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.
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 is basically a Japanese twitter. That said, having an all Japanese twitter-like program is great for your immersion environment.
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!
Read more of Rachel’s writing on immersion techniques at Is It Possible