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In the early days of starting this blog, I made a decision to write it exclusively in English. There are a few reasons why: I’m not great at writing in foreign languages, and I’m also not sure if there are even native speakers reading this blog to understand and/or correct my writing attempts.

But Lang-8 solves this problem.

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It’s an awesome resource that I heard about from Olly Richards over at iwillteachyoualanguage.com. Olly has a lot of great tips, so I suggest reading his site if you get the chance.

Lang-8 was created by YangYang Xi, a guy born in China, but raised in Japan. When he was studying in Shanghai, he got the idea for the site as an easier way for his friends to correct his own Chinese journals. Interestingly enough, after a falling out with his developer, Xi taught himself to program in a few short years. The hard work is paying off, because it topples other sites for practising writing.

Lang 8 is superior because of how it operates. It takes each sentence, and then reformats them so they that can be checked line by line by a native speaker. The native speaker can say if the sentence is correct, if it needs adjusting, or even add comments to clarify some finer points.

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I’ve had my Thai checked by several native speakers, and I help check their English in return. It only takes a few minutes, and is a great way to boost my confidence (and competence). And because there’s more than one pair of eyes looking at my writing attempts, I get different opinions and interpretations, which I’m really intrigued by.

But if this seems daunting and overcomplicated you can also put your native words along with your foreign writing for clarity. This helps me feel more ambitious about expressing myself and trying out new words and phrases.

Lang-8 is a brilliant website that I would wholeheartedly recommend to anyone who wants to develop their foreign language writing skills.

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