How do you practice speaking Japanese?

trutenor August 29, 2016, 9:49 pm
First of all, みんなさん、こんにちは!

About 4 or 5 years ago, it seemed like the Rocket Japanese forums were lively and several of the memebers were conversing and sharing ideas.  But now things seem to have dried up to the point that it almost feels like a desert.  Let's change that and bring life back to this place!

Yesterday evening, while doing grocery shopping for dinner, I met another shopper who was actually a native Japanese woman who had relocated to the United States.  We conversed for a couple of minutes in Japanese, and it was just a thrill being able to speak authentic Japanese with proper articulation and also understand what she and myself were saying.  There was no confusion at all!  Yet once she left and went back to her shopping, I was left feeling like, "What now?"

The best way to learn a language is to practice it.  The reading and writing are easy.  Speaking it back and forth with Sayaka and Kenny helps a lot, but their "script" doesn't completely prepare you for speaking with real live people.  It would be nice to get some more ideas and information on what some of you do to enhance and/or maintain your Japanese speaking skills.  I did see a couple of ideas in the threads 4 to 5 years ago, but that was then (I also don't want to update a thread that is 5 years old).  There might be some more useful tools in this year that didn't exist then, so if we know of some things, then let's share and help each other out.  And if anyone wants to practice Japanese with another person, we can do that as well.

With that said, what do some of you do to practice your Japanese speaking?
How do you practice speaking Japanese?
Erika-K7 September 2, 2016, 3:53 pm
I don't have a person to practice with either, so I'm just using flashcards I made from the lesson material to practice a little every day. I'm still not skilled enough to have a proper conversation though.
How do you practice speaking Japanese?
trutenor September 2, 2016, 4:22 pm
こんにちは(konnichiwa)、Erika-san! はじめまして(hajimemashite)!

While messing around yesterday, I found something that helps a bit in making some conversation.  Google Translate.

What I did is set the first box to Japanese, then the translation to English (or whatever your native language is).  Then, I speak whatever I want in Japanese and listen to the translation spoken back to me.  You can also listen to the Japanese translation this way as well.

The beauty of this is that while this is essentially what we do with Rocket Japanese, Google Translate allows you to freestyle a bit in creating your sentences.  This is useful for practicing conjugations and vocabulary.  Granted, Google Translate isnt completely accurate (more like 85-90%), but its still a pretty good option for now...Read More
こんにちは(konnichiwa)、Erika-san! はじめまして(hajimemashite)!

While messing around yesterday, I found something that helps a bit in making some conversation.  Google Translate.

What I did is set the first box to Japanese, then the translation to English (or whatever your native language is).  Then, I speak whatever I want in Japanese and listen to the translation spoken back to me.  You can also listen to the Japanese translation this way as well.

The beauty of this is that while this is essentially what we do with Rocket Japanese, Google Translate allows you to freestyle a bit in creating your sentences.  This is useful for practicing conjugations and vocabulary.  Granted, Google Translate isnt completely accurate (more like 85-90%), but its still a pretty good option for now.

If you (or anyone else) wishes to practice speaking Japanese, I would be happy to assist.  Conversation is IMO the most difficult aspect of Japanese, and the more practice you get, the better. 
How do you practice speaking Japanese?
artemis9109 September 19, 2016, 12:58 pm
Trutenor...you are absolutely correct! You really do have to practice speaking a language to keep it fresh in your mind! I used to be intermediately fluent in French, but now I have lost most of it because I don't have anyone with whom to converse. I can still read and write in French, but my brain is too slow to process the conversational speaking aspects. 

I have been quite lucky in regards to finding people to practice Japanese with, which tbh I didn't think would happen. I have a friend who's family worked in Japan as missionaries, so he went to school there for 11 years. The conversation came up quite randomly, and now I've completely latched onto him. lol 

The second way I pratice is with a Japanese penpal I met on Japan-guide...Read More
Trutenor...you are absolutely correct! You really do have to practice speaking a language to keep it fresh in your mind! I used to be intermediately fluent in French, but now I have lost most of it because I don't have anyone with whom to converse. I can still read and write in French, but my brain is too slow to process the conversational speaking aspects. 

I have been quite lucky in regards to finding people to practice Japanese with, which tbh I didn't think would happen. I have a friend who's family worked in Japan as missionaries, so he went to school there for 11 years. The conversation came up quite randomly, and now I've completely latched onto him. lol 

The second way I pratice is with a Japanese penpal I met on Japan-guide.com. They have a forum where many people meet for language exchange purposes. It took me quite a while to find a good match but my penpal and I have become quite good friends now.  We Skype with each other just about every weekend. for a few hours. She & I are even planning to meet when I go to Japan Oct 5th.  I'm beyond excited for the trip!! Watashino kokoro ga doki doki suru!

 
How do you practice speaking Japanese?
Keely September 19, 2016, 8:50 pm
I'm like Erika-san.  I'm not good enough yet to have a conversation and use flash cards to practice.  Although 80% of the tv I watch is in Japanese with subtitles, and I try to listen carefully and try to pick out words I know and match them to the subtitles.  It might not be the best way to learn but I think it helps.  Also I listen to podcasts and the lessons on rotation.

Trutenor-san, I also wish the forum was more active.  I feel like it would motivate me more if I knew some people who were also learning.  
How do you practice speaking Japanese?
trutenor September 20, 2016, 8:19 pm
First of all, its great to hear from both of you Artemis and Keely!  はじめまして!

I'll definitely have to check out Japan-guide  Artemis.  It sounds like it could be useful.  I do know how you feel about maintaining any language.  The only reason why I've been able to maintain my Spanish (if not improve it a bit) is because my community is about 90% Latino.  Even when I go out to restaurants and other places and such, the Spanish community is so vast that I have multiple opportunities to practice my Spanish.  Not so with Japanese.  I'll get lucky on occasion and be able to converse with a Japanese native (like last week for example), but due to them having other errands to run, I don't have the opportunity to practice for more then a couple of minutes...Read More
First of all, its great to hear from both of you Artemis and Keely!  はじめまして!

I'll definitely have to check out Japan-guide  Artemis.  It sounds like it could be useful.  I do know how you feel about maintaining any language.  The only reason why I've been able to maintain my Spanish (if not improve it a bit) is because my community is about 90% Latino.  Even when I go out to restaurants and other places and such, the Spanish community is so vast that I have multiple opportunities to practice my Spanish.  Not so with Japanese.  I'll get lucky on occasion and be able to converse with a Japanese native (like last week for example), but due to them having other errands to run, I don't have the opportunity to practice for more then a couple of minutes.  Its great fun, but I want more!

Keely, that's something that I do as well.  On my television, unless I'm watching something specific (or studying Rocket Japanese), I will intentionally leave my station on TV Tokyo, so that I can hear the words.  The good news is that I'm slowly starting to understand more stuff inside the conversations and read the kana and kanji a bit quicker, but this still isn't quite a substitute for speaking the language.

But this is where we come in.  We are only going to get out what we ourselves are willing to put in.  I'm not going anywhere.  ロケットはすごいです (Rocket is amazing!)!  And as I mentioned before, the best way to improve is via immersion and networking.  So I see it like this.  We all come together and share our bits of knowledge and information, and we'll all learn at a much more enjoyable and productive pace!  

But now that I know that I'm not the only one around, perhaps now we can come together and set some stuff up.  Thank you everyone!
How do you practice speaking Japanese?
Keely September 21, 2016, 1:20 pm
I agree with you! You get back what you put in!  

I'd be very interested in putting something together.  It sounds like fun!
How do you practice speaking Japanese?
trutenor September 21, 2016, 5:28 pm
Ok, I'm gonna be putting up some stuff in other posts to get us started.  Rocket Japanese tutors, staff, and whoever else might be responsible, if you feel like I am about to overstep my boundaries or I'm doing something (or about to do something) that you don't like, let me know ASAP.  I have no intention of causing harm or chaos.  I only wish to learn to the best of my ability and help others do the same as well.
How do you practice speaking Japanese?

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