Looking for learning to speak

Hi, im looking at learning Japanese, Ive learned hiragana and katakana using tofugu and am now learning kanji etc… with WaniKani and loving it. My problem is learning to speak, I ve had a look at multiple forums and am a bit overwhelmed, so im looking for eome advice to what i can use to lean to speak. Getting a tutor would be best, and id love to, but i dont think its really viable at the moment.
(also looking for suggestions on how people learned to read full sentences and beyond!)


If you don’t want to go the italki route (which I believe has partner programs too, not just tutors, which I think are free?), you can do it for free with just yourself.

One of my methods: write down a couple sentences, like a journal, but in Japanese. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it can even incorporate some new grammar or words you’re learning, then record yourself reading it out loud. (Recording helps you listen back to what you sound like and correct pitch/accent mistakes.)

If you’re worried about correctness, you can always check your sentences against things like HelloTalk, which is also free. (You can do talking practice on there as well, and natives can correct you.)

If your nearby library has it, Pimsleur is not a bad thing to try out either :slight_smile:

Oh also, depending on where you are, Meetup.com can have Japanese groups where people are learning the language and, well, meet up about it. Those are typically free as well.

Good luck! :slight_smile:


Thankyou very much!, I will have a try with your method of writing it down I think!
I hadn’t heard of italki, ill have a look, thanks!

You can try “speaking” in this thread

1 Like

ah, i saw that, and id love to, but i am really not even at the level to form any kind of coherent sentence yet, so im not quite even qualified for that :frowning:

but thanks for the advice!


I’m a fan of Pimsleur for beginning speakers.

You can generally get the CDs for free at public libraries, or some people pay a monthly fee for the phone app. The app has a little bit of writing, but it’s mostly an audio only method. Works really, well for getting pronunciation down, and learning to say things in Japanese automatically without translating from English first.

Oh, and the first lesson is free on the website, so you can see if it’s what you’re looking for.


I second Pimsleur - it will get you speaking without a speaking partner and to an extent get you to recall answers via speech. It will jump start the process and even if you decide to try a tutor, it would be worth doing this first.

It might not be worth paying the full price for (can’t recall how much), but I will say that I lucked out with my local library carrying the complete set (Gwinnett Co. GA). If you don’t see it in your library, you might be able to request it - in my case, the county-wide library system has it in their system, but it tends to float between branches.


I definitely agree with everyone who suggests Pimsleur. I am a pretty shy person and feel a little self-conscious when I try to speak with people I don’t know (something I need to work on). However, Pimsleur is definitely giving me more confidence with speaking everything out loud.

My local library doesn’t have it, but since I love to read anyway (and listen to audiobooks) I have audible. Audible also has a free trial and you can get any book so you could get the first 5 units for free to try out to see if you like them, or if you already have an audible subscription you could use credits for the units. Its what I do and I really enjoy doing it that way!


Wow! thanks @PortCityBricks, @lsh3rd and @novakac! Pimsleur sounds like its really good, ill give it a shot. What do you mean in a library? is there a companion cd or book?

blimey - 450 quid? i may have to do a bit of budgeting if i want to go that route! (if its not in my library)

1 Like

It’s audio only. You can pay Pimsleur to use their web app, or you can just skip the website, the phone app, and do things the old fashioned way: through a CD-player. And most public libraries carry the CD sets. Some of them even have audio books you can use through the libraries audio-book app.

1 Like

ah right, thanks a lot

ah, my county library has all of the learning english ones but none of the other way around, worth a shot though

1 Like

Shoot. Well, the audible suggestion works well for some people. And Pimsleur does have a monthly plan for their phone app that is a bit more reasonable than 450 quid up front. But yeah, it’s pricey. Might try the free lesson at least, to see just how much you want it. :slight_smile:

The app you can pay a subscription which is like 18 quid a month.

1 Like

had a look on ebay, full set of 80! cds is about 100 so i might have a go at that if im interested, thanks for all the help!

1 Like

You could try shadowing. A decent book is シャドーイング 日本語を話そう. You can check out the full audio on YouTube but if you want translations and meaning notes you’d need to get a copy.

The idea is that you both train your vocal apparatus to produce Japanese sounds and you practice natural pharases. And in the end in any langauge you don’t think how to say something on a daily basis (unless it’s something very specific), you just fit vocab into commonly used molds which you just know.

1 Like

I highly recommend Dogen Phonetics. It’s fantastic! You’ll learn how to listen and speak standard Japanese「標準語」. You’ll learn pitch patterns which you can use along side your wanikani learning. Link: https://www.patreon.com/posts/16489306 I’m currently on video 25 myself and learning about how words come together in sentences.


thanks! ill give it a look :smile:

おはようございます!My name is Damian and maybe we can help eachother. Ive been studying Japanese for about 18 years now and someone who is interested in learning and speaking Japanese Is great for me. Hit me up sometime… I can help you start off with the basics, and this will help me too!