Question, who has regular communication with a Native Speaker?


#1

What the title says. I am just curious to what other people do with regards to practicing with a Native speaker.

I have a tutor, with whom I do 1 hour Skype lessons twice a week. I also met a friend on Hello Talk that I talk with daily, and Skype with weekly. This has been super helpful for me, as I can put in practice what I learn in WaniKani. I also found that quizzing my friend on what I learned that day in wanikani helps both of us. Ill say the Japanese vocab, and she has to come up with the English.

Does anyone have a routine like me? What else do you do?


#2

I live in Japan so I speak it to everyone every single day.


#3

I will be there in July. In the meantime, I have tried to immerse a bit more.

What prefecture are you living in? (just curious)


#4

Osaka, inside Osaka City


#5

Cool deal. I visited there last September. Humid as any getout. But a lot of fun. My language partner lives right outside the city. In Amagasaki.


#6

Yeah it’s horrific in the Summer.
I know Amagasaki well, my job actually takes me all around (and even outside) Kansai, so I’ve got the lay of the land pretty well.

Actually I don’t like Osaka city very much, it’s really ugly and there’s almost no green at all in the city. Not much to do except shopping, although the nightlife is good, there’s nothing to do in the day. It was work that took me here.

Anyway, I think the idea in your original post is good. It’s imperative people get as much interaction with a native speaker as possible, especially with a language so different to English as Japanese is.


#7

I wish I could talk with natives, but being in Upstate New York, there aren’t many. And its not like you can just run up to someone on the street and be like “Hey you, be my friend”.
As for HelloTalk, iTalki, etc… can’t really see myself doing the ‘random conversations with total strangers’ thing. shy/awkward/boring/etc I am


#8

Wow Nice. lol. You have a great routine going for you there. Keep it up!

I used to have weekly tutor lessons on skype, and one of my old roommates used to tutor me as well. (Because she was studying to be a Japanese language teacher.) And that was absolutely fantastic. I also used to go study at cafe’s with my best friend. She would study English, me Japanese, and as we were studying we’d bounce questions off each other. I really miss those times!

But as of recently, I don’t really study/practice with my Japanese friends much. I Just text, talk on the phone, or go out to dinner/hang out. Which is good for keeping up my communication skills but I’m not really challenging myself with new words or grammar. (Which I should really start doing again…) Heck, I still go to weekly language exchanges, but I mainly use it as a place to just keep Japanese, rather then increase my Japanese skills.


#9

I’ve used Hellotalk almost daily for a month or two. Although only writing so far.

There’s no routine, except I guess I try to use both languages (Japanese and my own native Swedish).

I agree it’s useful though! I think my ability to express myself in written form is definitely improving!


#10

I am in Upstate… South Carolina. So as you can imagine, not many around me either. For Hello Talk and iTalki, I wouldn’t worry about it being awkward. Everyone I have ever talked with on Hello Talk has been super nice! And even if it isn’t the most dynamic conversation, it is still fun! Give it a try!


#11

Not face-to-face, but I’m talking to a Japanese native through voice messages.


#12

Sometimes just regular conversation is best. I love reading the news, so I tried to get into NHK easy articles with my Japanese friends, but most don’t care about the news, they just wana chat lol


#13

DaisukeJigen: As an introvert I can relate. However, speaking to a native speaker helps immensely with my comprehension. I speak 2 hours a week to two different native speakers. It took a little while to find the right people, but both are no longer strangers- they are friends.

The conversations go from boring and awkward to funny and interesting the same way your conversations with your other friends do. The problem is that it takes about 6 months of weekly conversations to reach that stage.

The nice thing is when I finally when I finally went to Japan I was able to meet them both in person and it significantly enhanced my trip.


#14

Also, if the person you’re talking to sometimes talk using your language, you’ll see that they seem just as awkward and that you don’t mind since you know they’re learning. Takes the edge off a bit I think :slight_smile:


#15

The nice thing is when I finally when I finally went to Japan I was able to meet them both in person and it significantly enhanced my trip.

^THIS

Met my friends on my trip to Japan last year. Trip was a lot better because of it.


#16

That would be great! I’m really hoping to eventually make some friends that I can meet when I decide to go!


#17

Yeah, maybe when I build my vocabulary more, and can better follow podcasts I listen to. Afraid I would just annoy the other person at this point.
I also have like, I don’t want call it phone-phobia, but even regular phones calls make me oddly nervous. Even ordering a pizza or whatever I have to spend a few minutes psyching myself up and rehearsing the call in my head. Totally stupid and illogical I know. Phone calls and haircuts are two things that give me anxiety, for absolutely no logical reason.


#18

Really don’t be worried. I have said some really stupid stuff to my Japanese friends. Here are some examples.

When talking about a friend of mine’s hair, I used fur instead (ke instead of kami)

When practicing wanikani words, I meant to say Shoujo, (as in young girl) and instead said shojo, (meaning virgin)

Also said that I touched my co-worker at a concert, rather than sat next to (sawaru, suwaru)

All of that can be corrected, and generates good laughs.


#19

No pressure, but I think it’s really easy to overestimate how good you need to be before you can start communicating. I know I did at least!

Unlike books or podcasts, people can be asked to clarify, and also will adapt their language to your level.

And I don’t think you need to feel pressured to voice chat. Text chat will build your communication skills as well.

But of course, you need to manage your studies the way that feels right for you! :slight_smile:


#20

I totally understand the dislike of calling people. I have the same issue, but my job and life in general won’t allow me to completely avoid the phone.

After you get over the initial hurdles it gets much easier, but my first Skype call was painful. I won’t try to sugarcoat it. However, we did become good friends and enjoyed talking about both our families. Sadly, I lost her to lung cancer about 5 years ago and miss her to this day.