A Bike Ride in Japanese

Okay. Easy reading time. I think this may be my longest attempt at writing anything (though still not very long), and I tried to do it using the plain form, since that’s what I’m learning right now. I try not to write in English first and then translate but, rather, to compose the whole thing in Japanese.

As always, I don’t claim that any of the following has been written correctly. Most likely, it’s filled with mistakes, but, here we go:


きのう天気がよかったから自転車に乗った。25-マイに乗った。それは暖かいけど強い風邪が吹いていった。難しかった! 日本語を連取した。「何を見た」をした。何を見たか。空や太陽や雲や鳥を見た。3匹の犬聞いたけど犬を見ない。時々犬は私追い勝て。それが大嫌い。建物を見た。家や協会や中学校や高校を見た。交通がたくさんあった。白い自動車はとても近かった。それは危ない!サイクリストを見た。私たちは振った。オートバイがたくさんあった。尾かもたくさんあった。一緒に丘と風がとても難しい!自転車に乗るが大好きだ。ほとんど毎日自転しに乗りたい。

And here I will break it down so you can see what I was attempting to say:


きのう天気がよかったから because the weather was nice yesterday – I am getting used to sticking “because” at the end of the phrase or sentence.

自転車に乗った。I rode my bike. Of course, in English, I would say “I went for a bike ride”, but I don’t know how to say that in Japanese yet.

25-マイに乗った。I rode 25 miles. (That’s 40 km for all you metric fans out there.)

それは暖かい It was warm

けど強い風邪が吹いていった。But a strong wind was blowing

難しかった! It was hard! (And it was, too. Good golly the wind was strong!)

日本語を連取した。I practiced Japanese. Yes, even while I was riding. Now, I’m not sure that this sentence is correct. I would use 練習する for practicing a musical instrument, and it’s the only word I know for “practice” but I don’t know if it is the correct word to use here or not.

「何を見る」をした。I played “what do I see?”. I know, I really said, “I did” rather than “I played” but I guess that’s close enough, especially given that you would use します for “I played tennis”. I guess it’ll get me buy, anyway. This was a way to practice Japanese and get my mind off of the pain of the ride. The wind was really blowing hard.

何を見たか。What did I see? Now, I’m really not sure about this one. Of course, in the polite form it would be 何を見ましたか but I’m not quite sure of it in the plain form.


空や太陽や雲や鳥を見た。I saw the sky, the sun, clouds and birds. Here I used や instead of と for ‘and’ to indicate that it is not a complete list. I can’t give a complete list because I don’t know all the words for everything I saw!

It occurs to me that I meant to add 空港もみった。I also saw an airport but I forgot to put it in. Actually, what I really saw was the end of the runway, but I’m not even go to attempt to figure out how to say that right now. In the sentence, by the way, you’ll find も instead of は or が since I was using “also”.

3匹の犬聞いた I heard three dogs. 匹 is the counter for animals, as I just recently learned. (Aren’t counters fun?)

けど犬を見ない。But I didn’t see any dogs. Of course, with this being Japanese, the “any” is kind of implied instead of being actually present in the sentence.

時々犬は私追い勝て。Sometimes dogs chase me.

それが大嫌い。I really hate that. (Once, just as I reached the top of a really big hill and was just about done in from the climb, a Rottweiler who could sprint at 20 mph suddenly came after me…not fun.)

建物を見た。I saw buildings.

家や協会や中学校や高校を見た。I saw houses, churches, a middle school and a high school.

交通がたくさんあった。There was a lot of traffic. (I ride on rural roads out in the county, where traffic is often scarce, but not that day!)

白い自動車はとても近かった。A white car was very close to me. Okay, actually it was an SUV, and it passed me at a very high rate of speed and very very close. Yikes. (In case you’re wondering, I was hugging the shoulder.)

それは危ない! This is dangerous! Well, it’s dangerous for me anyway. Not so much for the driver of the SUV, I suppose.

サイクリストを見た。I saw a cyclist. Always a nice thing.

私たちは振った。We waved. Really, I would have liked to have that we waved at each other, but I don’t know how to do that. In English I think that would be a reflexive tense, but those are strangers to me in Japanese.

オートバイがたくさんあった。There were a lot of motorcycles. It was a nice day for any kind of ride.

尾かもたくさんあった。There were a lot of hills. Oof. A lot of hills, indeed.

一緒に丘と風がとても難しい!Hills and wind together are very difficult. Oh, yeah, there’s nothing like having a tough headwind as you are trying to climb a hill.   You get a workout, trust me.

自転車に乗るが大好きだ。I really like riding a bike.

ほとんど毎日自転しに乗りたい。I want to ride almost every day. Now, I would have liked to have gone with “I would like to ride almost every day” but that sort of construction is beyond me at the moment.

And, yes, I was really was thinking all of this out as I rode, at least during some of the really hard bits.  There’s a lot more I would like to say, like discussing all the sounds of a bike ride and how it really feels, but writing in Japanese is still pretty tough.  One day…

You know, as I look at the block of Kanji and Kana near the top of the page, I find myself asking, “Did I really write that?” with some amazement.  Progress, progress, progress.



2 thoughts on “A Bike Ride in Japanese

  1. Keep this blog up! I’m doing the Hacking Japanese Supercourse too, but I started a couple months after you. It’s nice to hear from someone who’s close to where I am in my studies. I’m using the Genki books and taking lessons on Italki and I have been quite pleased so far with both. Italki has a feature where you can write journal entries such as this one and native speakers will correct it for you, similar to lang-8, which I find quite helpful. For any readers using Genki, this was my favorite Anki deck: https://ankiweb.net/shared/info/531272293. That deck has audio files and example sentences to practice grammar concepts from each chapter. I find that Memrise is better for introducing the vocab, but I rely on Anki more for maintenance. I find it remarkable that you find as much time as you do to study AND post about it. Pretty impressive!


    • Thanks! It’s always cool to hear from other people who are learning, especially if they are close to my level. I’m going to put your comment in a post so that everyone can find the learning tools you mentioned easily. Thanks for listing them!


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