How do I practise writing sentences in Japanese?
(Note: I have no idea how to phrase any of this.) I feel like this is essentially a problem of trying to think in Japanese instead of simply having nothing to write about, since every time I try to write something in Japanese, I can't think of anything to say.
I then try to think of something to say in English that I can say in Japanese, but I have trouble there, too, as I still can't think of what to say in Japanese. I think I may have trouble recalling any Japanese word I could use, although I'm not sure.
I am not sure I am getting what you meant in your question.
As you did not mention how long you have been studying Japanese, I am not sure what is your Japanese competency. Therefore I am going to assume that you have studied Japanese for at least a year and can make basic Japanese sentences.
From what you have mentioned: "I then try to think of something to say in English that I can say in Japanese, but I have trouble there, too, as I still can't think of what to say in Japanese. I think I may have trouble recalling any Japanese word I could use", it seems like you have two challenges.
The first challenge might be you are facing difficulties to form a sentence in Japanese. However, if you have studied Japanese for some time (at least a year), you should not have any problem doing that. You might want to refer back to your textbooks or notes (or something similar) where you have studied from the past.
I don't think you want me to give any lesson here on that. If you are interested, you might want to refer to the basic Japanese lessons
and intermediate Japanese lessons
in this website. There are full of examples on how to form Japanese sentences.
The second challenge you are facing might be your lacking of Japanese words and vocabulary. It will be very difficult to form sentences if you don't know what are the Japanese words to use in the sentences.
For this my suggestion is that you increase your knowledge of Japanese words and vocabulary. Go back and re-study your Japanese vocabulary scripts (if you have any). Get a copy of Japanese english dictionary
, or even better get a Japanese electronic dictionary
You might also want to take a look at this page on Japanese words and vocabulary
Overall, I think you have to try writing your first Japanese sentence, even if it's full of mistakes. It's from these mistakes that you'll learn how to form a good Japanese sentence.
Try it out! You can always write back again (in the comment section) and someone or myself can check for you.Thinking and Writing in Japanese
In my opinion, it's not so easy for a non-native speaker to think in Japanese and then write out something in Japanese. You must have already studied the language for quite a number of years and master the language in order to do that.
I think those people who has studied or worked in Japan might be able to do that, as you are "forced" to do so because they are surrounded in a Japanese-speaking environment.
For people who learned Japanese in any places other than Japan, most of them won't be able to think and write in Japanese. No doubt there might be some exceptions, but most of them won't be able to do so.
This is just my opinion.
Hope this helps,