Weekly Writing Challenge

Ongoing language-learning challenges, and team challenge logs (but not individual logs)
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Weekly Writing Challenge

Postby lingua » Sun May 12, 2019 6:05 pm

I don't know if anyone else will be interested but I like the idea of having assigned writing so I don't have to think of what to write about. Perhaps, this will be helpful for anyone doing the output challenge. The idea is that each week I will post a subject to write on and include a minimum word count. In the beginning the word limits will be short but they'll increase over time. If you have subject ideas please feel free to post them.

The goal is to make regular writing a habit and increase vocabulary. I assume most of us have holes in our vocabulary because we read and watch the things that interest us. So we might know a lot about one subject (in my case food and cooking) and have no vocabulary to describe something as simple as changing a light bulb.

Week 1: Describe how you would prepare one of your favorite food dishes. It can be in recipe format or free form.

Week 2: Choose your favorite animal. It could be a pet or one out in the wild. You can include physical attributes, typical personality, behavior, interesting facts, why you like it, etc.

Week 3: Describe your living quarters: house, apartment, dorm, etc... whatever it happens to be. Describe the physical structure (type of flooring, wall colors, etc), furnishings, what you like about it, what you dislike about it and how you'd change it if you could.

Week 4: Write step by step instructions on how to do something. Some examples: how to repair something, how to conduct a specific financial transaction, how to make something, etc

Week 5: Write a letter of complaint. It could be about a shoddy product, a poor experience at a restaurant or hotel, bad service with a utility, etc.

Week 6: Describe your dream job. Explain why it's your dream job. What education or skills do you need? What do you need to do to be successful in this job?

Week 7: Write about your favorite music genre (for example: blues, jazz, rock (classic, hard, etc), metal, folk, country, etc). Who are your favorite bands and/or solo musicians and why.

Week 8: Discuss the next trip you plan to take. If you don't have a trip planned than write about a trip you'd like to take. Where are you going (or where would you like to go)? What activities will you do when you arrive? What food will you eat? etc...

Week 9: Describe an object of art that you like. It could be a painting, sculpture, etc. Describe it. Why do you like it? What feelings does it evoke?

I will add each weeks subject to this first post so they stay in one place. While I encourage you to do every weeks assignment, it is perfectly fine to participate only some weeks. If you participate, you can post in the following format once you've completed your writing:

Week: #
Word count: ###
Language: Your TL
Comments: Discuss any difficulties or what new words you learned, etc.
Optional Output: You may include your writing here, in your log or not at all. It's completely up to you. **

**Personally, I'm too self-conscious to post my writing online but I will be having one of my italki teachers correct it.
Last edited by lingua on Mon Jul 15, 2019 1:43 am, edited 7 times in total.
15 x
Super Challenge:
IT film: 2028 / 18000 read: 1972 / 10000
DE film: 2614 / 9000 read: 0 / 5000
RF film: 2298 / 9000 read: 0 / 5000 (FR, LA, PT, SCN)

Output Challenge:
IT wrote: 1788 / 100000 recorded: 62 / 6000
DE wrote: 553 / 50000 recorded: 21 / 3000
PT wrote: 1741 / 50000 recorded: 13 / 3000
FR wrote: 12 / 50000 recorded: 0 / 3000

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Re: Weekly Writing Challenge

Postby lemonzy » Tue May 14, 2019 2:25 am

Thank you for this challenge! I'll be doing it and getting it checked by a native elsewhere.
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Re: Weekly Writing Challenge

Postby IronMike » Wed May 15, 2019 5:57 pm

I'm interested as well, although I probably won't take part every week.
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Re: Weekly Writing Challenge

Postby Versus » Wed May 15, 2019 6:06 pm

It sounds great, Very interesting way to learn.
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Re: Weekly Writing Challenge

Postby malach » Wed May 15, 2019 7:19 pm

Nice idea. I'll try to keep up.
lingua wrote:
Week 1 (May 12 - May 18)
Describe how you would prepare one of your favorite food dishes. It can be in recipe format or free form.
Vocabulary: food ingredients, cooking tools, measurements
Length: 100+ words

Week: 1
Word count: 61
Language: Bengali
Comments: Challenge 1 was to stretch my meagre recipe out to 100 words! I failed on that score, but time's up for today. I had to check some words (spelling of onion and chilli), and I don't often use the imperative.
Optional Output: ডিম খাবার
১: গরম জলে দুই ডিম রান্না করুন।
২: এখটি পিঁয়াজ ছোটো-ছোটো কাটুন।
৩: গরম তেলে পিঁয়াজ রান্না করুন।
৪: তিনতে টমেটো ছোটো-ছোটো কাটুন।
৫: পিঁয়াজের সঙ্গে টমেটো যোগ করুন।
৬: একটি চামচ ধনিয়া, অর্ধেক চামচ হলুদ, অর্ধেক চামচ লঙ্কা আর নুন যোগ করুন। মিশান।
৭ : দুই ছোটা আলু যোগ করুন।
৮: ওর ডিম যোগ আর সব রান্না করুন।
৯: উপরে ধনিয়ার পাতা ফেলুন।
ভাতের সঙ্গে খাবো।

In English (what I tried to say!):

1. In hot water, cook two eggs.
2. Cut one onion into small pieces.
3. In hot oil, cook the onion.
4. Cut three tomatoes into small pieces.
5. Put the tomatoes with the onion.
6. Add one spoon of coriander (powder), half a spoon of turmeric, half of chilli and salt. Mix.
7. Add two small potatoes.
8. Add the eggs and cook everything.
9. Drop coriander leaves on top.
Eat with rice.
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Re: Weekly Writing Challenge

Postby lingua » Thu May 16, 2019 3:27 am

Week: 1
Word count: 104
Language: Italian

Comments: I read a lot of recipes but had never actually noticed if they use the plural or not for the list of ingredients when there is more than one of something. In searching it seems to vary so I chose to use the plural. Recipe directions are often written in the second person plural so that provided some good practice for me since it's not a tense I use very often since my conversations are typically with only one Italian at a time. I ran my writing through a spellchecker and it only questioned a couple of Asian words that were in the recipe so I'm happy with that.
1 x
Super Challenge:
IT film: 2028 / 18000 read: 1972 / 10000
DE film: 2614 / 9000 read: 0 / 5000
RF film: 2298 / 9000 read: 0 / 5000 (FR, LA, PT, SCN)

Output Challenge:
IT wrote: 1788 / 100000 recorded: 62 / 6000
DE wrote: 553 / 50000 recorded: 21 / 3000
PT wrote: 1741 / 50000 recorded: 13 / 3000
FR wrote: 12 / 50000 recorded: 0 / 3000

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Re: Weekly Writing Challenge

Postby coldrainwater » Thu May 16, 2019 7:18 am

Week: 1
Word count: 238 (counted per notepad++)
Language: Spanish
Comments: I am not a cook and have no recollection of having used the tool chaira nor the word chaira before. I was angling toward using something akin to a whetstone, yet idiomatic to ES. My grammar is likely the weakest part of my writing, so my biggest challenge may be intuitively making sure what I phrase sounds natural enough in Spanish. I run it through a spell checker etc to catch obvious misspellings before posting here. Sounds like the challenge and a weekly frequency sounds about right even if I am not able to cough up an entry per week.

Cortar las ananás frescas (cut fresh pineapple)

Vivo la vida bárbara con el eterno fin de superar el hambre, empuñando como arma los cuchillos romos y viejos, aquellos que ni han visto el brillo de un afilador ni han oído el canto de una chaira. Por suerte, todavía no me he cortado el dedo, no por destreza propia, sino por el triste estado de unas armas que han visto mejores momentos. Bueno, cuando llega la hora de pasar de la palabra al hecho, siempre busco piñas de gran tamaño, ya que si voy a dedicar el tiempo y el esfuerzo, más vale que haya un cuerpo grande y jugoso como recompensa.

Para preparar una piña, antes que nada, tengo que esperar hasta que pueda arrancar las hojas de la parte superior con facilidad. El resto del proceso está más cerca de un frenesí que de un arte. No soy hombre de cino estrellas. Vale, pues por custumbre la punta de la piña y la cabeza se desprenden primero, y me ocupo de conservar la mayor parte de la base posible, ya que es la más dulce. Luego, después de quitar la parte más gruesa de los lados de la piña, dejo un polígono poco regular con lados cada vez más extraño de ver. Con gestos espásticos, pelo el resto hasta que no queda más que una carne amarilla y oscura. Se mete en la nevera durante unos minutos, y luego se va al paladar con todo.
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Re: Weekly Writing Challenge

Postby GnomeChomsky » Thu May 16, 2019 10:28 pm

Week: 1
Word count: 103 words
Language: Spanish
Comments: Out of all of my Spanish skills, writing is probably my weakest. The recipe below is one hot mess.

Todos los días, como avena para desayuno. Prefiero que la avena tenga mucho líquido. Por eso, creo que la mayoría de la gente no vaya a gustar esta receta. He viajado a otros países con mi avena favorita. A menudo mi familia me pregunta si estoy cansada de avena, pero la respuesta siempre es no. Mi avena favorita es avena cortada en acero.

En un cuenco grande
Agrega dos tazas de agua
Agrega un tercero de taza de avena
Agrega una cucharada de canela
Ponga en la microondas por ocho minutes
Permita cinco minutos para refrescar la avena
Agrega una taza de fruta

Every day, I eat oatmeal for breakfast. I prefer oatmeal with a lot of liquid. Because of this, I think the majority of people would not like this recipe. I have traveled to other countries with my favorite oatmeal. Often my family asks me if I am tired of oatmeal, but the answer is always no. My favorite oatmeal is steel-cut oatmeal.

In a large bowl
Add two cups of water
Add one third cup of oatmeal
Add a tablespoon of cinnamon
Put in the microwave for 8 minutes
Give it 5 minutes for the oatmeal to cool
Add a cup of fruit.
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Re: Weekly Writing Challenge

Postby Lianne » Sat May 18, 2019 5:28 am

Week: 1
Word count: 128
Language: French
Comments: Well that was exhausting. I knew practically none of what I needed to translate this recipe. I knew some food words. I did not know words for measurements, words for food preparation techniques, or the fact that French uses the infinitive form for verbs instead of the imperative when giving general instructions! After translating the ingredients list, I was very intimidated by the length of the instructions, so they got VERY simplified. (All the steps involved in making a roux became "Faire un roux." :lol: )

The recipe I picked is for Veggie Tot Mac and Cheese. Conveniently, it is also available in French, which was useful when confirming that I was using words correctly!

Une de mes recettes préférées est le macaroni au fromage et aux bouchées de légumes.

3 cuillères à soupe de buerre
1/4 tasse d'oignons, hachés
1/2 cuillère à thé de sel
3 cuillères à soupe de farine tout usage
1 gousse d'ail, hachée
2 tasses de lait
2 tasses de fromage cheddar rapé
8 onces de macaronis, cuits et égouttés
1 paquet de bouchées de légumes Green Giant

Préchauffer le four à 425 F.
Faire un roux.
Incorporer graduellement le lait et porter à ébullition.
Laisser mijoter pendant trois minutes.
Ajouter le fromage et remuer jusqu'à ce qu'il fonde.
Mettre les pâtes dans une cocotte.
Verser la sauce sur les pâtes et remuer.
Mettre les bouchées de légumes en dessus.
Cuire au four pendant 25 minutes.
Last edited by Lianne on Sat May 18, 2019 10:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Weekly Writing Challenge

Postby eido » Sat May 18, 2019 3:18 pm

I had to do a similar assignment for a beginner's Spanish class I took a year ago, and despite having a decent level of Spanish, this threw me since I never have to use much of this vocabulary in real life in English. Sometimes I use "dice," or "sauté" but I don't even know what the latter means. I'm not great at cooking and don't plan to be a chef.

Week: 1
Language: Spanish
Words learned --
  • Tira
  • Desmenuzado
  • Hervir
  • Molido
Plus a few phrases, like, "I wouldn't want it any other way" which is translated more idiomatically here according to what I found on the Internet. I always try to guess before I look it up and I get mad when I get it wrong. :lol:

Pretty easy to write other than vocabulary. Which only means I'm missing something... right?

Me gusta mucho cuando mi madre me prepara el espaguetis. Es mi comida favorita, y lo que me gustan más son los albóndigas hechos de carne de pavo o quizá de pollo. Mi madre no es vegetariana, pero a ella le gusta comer tantos vegetales como pueda, y no le gusta comer carne de res porque le gustan las vacas. Así que en nuestra casa, la mayoría de tiempo, si comes algo de carne, estará hecho de uno de esos dos carnes. Siempre compra fideos diferentes, depende de la semana. Pero sé que sabes lo que es el espaguetis. Es de unos fideos del estilo occidental, como de Italia o incluso Polonia, y tiene salsa de tomate y quizá un poco de carne, como unos pedazos que fueron desmenuzados o algo. Usualmente esta carne es de res. Y a veces, esta salsa tiene cebolla (el preferido mío) y otros ingredientes ricos. También mi mamá usa el queso, quizá el que está prepreparado y molido muy fino. Pero a veces, en ocasiones muy especiales, compra queso muy caro de una marca conocida por calidad y el queso de esta marca es diferente. Son tiras gordas, y son tan deliciosas, como no creerías. Este plato puede ser muy complicado si quieres, pero la manera en la que la prepara mi mamá es muy sencilla y bonita, y no la cambiaría por nada. Y en verdad sabes preparar el espaguetis, ¿no? Sólo hierves los fideos y también calientas la salsa. Todo debe estar muy caliente, o no es rico. Este plato en realidad sólo es un plato de fideos, y nada más. Pero es lo que preparas, complejo o no. Si el plato de mi mamá realmente es especial para alguien más, no sé, pero no me importa, porque es un plato para nosotros la familia y no para dejar admirado el público, ¿ya sabes?
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