Is there value in writing in French even if it may be wrong?
One element of learning that is beyond even Duolingo is writing in French. Several weeks ago I started reading "L'insoutenable légèreté de l'être" by Milan Kundera. I thought it was originally written in French, but turns out it is a translation from the Polish. Oh well.
First, I read each chapter straight through. Next, I read it again, looking up words I don't know and writing them in a notebook. Following that, I read the chapter one last time, then read an English translation of it to see if I am on the mark.
To try and have get a stronger grasp on the new words I've thought about writing sentences or paragraphs using them. Since I'm working on my own, it is certain that some of what I write is bound to be incorrect, and that I won't detect these errors. Even so, it seems like there would be value in attempting to write.
Does that make sense?
It's great to write, even if you make mistakes. It really helps you practice writing. But there's also a series on Duolingo called "Lingots for Stories", and you write a paragraph on the chosen topic. Then a person who knows French will go check your mistakes. If you look it up, you're sure to get some search results. It's a way to inspire your creativity and help you write in French, while also getting useful feedback.
I agree with this. It's important to get feedback on what you've written and have someone check for mistakes. Otherwise, you will just continue to make the same mistakes over and over again. The longer you do that, the harder it will be later to learn it the right way.
> It's important to get feedback . . .
Right. A combination of the two is good--writing quite a lot on your own and making up sentences describing what you're doing during the day, but also having some of what you compose checked to catch errors that you may not be aware of.
I think there is value and I have done something similar in Swedish in the past.
There's usually more than one way to say things. When you see, you've written somthing in a different way and can't tell if it is right or wrong, you can always ask or try to find the answer on your own. Looking for answers is a great way to learn.
I reread your post and now realize I misunderstood. If you are still unsure of your skills, then I think it would be very good to have someone check your sentences for mistakes. Or just join a forum or a hobby group on the internet and start writing and ask for feedback.
I originally thought you were translating the text into your native language and then back to the original (which is what I've done). When doing it like this, you have the original for checking and if you've translated differently, you can ask about that exact sentence or a word.
I am feeling uncomfortable saying this, as it's opposed to what people are generally telling you but - it depends. I assume that you are not a beginner, reading that kind of book. But if you want to do write in French, try as hard as possible to avoid making mistakes. Take a look at this: http://www.antimoon.com/how/mistakes-damage.htm (it deals with learning English, but of course relates to any language). I am not saying you should take it 100% seriously, but I think it's good know both sides of the argument. You should of course try and see what works best for you. Bonne chance!
I think that writing something is a good mechanism for learning. However I also agree that while you may be learning the vocabulary you are targeting you may make systematic errors with prepositions or something that will also then stick in your brain.
Maybe you could find another source using those words by looking in Wikipedia.fr or searching Newspapers and then test yourself by trying to rewrite what you find there. Wordreference.com is useful because it very often has the words in sentences as well as giving a translation. I often transcribe these sentences in to my notebook when I think I will need reminding of how to use the word in context.
I really appreciate all the help and advice!
Writing simple sentences using new verbs and nouns should be just about error-free and will help fix them in my mind. In the book, and on Duolingo, I often encounter other structures that are not clear at all. These send me on a research quest (which is enjoyable), but I'm less certain of being able to use them correctly in writing.