Sep 2, 2013

The Reason That I Really Want to Improve My English

I’m learning English as a secondary language. I wrote about the reason that I learned English in the entry “The Meaning of Learning a Foreign Language.”

A while ago, I was almost satisfied with my English, because I felt that I could largely express what I want to express. But now I’ve got frustrated with my English.

When I read IMDb’s user reviews, I think that they are more advanced than these on similar sites in Japanese but at the same time I can write a review from my unique stand point of view. So I try to write reviews, but I am not satisfied with them at all.

First of all, I can’t write grammatically accurate English.

Before I’ve got frustrated with my English, I thought, “It’s OK. I’m not a native speaker. If I made some mistakes, readers could guess what I meant.” 

In fact, if I mistook “a” for “the,” it might lead a critical mistake. In order to express accurately what I mean, so I have to write accurate sentences. Nevertheless, I haven’t understood even the usage of “a” and “the,” yet.

Secondary, I can read and write in English too slowly. I guess that I can read and write in Japanese four or five times faster than in English.

I have a lot of books and articles to read in English, but actually I can read only a small part of them. I can only read two or three articles of newspaper a day and it takes two or three weeks to read through only a book.

My typical entry in this weblog has about two or three hundred words and it takes about one or two hours to write through one entry. Sometimes, I haven’t written what I’d like to express yet, I don’t have enough time to write through it.

Of course, I couldn’t keep up with chat, if I used dictionary and thesaurus.

Thirdly, I don’t understand the nuances of English expressions well. In Japanese, I can write both of formal document and casual mail. But I don’t know what impression my writings in English give to readers, so I can’t control my style of writings.

When I wrote the title of this entry “The Reason That I Really Want to Improve My English,” I try to find an adequate adverb and search thesaurus, but I am not convinced which adverb is most adequate for what I really want to express.

In the end, I should read more and more English in order to improve my English. The road ahead will be long.


  1. I read this when you first published it, put it aside so that I could respond with a well-thought-through wisdom, and never got around to it. Hectic work schedule.

    I've mentioned before that I admire both your ability and your persistence.

    All I can add today - as an editor, teacher, blablabla - is that a confident use of the two extremes, very formal and very casual, eludes even native speakers. It's not that easy to do both correctly. (I've lost my ability to be hyper-casual in my mother tongue, Afrikaans. I speak it too rarely, and my slang is obviously dated.)

    I grinned when I read your comment about adverbs. I had a journalism professor who used to thunder forth: "Nouns and verbs! That's all you need: nouns and verbs!"

    The road will be long, but I will enjoy reading your diary. :)

    1. Thank you for your comment as usual.

      Considering my English environment, it might be much more difficult for me to learn "very casual" English than "very formal" English.

      Anyway, the road will be long, and my life will be long, too, I hope.

  2. Your English is pretty good. I've never had a problem understanding your point even though your idiomatic constructions are sometimes a little "off." That's okay, it's that way with us too. I'm still learning it and I'm a native speaker. No problem.

    1. As for the impression you make, you sound like an educated Japanese man who knows enough English to handle it professionally. That's a good thing.

    2. Thank you for your comment.

      I'm frustrated with my writings, because it might not be a problem of my English but my language general ability.

      Anyway, the road ahead will be long.