and the main game itself. You can meet other players by clicking on おでかけ and choosing a location. Clicking on people will bring up their profiles, allowing you to go to their garden, room and blog.

Depending on your Japanese ability its up to you if you want to communicate with others or just observe. If you advertise that you’re not Japanese, a lot of people will be too nervous to approach you because they will think you don’t know Japanese. For me, I choose to advertise that I’m American, so that people will be patient with my Japanese ability.

Pigg Life, the gardening component of the game, is great for beginners, because helping out at peoples’ gardens and them helping you out encourages brief conversation. It’s a good place to get your foot in the door for practicing your Japanese in real-time.

On a side note, this is my last post for the summer. I’m aiming at 80% immersion this summer, so will be taking a break from blogging in English. Hope to see some of you on Ameba!

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Read more of Rachel’s writing on immersion techniques at Is It Possible
 


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Rachel M.

Writer and Educator. Learning Japanese using immersion, currently soaking up as many novels and manga as possible in hopes of one day writing her own novel in Japanese. Also because she loves Japanese books.

Comments

Japanese Blogging with Ameba — 7 Comments

  1. I tried Pigg Life once. Not really knowing what to do, I stopped and haven’t tried again since. However, I tried the Pigg garden thing and found it funny and have been playing it regularly since then! So here I am planting my begonias and tomatoes everyday ;)
    I must say I’m not usually interested in these kinds of games, I don’t play games on Facebook or anything, but there is something about being in this cute universe with everything in Japanese and with many many other Japanese persons doing the same thing as you. Some have crazy gardens that I can’t even imagine the time it took them to create. The leveling up is pretty slow (it’s a social game…) so it takes a while to unlock everything and have a cool looking garden.
    I haven’t been able to engage in a conversation with anyone because for some reason Japanese IME won’t work inside Ameba so I can only type letters… does anyone know why that is? Basically, I can switch the keyboard to Japanese as usual but then it won’t switch to kana mode if I ALT+² or if I select it in the language bar.

    So yeah, it’s a pretty funny game and good for immersion although the Japanese is not crazy at all in there, but I can’t wait to try and talk to someone about tulips and potatoes once I figure out how to type in Japanese :D

  2. Do you have Windows or Mac?

    Sometimes I find that happens to me randomly in any program. Maybe if you try again, it’ll work the next time. The only other thing I can think of is to type in Japanese in your google search bar and to quickly copy and paste it to the chatbox on ameba. It’s slower, but better than nothing. Hope you find a solution!

    I know what you mean… I stopped playing facebook games a long time ago. They were repetitive and too demanding (needed billions of friends and requiring logging in every day to get anywhere in the game). I think part of the excitement about Ameba Pigg is that it’s real time interaction, unlike most facebook games. You don’t feel like you’re alone. It’s more like Graal Online (a downloadable PC mmorpg) than Sims Social (a facebook app).

    While you’re waiting to fix your typing problem, try exploring the places in the main game. You may stumble on some conversations others are having. Especially in the lower populated rooms. Great immersion for learning internet chat.

    • I’m using Windows 7. It works with everything else and I never had any problem like that before. It must simply be because Ameba is done in Flash, although I’m not sure what Japanese people have more or different than me that allows them to type in Japanese in it :/

      I can’t say for Facebook games since I never played any of them, but Ameba sure is lively! There are always tons of people and sometimes it takes a few attempts to connect to a room, so you’re never alone.

      The only time I tried the main game, there were many people talking to each other. It’s not as much the case in the Garden game though so I really will have to try the main game again for that. I found it quite hard to follow the conversations though, especially when you arrived mid-conversation and because the text you can say at once is very limited in length. But it’s good practice for sure!

  3. I might not be ready to blog yet. . .but um.
    I still want to create an account now for future use.
    It said in one of your previous posts that a japanese e-mail was required. Is that still so in this case? I can’t read the webiste well enough to know where to sign up.

  4. I’m not quite ready to do a proper Japanese blog yet (I have done a couple of awful lang-8 entries in the past though), however I discovered the wonders of ameba when I started reading Scandal’s very regular ameba blog. It’s really engaging because they’re quite short but also have loads of pictures unlike on twitter when your lucky if you get 1. This means they’re really easy to read because of the context of the pictures and fun again because of the pictures and the fandom. So I really enjoy reading them and they’re short and interesting enough to me to read entirely intensively.

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