I'd like to talk with Japanese people!


#1

Hi everyone! As I wrote in the title I would like to find some friends (also native japanese people) in order to use everything I am learning in an ‘true’ conversation. Do you know some good sites? :slight_smile:
Thanks!


#2

Lang-8.com, HelloTalk (app).
iTalki? Never used it, but I hear its a thing


#3

I use the HelloTalk app and it is everything that I need ^^ you can find lots of language exchange friends there. At first, it was a little awkward for me to chat. I mean, it’s hard to have a good conversation with someone when you still have the language barrier. Eventually, I started to look at everyone as a friend and got over it ^^

Good luck! o/


#4

Only ever used iTalki but it can add up pretty quickly as most formal lessons in speech/grammar/etc from an actual professional are about 20 per lesson. I can vouch for this as I take 3 lessons a week for speech practice. Non-professionals (those without credentials) are about 11-15 per hour. Reddit has some Japanese penpals/Skype pals you can make which is free. I’d advise the OP to try something along those lines or even join some Jp based game and make friends in it for Skype or Line, normally they are more than willing to speak English as a trade off. However, this won’t “typically” give correct pronunciation on mora’s/accents when needed. That rise/fall in intonation is something that is difficult and honestly needs a teacher that can correct it.


#5

Didn’t even realize iTalki was a tutor type thing. Thought it was just a HelloTalk clone (or the other way around, dunno which came first).


#6

It’s actually pretty nice as you can pick not only your tutor but also what you want to learn. Most will follow some sort of guide, they send lessons, homework, correct homework, etc. Much like a real class setting. You use Skype generally for an hour and can make those lessons as frequent as you want depending on your goals. You can buy packages which is 10 lessons for a discount and you end up getting one free, best way to do it IMO. Currently I’m using it for JLPT N2 practice (yea I realize my WK is lvl 9 I’m a bit farther then it and am kind of lazy on it). It works well though and speaking has definitely improved to the point I’d feel comfortable in a native setting without sound “too” foreign.


#7

I use iTalki. So far it has been really great. I found a new friend, and my speaking is improving by bounds even though I am only 3 weeks into it. My basic suggestions for conversation with people:

  1. Beforehand, think about what conversation topics you might want to discuss. Look up things online. For example, I found http://www.tobefluent.com/2014/09/02/language-exchange-so-what-do-you-want-to-talk-about/ the suggestions in this article to be really helpful. Since you are not conversing in your first language, thinking about this kind of stuff beforehand can be really beneficial.

  2. Look up phrases and words that you might need for said topic and write them down on a cheat sheet.

  3. Meet with your language partner and agree to split the conversation, 1 half completely in your language, 1 half completely in theirs. This is a critical step. For my first conversation, my language partner was much better at English, so I ended up switching to English whenever I got stuck. The next time, I specified that I would prefer to split the time, and it went much better and I was less tempted to switch to English so I was able to practice Japanese. Also, the great thing about this is that when you are speaking in your own language for one half, you will be more comfortable and be more able to become friends with the person. Being friends goes a long way towards being comfortable when speaking another language.

  4. Meet regularly, and make sure that you say you are fine with being corrected when you make a mistake. Otherwise, people may be too polite to correct you.

  5. Have fun. The first time was really scary and difficult. The second time, I was super stressed beforehand but having fun by the end. This last time today was a blast. I was briefly slightly stressed beforehand, but after a minute of talking, I felt right at home and was surprised by how well I was able to express myself as well as by how interesting and nice a person my language partner was.

Anyway, just wanted to share my two cents while I am still in a state of euphoria from things going well.


#8

Hello Talk is the best. You’ll usually have to sort through some partners before you find a couple that are compatible, but there are literally thousands of people out there who want to learn English (or whatever your native language is) and help you learn Japanese. Remember, both are important – you need to help them as much as they help you.

By the way, I love that “I’d like to talk to Japanese people!” and “Seriously, what’s the point?” are consecutive topics.


#9

You need a smartphone for hello talk though right??? I have heard a lot of good things about it, but, if I remember correctly, that is why I ended up not using it.


#10

I’m another person using italki regularly - it kept me in practice during the year I was off anything else. I prefer paying for lessons than look up for language partners because a) more reliable, b) I feel less bad taking up their time with my fumbling under the guise of being friends.

I have 2 lessons a week - one informal tutoring with tutor A where we’re reading a light novel, and 1 official lesson with tutor B where we mostly talk about things.


#11

Yes, you can do direct messages and voice chats (I think) on desktop, but you have to have the app to even log in on there


#12

Thanks. That is what I thought. Well, I guess it will have to wait for the future when I get a smartphone then.


#13

As far as I know, you actually can’t even do that much on desktop. Everything is done on mobile from my experience.


#14

You can, https://web.hellotalk.com/?from=1home
You need to be signed in to the app though


#15

Ahh okay, that’s… weird. But good to know. Thanks :slight_smile:


#16

I didn’t know about this function! Thanks for sharing!