My English Diary Challenge in Australia


Hello, my name is Hiro, and I am a writer. I am currently living in Melbourne, Australia. Living abroad is a dream that many people have at least once in their lives. I am no exception.

However, there is a significant barrier that stands in the way: the language barrier. It’s great to come to a foreign country, but you cannot have a fulfilling experience if you cannot communicate with the locals. Besides enjoying life abroad, improving your English skills will definitely broaden your future options.

Only Japan uses Japanese as an official language, but English is the official or de facto official language in 54 countries. The world is vast. But then the question arises, “How can I improve my English?” Nowadays, there are an enormous number of study methods introduced on YouTube and TikTok. Among them, I recommend “English Diaries.”

Keeping a Diary is the First Step in Learning English for Everyone

An English diary is, as the name suggests, a diary where you write about your daily experiences and feelings in English. The reason I recommend it is simply that “anyone can start it right away.”

Do you have a pen and notebook right now? No, you don’t even need those. Just a smartphone or computer is enough. To those quick to understand and ready to start immediately, thank you. But please wait a moment. There are a few points to keep in mind when writing a diary. For those thinking, “It’s just the usual advice,” please give me a little more of your time. I’m sure there will be new insights.

I started keeping an English diary before coming to Australia and have gone through many trials and errors. I am now enjoying a wonderful life in Australia, and it all began with this English diary. I plan to talk about my current life in the latter part of this article, so please read on. I will introduce methods that I found truly effective through many failures. So, let’s get started.

How to Write Specifically

Japanese Diary

When you decide to write an English diary, if you start with something like “I’m a university student,” stop right there. This is very important; first, write your diary in Japanese. Some of you might be thinking, “But you said it was an English diary!” Yes, write your diary in Japanese first.

Next, translate the Japanese diary you wrote into English yourself. It’s meaningless if it’s not in this order. I know some of you might still have doubts about the Japanese to English order, so let me explain the reason.

For example, let’s say you wrote a diary entry in Japanese: “今日飲んだコーヒーが濃厚でまた飲みたいと思った。” (The coffee I had today was rich, and I wanted to drink it again.) It’s a bit casual, but don’t worry about it. I believe diaries should be written casually. It’s best to write sentences that reflect your daily life.

Now, can you write this sentence in English right away? If you don’t know the words “thick” or “rich” to express the nuance of rich and tasty, you cannot write what you felt directly. As a result, you might end up with a bland sentence like “Today, I had a cup of coffee. That was good.”

What I want to say is that if you try to write your diary in English from the start, only the words you know will appear in your diary. Even if you continue this, you will only produce many review diaries filled with the words you already know. When I first started my English diary, I produced a large number of such review diaries. Continuing this will not expand your vocabulary. We want to learn new words.

That’s why we use our native language, Japanese, which we are proficient in. You should know various expressions in Japanese. Write about your day as you felt it. It’s okay to write about trivial feelings and little observations. Once you have written a very smooth Japanese diary as a native speaker, the next step is to translate it into English.

Translating to English

Some of you might be thinking, “I understand translating from Japanese to English, but I’m worried if my English is correct.” I also struggled with this point and gave up many times. But don’t worry. We modern people have a powerful ally. Yes, AI.

When translating your Japanese diary into English, using Google Translate or online translations is one option, but these often produce strange translations for diary-like texts. On the other hand, the accuracy of AI, starting with ChatGPT, is remarkable. Moreover, with AI, you can immediately ask questions when you have doubts. It’s like having a teacher at school. Let’s see an example with ChatGPT.

Japanese Diary: “部屋の窓から入ってくる木漏れ日がきれいで心地よかった。” (The sunlight filtering through the trees outside my window was beautiful and comforting.)

If you input this sentence to be translated into an English diary, it returns:

“The sunlight filtering through the trees outside my window was beautiful and comforting.”

There’s a lot to learn here. “木漏れ日” (sunlight filtering through the trees) is expressed as “The sunlight filtering through the trees.” And “心地よい” (comfortable) can be expressed as “comforting.” This process takes about 10 seconds. Honestly, this sentence is not much different from web translations.

However, the reason I recommend AI is what comes next. For instance, if you understand that “comforting” means comfortable but wonder if there is a word “comfort” and what it means, you can ask the AI. The AI response is:

“Comfort is a verb meaning ‘to console’ or ‘to reassure.’ It is used when someone is sad or anxious, to console or calm them. It is also used when something or an environment provides comfort.”

It’s enlightening, isn’t it? The meaning of the verb, which provides comfort through things or environments, leads to the translation of comforting.

In this way, you can gain a lot of vocabulary from just one sentence. By translating each sentence into English and learning with AI, you can acquire a tremendous amount of knowledge. Then, it’s just a matter of repeating.

Here are two AI tools I recommend. One is the already famous “ChatGPT.” You can ask it anything from the smallest daily matters. I use it the most when writing English diaries. The other is “Poe.” With this app, you can create your original chatbot (like a teacher). Create your favorite English teacher and have them correct your work.

Continuing English Diaries Allowed Me to Live Abroad!

So far, I have explained the wonderfulness of English diaries and how to write them specifically. But now you might be wondering, “So what are you doing now, having continued your English diaries? How effective was it?” I’d like to touch briefly on my current life.

As I mentioned earlier, I am currently on a working holiday in Melbourne, Australia. In short, a working holiday allows you to work, travel, or do anything you like. I am using English to work in Australia. I talk to staff in English every day, take orders in English, and have fun with friends in English.

Living abroad, away from Japan, is still an unfamiliar experience, and I have new experiences every day. But I can enjoy this life now because of my past efforts in studying English. And the one that greatly expanded my vocabulary is the “English diary” I recommended. I encounter new words and expressions almost daily, feel the excitement of thinking, “I’ll try this tomorrow,” and those small moments build my foundation.

Another reason I recommend English diaries is not just because it’s a great study method, but there’s one more thing I want to convey at the end.

A Testament to Living Life

Let’s say you write an English diary for a week. After a week, you stop writing. This is a bit unfortunate, but the diary remains as a record. A year later, you might come across the English diary you wrote last year. Let’s read a bit. “I remember this; I was doing this back then.” “I went to such a place.” “I felt like this.” This feeling. This experience is what I think is important.

A diary remains in form. If you leave a record of the places you went and the things you felt, you can look back on those moments five or ten years later. You can recall small feelings and events that you might not have remembered if you hadn’t kept a diary. I want you, who have read this far, to experience this joy. Time passes every day. In a modern society overflowing with information where we can’t even remember yesterday’s breakfast, I think keeping a diary is a wonderful thing. I propose that you write a diary as a testament to your life.


Writing an English diary helps with studying English and also serves as a record of your life. Isn’t that wonderful? I feel so even now. I believe I was able to convey my passion through this article. Continuity is crucial in English diaries as well. Even if you learn ten words in a day, it’s meaningless if you stop after a day. Even if it’s just one word a day, it’s important to continue every day. Write your diary steadily, enjoyably, and excitedly at your own pace. I’m also documenting my days in Australia tonight. Thank you very much to those who read this far. See you again!