Help, Please!

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☺

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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…

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I had always pictured you as more of a wind up sparrow, or maybe a wind up starling…

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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! :stuck_out_tongue:

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