I’ve been thinking about how I can constantly exercise my speaking skills (and writing if I’m feeling a bit creative.) Please, share your resources if you have any! I’m interested on some new avenues to explore!
I just started using Sail in addition to iTalki tutors. The first 3 chats are free and it’s a paid plan after that. It’s kinda unique in that it’s mostly retirees who are talking to you (free on their end) to keep up socializing. I had my first chat last week with a lovely old man from Kobe.
You can also have iTalki tutors correct your writing - some of them have lessons specifically for that but you’ll need to poke around a bit. iTalki is pay-per-lesson however (it’s quite popular but just realized you might not have heard of it before).
try to memorize your favourite japanese song and sing along with the lyric. It will improve your vocab, grammar, listening and speaking all at once (at least for me, while no one to practice with).
One song after another, will be fun to be able to remember your fav songs while practicing with it, wouldn’t it?
Talking in the mirror imagine you are speaking with a native
That a free alternative I put.
You put a podcast and you pause at certain moment while trying to think of a reply
I recommend HelloTalk or a similar language exchange app. You can make posts in your target or known language and the rest of the community can comment on it. For more engagement, I recommend using tags. I exclusively post about JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure and almost always get 5 new messages from potential language partners when I post.
Just scroll down to the Speaking section as there are several links there
For speaking skills I highly recommend getting a native Japanese teacher. I personally use Sakashita sensei, he does both online lessons and in person (if you live in Sapporo).
His prices are very affordable and he`s a great teacher!
Thanks for sharing
Actually, what do you mean by speaking skills ?
-If you mean by that a natural flow, without stopping at each words or making weird breathing in the sentence you can simply read a text out loud and record you. Or even try to repeat after a begginer/intermediate level video in Japanese.
-If you mean by that, making sentences that make sense, quickly or reacting quick in a conversation then you don’t have a choice but finding a Japanese partner to have conversation with. Italki is very good because you have a variety of teachers you can choose from and you can find your style (you can even discuss it beforehands). There is also Asao which is quite cheap. You pay a certain amount each month and you can talk with as many teachers as you want (with some restrictions though, you can’t have the same teacher more than 3 times if you didn’t subscribe for higher tier).
Hope that helps
I know people are going to overlook this suggestion so I want to emphasize the importance of not just “imaginary friends” but also “imaginary scenarios.” Create worlds and situations. Speak for all the characters involved. You’ll start off slow and it will be frustrating how many times you’ll need to stop and look something up, but eventually it will become more natural. You’ll gain confidence and just have fun.
Great example cause I would tend to imagine a scenario of my written story as if it were Japanese dubbed. Way to get the gears turning.
If you want a cheaper version of iTalki, you can try ASAO
If I know I’m going to a place where I might find Japanese natives, I will practice the day before a few sentences that might come in handy. That way I’m not completely caught off guard.
I’ve not come across Sail before - it looks really good! Could I ask what kind of your level your japanese is please? I’m around the N4/N3 intermediate zone and I have fortnightly conversation classes on Italki at the moment with a (very patient!) tutor.
second this. I feel like all the karaoke I did when I moved here helped me a lot. It also sped up my reading skills.
you can find Japanese karaoke songs on youtube with the standard kanji + furigana format you would find here in Japan.
I can confirm this He is my sensei too! He is a very patient teacher and nice to talk with. I also find his book recommendations according to your level to be very accurate and useful.
Hmm…I have quite strong listening skills at this point (love audiobooks!) but my speaking skills…are a work in progress. I can talk with random people and have a conversation about a wide range of topics, but I still fumble a lot trying to construct grammatically correct responses in a timely manner while processing everything they’re saying. Pauses are common and so is tangled grammar.
The Sail conversations are boxed to 25 minutes and I just had my second conversation with a new person yesterday so I have a bit more data. Both people so far have started out talking slowly and asking pretty standard questions (where do you live? have you been to Japan? why are you studying Japanese? etc) and as they got a feel for my comfort level they spoke faster and topics ranged a bit. Both were quite patient with me, but neither were teachers and so they likely won’t correct you much, know much English, or so on.
To me ~intermediate should be fine to dive in, but I think it really comes down to your comfort level in making mistakes and what you’re trying to get out of the conversations.
I do this, too! I think it really helps with pronunciation.