1

I'm trying to write

"I have wanted to study Japanese from a young age"

And I have

"若い時に私は日本語をずっと勉強したいです."

Does this work? How can I make it more correct?

  • に does not mean 'from'. The topic is generally found at the very beginning of the sentence. Why the の? – Mathieu Bouville Feb 26 at 9:13
5

Your usage of ずっと is just fine, but there are some other errors. A minimally corrected version is:

若い時から私は日本語をずっと勉強したかったです

  • に refers to one time point in the past. But your desire is a longstanding one that have remained even after you were no longer 若い. So you should use から ("from") instead.
  • Your desire basically belongs to the past, so you need to use the past-form of 勉強したいです.

Optionally, you can express your longstanding desire up until now using ~ている, which is a way to express the continuation of an action. したい is an adjectival expression that does not straightforwardly connect to ている, but you can add と思う and say:

若い時から私は日本語をずっと勉強したいと思っていました

This one is longer, but sounds more sophisticated and natural to me.

2

0) From a young age:

若いときから私は日本語をずっと勉強したいです。

1) You should drop the 私は, since you can't say ~たい on behalf of someone else. If there's a volition and it's not a question, it's strongly implied you're talking about yourself. (If it is indeed a question, that means you're asking someone about what they want, in a very direct manner. This should be avoided, unless among close friends/family).

若いときから日本語をずっと勉強したいです。

2) You want to put the volition in the past tense.

若いときから日本語をずっと勉強したかったです。

3) You should put the ずっと earlier on in the sentence. You'd always wanted to learn Japanse, but you hadn't wanted to be constantly learning Japanese.

若いときからずっと日本語を勉強したかったです。

4) As naruto says above, ~と思っている sounds less absolute and more natural.

若いときからずっと日本語を勉強したいと思っていました。

5) (Optionally:) If you're expressing your story among other people's stories, you might want to put the 私 back in, but at the front, to establish a context (i.e "speaking for myself, I've always wanted .." :

私は、若いときからずっと日本語を勉強したいと思っていました。

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