Learning to express your experiences in your new language as an intermediate to advanced learner.

Today (as of the time I started writing this) I wanted to express what happened during my trip to the dentist office. Nothing extremely technical, but I wanted to describe how I got fillings, the pain, etc. However, I realized that I didn’t know how to express

this properly in Japanese. I was handicapped by my lack of knowledge of how Japanese people express their trips to the dentist office.

To remedy this situation, I decided to look up words but this didn’t help much. I didn’t know which words were commonly used, the expressions, etc.

Then it became obvious what to do, read some Japanese people’s experiences at the dentist office. The internet is tailor made fo

r this sort of studying.

So, I loaded up http://blogs.yahoo.co.jp/ and searched for 歯医者 痛い (dentist and pain)
Although, I used Japanese is this example, this would obviously work for any foreign language you’re learning if you just find a good blog service used by speakers of that language.

I then read 10 blog entries about dentist visits by native speakers. All the while, saving valuable words and phrases into my SRS (spaced repetition system) for later review. This whole process gave me the correct vocabulary to use in this particular situation. Also, please note that I just didn’t read one blog entry about the subject. It’s important to get diverse input from a ton of native speakers. This way you’ll pick up the commonalities of speech used by the masses and lower the chance of picking up rarely used words from just one person. It’s good to be unoriginal when speaking a new language.

Likewise, any common experience shared by humans can be found in copious amounts on blogs. This technique is very powerful and can be used to obtain natural language for just about any thing you wish to express. Good luck and tell me how this technique works for you.