Lang-8

Lang-8 is a social website that lets you write journal entries in the language you’re learning (Japanese is one of the most popular languages) and then get those journal entries corrected by native speakers of that language. In theory, you then help people learning your language by correcting their journal entries too. It’s a community of people learning languages and helping each other. “Language Exchange” is probably the best way to describe it. Lang-8 is free to use though there is a “premium” version which gives you some (great, in my opinion) extra features that will help you learn Japanese a bit faster.

Visit Lang-8.com →

Pros

  • The community is really friendly and helpful — not only will people help correct your entries, but they’ll help you to translate things as well.
  • You can do almost anything with the free version (though the premium version definitely will help avid Lang-8 users out in the long run).
  • Great correction system, which lets you see where you messed up and why. Also very easy for you to make corrections on other people’s entries.
  • Good way to find language partners to Skype with for listening/speaking practice.
  • Entries get corrected very quickly (more quickly if you spend the time to make friends / help others out as well).
  • If you write posts consistently over a long period of time, you’ll learn a ton.
  • Lang-8 is a great complement to RhinoSpike. Get your journal entries corrected and read aloud by native speakers – all for free!

Cons

  • Beginners of Japanese probably won’t understand why things are getting corrected / won’t understand the corrections.
  • Intermediate and Advanced students of Japanese will get more benefit out of Lang-8 than beginners will.

Final Word?

Personally, I love Lang-8. I think it’s one of the best websites out there for practicing your Japanese. You can’t just start using Lang-8 with no Japanese knowledge and expect to learn Japanese, but if you’ve done some Japanese study (see the Japanese Textbooks section to get started if you’re a newbie!) before, Lang-8 is one of the most effective ways to learn more Japanese, practice your Japanese, and make some Japanese friends (who are willing to help you with your Japanese). It really doesn’t get better than that.

Pictures

My Lang-8 Friends, who need their journal entries corrected

People learning Japanese who need their journal entries corrected by Native Japanese Speakers

Correcting someone’s English (this is also how your Japanese gets corrected)