Saturday, August 1, 2009

How to keep myself motivated in writing blog in English

My native language is Japanese, not English. It's certainly much harder for me to write entries in English than in Japanese. I have tried to keep writing English blog several times in the past, all in vain.

In the meantime, I have been posting numerous entries in Japanese on The blog site has attracted more than 900,000 page views in the last 3 years.

The reason why I could keep writing the blog in Japanese but failed to do so in English is rather simple. In English blog entries, I have never received any reactions. No comments nor social bookmarks. It was as if I were talking to the wall. I say something but nobody responds.

There's a web site called lang-8 ( This website has been created and maintained by a Chinese guy who lives in Japan. This is basically a social network system which specializes in language exchange. You can join the network to help people who learn your native tongue and get help from native speakers of the language you study.

Maybe I can post my entries in lang-8 to get my articles corrected by English native speakers. They might not respond to the content of my posts but I can at least receive some reactions in the form of sentence correction. It can be a motivation to keep writing in English.

However, I never really liked it very much. I don't know why. I just wanted to have an English-speaking blog. Perhaps I should just start writing in English. I don't have to make any excuse. As at Bangkok says, after all, we are not English native speakers and it's simply impossible to be perfect on English. The most important thing is to make ourselves understood to as many people as possible. English happens to be the best tool to convey your ideas to the maximum number of people on the globe. Probably, we don't have to be too sensitive on grammar and structures of our English sentences. Just do it. Make your voice heard. That's all we need to do.


31o5 said...

Thank you so much for mentioning about my blog.

I started blogging in English because I wanted to share information with friends in Thailand and all over the world.

Also there might be a passion that I love writing.

ah, and one more. My brain is not good enough to keep everything, I need to output as often as I can, otherwise I forget in a second.

Sometimes writing in English is much easier than writing in Japanese. Because Japanese language is very related to Japanese culture and background. Which means some kind of things I can't say straight in Japanese.

Writing in English is totally different experience of writing in Japanese. I don't translate Japanese to English, I think in English and write in English. That's it.

As you have many non-Japanese friends there or over the world, using twitter, facebook etc will get more readers :)

Enjoy, it's fun to think of different language... oh, I should learn some other language, but just lazy like americans - everybody understand English... :-P

btw, on blogger, i have only Japanese blogs and nothing techie- geeky, the other side of me, I do enjoy writing in Japanese as well :)

Eiji Sakai a.k.a elm200 said...

Hi 31o5.

Thank you very much for leaving a comment on my entry. Well, you are SO FAST!. I tweeted just a few minutes ago and you already left a message for me!

>I started blogging in English because I wanted to share information with friends in Thailand and all over the world.

Although I do have a lot of foreign friends, I still don't know many English-speaking tech people yet. Maybe that's part of reason why I was lazy on sharing information with my readers in English.

After I came to South East Asia and spoke to English speaking people here, I noticed that everybody wanted to know my twitter account. Maybe I can make more English speaking friends by tweeting more often.

>Enjoy, it's fun to think of different language... oh, I should learn some other language, but just lazy like americans - everybody understand English... :-P

Hmm. I have thought about this issue a lot. The problem is that there are way too many languages in the world... We have to pick only one. Though I think that it's so unfair to non-English native speakers, virtually we have no choice but to use English to make ourselves understood to the people across the world. We just have to accept the reality. Good for you, Americans!

Anyway, thank you very much for your response. Your comment motivated me a lot. Please come back to this site from time to time.

31o5 said...

Just have FUN :)

I'm so quick when I'm online and just having fun... very late when I'm lazy or busy...

I started blogging in Japanese about Tech in ASEAN on few months ago, because I just noticed that Japanese don't know what's happening in ASEAN.

As I left comment on your Japanese blog, I had never seen any Japanese blog talking about #Barcamp in ASEAN, you are the first one I found.

Blogging about tech here connected me to you, @koshian and some more.

So when I want Japanese to know about it, then I blog it in Japanese, Thais read my Japanese posts using google translation :-P

In any language, for me, writing is the best way to sort out my mind. I'm not good at understanding myself by talking.

31o5 said...

sorry, for many comment, not spamming.
Check this video out, it's about what I feel...

Eiji Sakai a.k.a. elm200 said...

Thanks for your information.

I took a look at the video.
It was moving...
It is a little difficult to express my feelings on this video because it makes me think a lot.

Spreading ideas is the first step for leadership.

I will try to organize my ideas on my blog so that people can understand me better.

Anonymous said...
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Garth Schmalenberg said...

I read your article on living in Vietnam. As a native English speaker, I wanted congratulate you on your English language skills. So if you want to keep blogging in English, please continue. I am surprise that you get so much traffic in Japanese and so little in English though.

All the best with your blogging,

Eiji Sakai a.k.a. elm200 said...

Hi Garth,

Thank you very much for your comment. That's so encouraging for me. I will try to keep blogging in English. I hope you will take a look at this blog from time to time.