Speaking skills: why is it so difficult to put them in practice?

Here’s a brief preamble: I have been studying japanese for a fair amount of time now (3-4 years). From that period of time, my teacher, while being a nice person and all, he didn’t give us the chance to put in practice the knowledge we were learning. Needless to say I quit my classes and started doing some self-studying.

Nowadays I am still self-studying the language because I thought it was going to be easier to find a person to help me out to put in practice my speaking skills. I was wrong. I’ve been trying to find a someone who I can practice my skills through different websites (italki, tandem, penpal.net, etc.) unsuccessfully. Even teachers from my former language school just to hear from them some, in my opinion, silly excuses not to help me (all of them involved with them not being able to speak spanish correctly).

Considering that there might be a fair amount of people around here who are japanese learners, is anyone willing to help this poor soul? If so, please, contact me.

Thanks to all who sticked until this part of my rant/request. I hope this thread catches someone’s attention.

Where do you live?
But yes, in my experience, no one (apart from your partner of course) will help you out with your language learning out of sheer kindness. But language exchange is always an option.

Don’t get me wrong: I am not asking for people’s kindness. I’ve even offered people to pay for their time. If there is someone who knows about that is me because I’m a teacher.
I’m from Mexico City.

1 Like

This is what italki.com is for. You can find a japanese teacher who also speaks spanish who will give you lessons online. It is pretty resonably priced as well.

Indeed this is a struggle for many a Japanese learner who studies on their. I think many identify with this problem.

Timing and commitment tend to be the biggest reasons why it’s so hard to find someone to speak with. But if you continue to search, you’ll eventually find someone willing.

They probably don’t want to outright say it, but to offer conversation help with people who don’t go to their language school is a conflict of interest that could get them fired, especially if someone pays them to do it.

Someone else mentioned formal services (like italki) earlier here. Why haven’t those been successful for you since you are willing to pay for the help?

Besides giving you suggestions for speaking resources, what else could we do to help?

1 Like

There are very few native speakers here who are regular users. I don’t think learners are going to be able to help you directly much, except to direct you to the sites already mentioned.

(Please take my comment with a grain of salt as I’m merely a language learner like yourself)

I think putting japanese into practice has to do with the need to do it.

I mean, when I learned english, the language learning process never crossed my mind, because it was merely the vehicle to read, watch shows and ultimately to communicate with people sharing similar interests, that for the most part were much easier to find in english than in spanish (my L1).

I’m guessing for japanese, finding something that you hopefully can do for the most part only in japanese (a niche hobby is what I have in mind) would help in that regard, as there’ll be this practice neccesity, where english (or spanish) wont temp you, or even will be an alternative.

Anyway, those are my thoughts on the matter, as it’s a recurring topic I’m wondering about also.


Indeed. Spot on.

I’m one of the slowest learners here on WK. Despite doing my reviews all day every day, my average level up so far is almost a month. And despite reading some Japanese books, doing Bunpro, and watching mostly Japanese TV, I’ve never actually formed a sentence in Japanese or had a real conversation in it. And that’s despite living in Japan for over 7 years (I started studying a year ago).

The fact is, my brain knows it doesn’t need Japanese, and so it resists everything I try to cram into it. My brain knows that Japanese is just useless baggage that it really doesn’t want or need to carry around, and certainly doesn’t enjoy carrying around. If only I could find a way to make Japanese both fun and necessary. The closest so far has been reading and doing WK, but I need a motivation more powerful than that!

Wow, how does this happen? Do you live in an expat/military community?

1 Like

No, I spent 22 years teaching English around the world and never learnt a language. Now I work as a tour guide, talking to English speakers all day, and come home to my wife who, though Japanese, is a fluent and pretty much perfect English speaker. I’m in my 50s too, so I’ve had half a century of my brain not learning languages and finding ways to get by without languages. I’m trying my level best now to study Japanese, but it’s a struggle I can tell you!

1 Like

Join a club for a hobby your interested in, but where mostly Japanese people participate. I know someone who lived in Japan for a while and joined a knitting club (or something similar) with older ladies sitting around chatiing all day. Force yourself to participate in conversations you hear happening around you.

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed 365 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.