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I am taking a Japanese course and I was told to write a composition about a place I like. I have currently just finished the first book of Minna no nihongo, which is up to lesson 12. I am thinking of: このさくぶんの中で好きなところのことを話します。 Can anyone tell me if this is correct?

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I think that 場所 is more appropriate than ところ for your sentence because ところ means not only "place" but also "point" such as "それが彼のよい所なんだ。(That is his good point.)"

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I would personally phrase it in the following 2 ways:

1:この作{さく}文{ぶん}の中{なか}で、(私{わたし}の)好き{すき}な場{ば}所{しょ}について話{はな}していきたいと思{おも}います。- I would like to talk about the place I like in this "essay".

or

2:この作{さく}文{ぶん}の中{なか}で、(私{わたし}の)好き{すき}な場{ば}所{しょ}を紹{しょう}介{かい}していきたいと思{おも}います。- I would like to introduce (to the reader) the place I like in this "essay".

I think both are fairly used. I will try to breakdown one of the sentences so you understand how all the bits work.

この作文の中で - In this essay - Pretty straight forward.

(私の)好きな場所 - The place I like - It is ok to omit the "I" in Japanese.

について - About - Nothing to add here.

話していきたい - I want to talk / I want to go and talk - it has the nuance of going to(していく). It is the たい-form of 話していく(していく).

と思います - I would like to - したいと思います is polite way to say that you want to / will do something.

Now for the second sentence, the only difference is we are changing 話す for 紹介する, which means to "introduce" and it is used a lot in those situations where you are talking about something you know, but your audience does not. In that case we will just change について話す for を紹介する (していきたいと思います).

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  • Is it really OK to use 話す to refer to what someone does in a 作文? I can't say for certain that I've never encountered 話す with the meaning of "write about," but it seems very counterintuitive to me, to say the least. For that reason, I much prefer your alternative with 紹介する. (Then again, as a native speaker of English, I'm also very resistant to using "talk about" in this context. Most educated adults would avoid it, though of course "discuss" would be fine.) – Nanigashi Oct 16 '20 at 17:52
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    @Nanigashi 作文で「今日は~~について話したいと思います。」とか書いてもまあいいと思いますが、「~~について書きたいと思います・書こうと思います」とかでもいいかなと思います。(「述べたいと思います」でもいいですけどちょっと硬いですね) – Chocolate Oct 17 '20 at 2:07
  • @Nanigashi Yeah, it depends a lot in the language. In my native language we say a lot "This book talks about..." and while most teachers wouldn't say you are wrong for saying "I would like to talk about the place I like in this essay" or something, using "discuss" or "write" would be slightly better. Chocolateさん、 説明したり、ふりがなを訂正したりしてくれてありがとうございます! – Felipe Chaves de Oliveira Oct 17 '20 at 15:47
  • Thanks for the replies, @Chocolate and Felipe Oliveira! – Nanigashi Oct 17 '20 at 17:37
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好きなところについて話します/話す or 好きなところに関して話します/話す

The other guy is right, you can also use 場所 instead of ところ but I personally don't think it makes much difference in a conversation.

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In the question you stated that I am going to talk, however, in your Japanese translation you simply state this fact, i.e. 話します - I will talk. In Japanese there are two structures which you could use, namely

話したい - I want to talk
話すつもり - I intent to talk

Next, if you want to talk about something I think that について is more appropriate

について話すつもり (you could refer to https://www.italki.com/question/270533)

Finally, I would say that your sentence might look like this

この作文には好きな場所について話したいです

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    この作文は好きな場所について話したいです would mean 作文 wants to talk. however, in your Japanese translation you simply state this fact, i.e. 話します 「話します。」(または「書きます。」)でもまあいいと思いますが。In Japanese there are two structures... 「話そうと思います。」も使えますよ。「話したいです。」より「話したいと思います。」のほうがいいですね。(または「書こうと思います。」「書きたいと思います。」) – Chocolate Oct 17 '20 at 1:40
  • @Chocolate thanks for the review, taking the context into account that it is a person who speaks, wouldn't この作文は... mean as for the composition..., or is it better to state 私、僕、あたし explicitly? Or この作文には? Using 話そう (let's talk) does sound good to me – mihails.kuzmins Oct 17 '20 at 8:24

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