Why you should keep a journal in another language

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As fun and healing journaling can been, you can use the benefits of journaling in more ways than you would have thought. While keeping a journal is totally a person’s decision, you might be tempted to try this method as a way of practicing a language you want to learn.

My sister told me the other days that I used to keep journals since childhood. I think I started to keep a journal when I was 14. I started to write the things I couldn’t discuss with other people, to write my worries and the things I was proud of. I kept that journal for a few months until I got into high-school. Then a new period began and I started writing a new journal. Why? Because it was mostly about my days in high-school and about the guy I had a crush on. And because I wrote only cheesy stuff the way teenagers do, I wrote it in English because I was afraid my younger sisters would find it. You know, when you have younger sisters or brothers, your things are not really yours :))

No matter how cheesy that journal was, it was my first journal written in another language and I was proud that I could do that. I had a precedent. My next journal, the one I started writing during my university years, was written in Korean because I really wanted to learn the language and I did everything I could to become better at it. I have realized that journaling in another language is a very powerful method when learning a new language.

Now I have 2 journals, one in English, a regular one, and one in Korean, a general one. I can’t give up on any of them because they are that helpful in many ways. In English I write not only for practice but also because I am more advanced than in Korean and I also feel more comfortable than I do in my mother tongue. I used to read my old journals from time to time in order to check how much I improved, how I felt then, how I dealt with different people or situations in the past. But keeping journals in different languages made me realize that my language skills were improving too. Sometimes, when I feel discouraged that I am not doing a lot better with Korean, I pick my old Korean journal and start reading. I can easily see how much I have improved and it gives me hope and a positive feeling.

No matter how I look at it, journaling gives me joy and a sense of achievement. And it’s also fun.

I want to hear from you. Have you ever used journaling in another language as a tool to practice and improve that language? Share with me your stories and thoughts on this.

As always stay safe and positive and I’ll see you around.

Why I chose to slow down

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Since I was a child I was in a continuous rush and I’ve always tried to do more than I could handle. I remember that when I was in school I used to do a lot of extra homework for most of the disciplines. It was already a lot for a children and now that I think about it, I don’t really think it helped me that much later on, other than building consistency, but society taught us that we had to do more and more in order to succeed. Thus I have always participated in a lot of school contests and extracurricular activities and extra homework was some kind of hobby for me. And no, I am not trying to show off (if I could go back to those years… yeah, I would probably do the same, silly me), but honestly I was surprised by how many notebooks written by hand I had in school when I reorganized all my books and notebooks.

I continued this practice even during faculty (told you, silly me). I studied and worked a lot, I didn’t respect myself and my sleep hours, I ate in a hurry and often unhealthy food. The truth is nobody asked me to do so. Nobody asked me to work until 2 or 3 in the morning. I was the one pushing myself. And then I started to feel weaker and tired day by day. I also had some health issues. All because I didn’t take care of myself, because I pushed myself when it wasn’t the case. My body was yelling but I couldn’t free myself from the prison I had build. Until very recently, more exactly this year. I decided to change my habits and to try healthier ones. This is what I usually do at the beginning of the year. I always had New Year resolutions. But they usually sounded like this : This year I have to take a lot of 10 in school! (the equivalent of A).

For the 2020 resolutions, I wanted for the first time to do something that would mean a real improvement to me. So I set 2 big objectives: to lose weight and to start keeping a journal. And I did both, which gives me so much satisfaction and motivation to continue making more healthy and practical decisions.

Journaling and later my encounter with minimalism helped me a lot to calm my mind and to realize that I was missing a lot of things because I was always in a hurry. Through journaling I became more organized and it also became a motivation for starting this blog. Minimalism taught me to slow down and helped me become more responsible and more mindful about my everyday life. Slowing down is a continuous practice, not a destination. I will never be able to master it, but I will certainly enjoy the process.

Journaling – practice makes it better

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It’s been a few months now since I’ve started keeping a journal. And it was one of the best things I’ve done this year. In fact, starting writing a journal was one of this year’s goals and I am happy I’ve accomplished it.

I’ve wanted to change and improve a lot of things around me and about me in 2020 and I’ve searched for methods to do so. I also felt very stressed and frustrated since corona started to spread around the world and journaling was the best strategy I could use to calm my mind and to take over my complicated thoughts.

At first I didn’t even know how to write it in order to be efficient. I started researching about what to write in a journal in order to make it an efficient tool for self-improvement. The research helped me to get an idea of how a journal should look like, but after writing for a while, on a daily basis at first, I started to get the hang of it. Everything got a lot easier and I discovered my own way of writing a journal in order to help me improve as an individual. Continuing to keep a journal helped me to get to know myself better, to organize my thoughts and the things I wanted to get done, so I’ve become a lot more productive and it also helped me to calm my mind.

These days I don’t have the time to write daily, but for a journal to be efficient and helpful, it doesn’t need to be written daily. For me, journaling is some sort of written meditation, so I usually write when I feel I need it, when I want to calm my mind. It could be once a week or a few times a week. There are times when my other activities don’t allow me to write daily or even a few times a week. However, I try to write at least once a week. This way I work on consistency (this is something that I want to improve) and I can keep a more accurate track of my feelings and activities.

I started writing my journal in English even if my mother tongue is Romanian because when writing in English I feel more comfortable and I can portray my feelings more warmly and more accurately. So writing in the language you are the most comfortable with is very important in order to transform the simple act of keeping a journal into a sincere desire of getting to know the real you. When it comes to the language of my journal, I have to admit that I wanted to keep a journal in a language other than my mother tongue because it is also a great method of improving one’s linguistic skills. Being passionate about languages, I chose English not only because I feel very comfortable when using it, but also because I wanted to polish my English writing skills.

I believe that journaling can help people in a lot of different ways, depending on the objectives one sets. No matter the objective, journaling seems to be a great tool in becoming more aware of yourself.