Thanks for mentioning Benjiro. It was nice to see the conversations…
I looked peoples’ suggestions on here. I’ve been studying a LOT for 3+ years, but I barely ever tried speaking very much. It’s still very difficult to recall words when I want to use them, or recognize words that they said that I already know. I’m focusing on listening-only a lot these days. Basically, listening is super-fast SRS that doesn’t wait for your answer LOL.
Now that I have a pretty nice-sized vocabulary, I’m really writing on trying to express myself and say things. It’s very slow and difficult, but it veery sloooowly solidifying and getting better.
Some polyglot was recommending listening over and over at full speed while reading along… then reading out loud and really REALLY visualizing a story over and over until you can tell it to someone else in full. That’s similar to sentence mining, in my opinion.
I should make up sentences constantly like RrWrex…
I’m finding people to do the partner exercises from Genki with me.
I haven’t done HelloTalk for a while, but it was pretty cool (and very similar to what BrandS was talking about) when I was just writing a few paragraphs and then recording myself saying them. I used Dictionaries and machine translation, but always tried to use words that I knew (to practice those), and sentence constructions that I understood.
I re-recorded several times until it sounded “natural”–that was making me memorize it, essentially. The Japanese listeners thought my Japanese was really good… but when we tried conversation without my pre-preparation and practicing, it was much MUCH harder. Not nearly as smooth as Benjiiro! But… over all, it had improved.
I was leaving messages on Hello Talk… that’s much easier than live conversation. But it’s good practice for listening and production.
I just don’t take time for talking to myself or KameSame… but more and more these days, words pop into my mind. But this is after 3 years of trying! I’m like a 3 year old! lol
good luck dklims finding things that work for you