Hmm . . . well, do either of you know any good (and safe! XD) language exchange sites? I’ve looked into a few before and even made an account once, but I never actually got in touch with anyone.
Maybe try checking out some of these? They mention app versions, but it looks like some (if not all) have web versions as well.
(Disclaimer: I have totally not tried any of these, because I am a giant chicken and I haven’t gotten up the courage to try to speak to anyone yet. I just saw this a while back and saved it because I’m a link hoarder ^^;).
Thanks! I actually use HiNative, it’s really useful but there isn’t really an option for conversations. The whole setup of the website is designed for asking and answering questions, but not for holding a conversation. The others look like they’re mostly apps . . .
From my understanding, Speaky and Languing also have web versions. I know iTalki does (although I think you would have to pay for that one if you wanted to do live chatting. A community tutor usually runs $10 an hour or less, but I don’t know what your money situation is, so that may or may not be a good option).
Thank you so much! These look really helpful! =D Now I just have to be brave enough to actually try one, lol!
I’ve been using Italki as well, which I really like. I haven’t been able to practice speaking as much since I got back from Japan, so it’s has definitely helped keep it up.
Unfortunately, it is a service you have to pay for unless you can find someone who will do language exchange for free, which is also available on the site. I just find it’s easier for me to pay, then I don’t have to worry about spending a lot of time speaking english.
You can do 30 minute sessions, which are cheaper, some tutors even offer just ~$5 which I think is pretty affordable.
Here’s my link, you get a 10 dollar credit even if you wanna just try:
Honestly, it can be a bit nerve wracking at first, but now I love it lol
Thank you all so much, this is helping me so much! I kinda wanna try Italki but I’d have to see about how I’d pay it ($5 is awesome, but I’m a minor so I still have to ask my parents first).
Also, does anyone have any additional information on Languing? I looked it up but I can’t find any reviews or feedback on it ANYWHERE, just more promos and stuff.
Have you thought about trying to host a Japanese exchange student? Being homeschooled may make it harder to get one (I have been homeschooled, and the group I went to Japan and hosted exchange students for didn’t have much of a problem with it), it may be worth a try. Then you can have fun studying together.
I suggest this because the only person I have actually had a bit of confidence to speak to was an exchange student my family hosted (I found I became more comfortable with her than if I wasn’t spending so much time with her, giving me confidence to talk to her in Japanese).
We don’t have the space or the money to host an exchange student (we have a very small house and a really big family). Otherwise, I would love to do that!
would watching tv help somehow?
I watch anime all the time, but it doesn’t really help my speaking skills. I really need to have a conversation. XP
These language exchange sites looks really helpful though, and I’m going to spend awhile longer looking into them and seeing if they’ll work for me! ^^
Due to your conditions, your options are really limited. Obviously meeting people online to talk poses some issues (being that you’re a minor). I suggest to look into shadowing. It’s the act of listening and repeating what you hear in the same way you hear it. This will improve your listening skills and give you practice saying things. (Part of the reason why you may be tongue-tied is because your brain can overloaded with thinking about what words you need to say, how to say it, etc. This process can cause one to lose their train of thought). After several months of doing that, it will be easier to say certain things because you’ve had plenty of practice which frees up resources to focus on what you want to say.
Another thing you can do is narrate what you’re doing, thinking, and/or things you want to say in Japanese. Obviously without a native speaker this won’t prevent you from reinforcing unnatural or incorrect utterances, but knowing a concept and being able to produce it in speech utilize different parts of the brain.
I suggest you also look through the resources on the Ultimate Resource thread for additional ideas. I wish you the best!
Thank you SO much! That really helps me a lot! =D I’ll definitely give those ideas a try - I’ve watched a lot of slice-of-life anime so it should be easy to find some good sentences to shadow from them!
If you decide to get a smartphone, do install HelloTalk. There’s a mode there that can restrict who has access to your profile. For example, you can add a restriction that only people your age are able to see your profile and talk to you☺
I would avoid shadowing from anime, even from slice of life– since they tend to be comedic in tone, the vocal patterns are usually exaggerated far past how normal people speak (kind of like if you tried to learn to speak english shadowing stephen universe). If you have netflix though, there should be some live action japanese sitcoms and dramas you can look at– anything set in the modern day oughta be fine.
There is a Facebook homeschooling in Japan page and I’ve seen people there who seem to find native speakers willing to Skype. I’ve also had native speakers on lang-8 suggest Skyping, so maybe make some friends there by helping to edit their English. Do you live near a college with international students? That might be a place to try, or just contacting a teacher if there are any high schools who have Japanese (seems to be a stretch in my experience, but it’s possible!) Also try any local homeschooling FB groups.
Those are all things I keep thinking I need to do myself but haven’t yet gotten to…
I had always pictured you as more of a wind up sparrow, or maybe a wind up starling…
One technique I’ve heard about is placing skype calls to hotel’s and other service industries in Japan and speaking with the receptionist as though you are considering engaging their business for a future trip. The advantages is that these receptionists are sometimes used speaking with non-native speakers, the disadvantage is the difference in business hours. Consider writing a script for yourself so you can keep the conversation going with the questions to ask about their services, amenities, hours, local attractions, transport options etc. Good luck.
That’s an interesting way to do it! XD I think I need something a little more casual and broad in topic, though. I signed up for Speaky, and I haven’t reached out to anyone yet but I’m looking around~ ^^
Funnily enough, this morning I got an email from somewhere completely unrelated to this talking about Italki and how it’s great for learning Japanese XDD It’s a sign!
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