So some background: regarding my Japanese ability, I’d put myself at probably around N4 in reading and listening. Other than WK, I use Bunpro and Cure Dolly for grammar, and I’ve lately started to tackle native material. Prior to last night I’d literally never spoken a word of the language to anyone. Maybe more importantly, I also have intense social anxiety that is by far my most difficult challenge to deal with, which has hugely affected my everyday life.
Last week, I decided on a whim to book three Italki trial lessons with different teachers. This was extremely out of character and I have no idea what came over me. Well, come last night I hadn’t cancelled, so I guess I just had to do the lesson…and it was good! Well, good in the sense that we didn’t switch to English for the whole half hour, and I wasn’t panicking. My Japanese was sh*t (even though the teacher "nihongo jouzu’d me to death lol) and there were a lot of long pauses. I was surprised by what I could actually use in conversation and what I forgot.
Things I remembered:
- すみません (oh boy did I remember すみません)
- That one sentence construction “verb stem + 直す” to mean you re-did something
Things I forgot:
- Almost my entire vocabulary, which consists of the whole N5 and N4 lists and everything on WK up through level 17
- Basically every other sentence structure - I mean I struggled to form XはYです sentences
- The verb 言う, apparently??? (I overused 話す instead haha)
Overall it was a positive experience and I’m actually tentatively excited for my next trial lesson tonight! It was really valuable to see just how much more difficult it is to output Japanese than input, and enlightening to know which things from my studies stuck to the point where I can use them actively. So I guess this is a post of encouragement to take the plunge and speak to someone if you have the means, I wish I’d done it earlier! If I could do it, you definitely can!
Wow, I’m so flipping motivated now that I’m thinking about starting a study log haha. Maybe I just want to vent about how I finally learned 光栄 and 栄光 today and OH DEAR GOD WHY
Anyway, speaking! You should try it! Even if you’re shy!