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Learning Japanese in London

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Hello all, and thank you for taking the time to read this thread.

I am looking to visit Japan in the near future to begin my journey of Soto-Zen, in hopes of lodging at a Zen monestary. I am currently residing in London as a British Native and have the aspiration of learning Japanese before my quest begins. I speak and write perfect English and would be willing to exchange tuition with an individual who is seeking to learn English. Ideally, it would be face to face encounters although I am happy to consider long distance tuition over Skype or a similar platform. I am not qualified to teach English to a professional standard, however, we would be able to confer and absorb language through general conversation, which I feel is more traditional and more relaxed. I do not expect you to be an expect teacher, as we would both be learning and studying to further our English/Japanese skills together.

Thanks again, & hope to hear from you soon

Regards
 

mdchachi

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I think your chances are slim of finding such a partner here. I'd check out sites such as japanesepod101.com or languageshare.net or mylanguageexchange.net.
 
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For ~150£ per month you can get a lesson every day with a qualified teacher using a curriculum designed to take you from nothing to where you want to be.

Honestly, it's cheaper in the long run if you value your time at all.
 
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@mdchachi Thanks! I've just created a profile on MyLanguageExchange
@WonkoTheSane You may be right, its funny though because the people I have met who have travelled from other countries to here in London, have all picked up English fairly quickly from social encounters. I will take a look to see if there is a reasonably priced tutor who could help, but preferably I'd have someone who I could speak with on a not so formal basis. Much love
 
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The challenge is there, so pardon my enthusiasm. "Speak and write perfect English"?
First post has 3 punctuation errors and two spelling errors.
Second post uses its instead of it's and misplaces a comma.
Both have some stilted wording, too.

Back to your regularly scheduled program...
 
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@Glenski Thanks for your comment & I get your point. Maybe 'perfect' wasn't the correct term to use, but in the case of very minor detail, I would be able to teach you how to speak (not write) English traditionally, by conversation which ideally would be my method of learning. Much love
 
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Are you not planning to learn to read and write at all then? Even though you've already posted a request for an email translation before?
 
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@lanthas Thanks for your comment. Ideally I want to be able to pick it up in conversation so I can get by and maybe attempt the writing at a later stage.
 
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Make no mistake: the Japanese writing system requires dedicated study for a long period of time before being able to read even simple texts (that are not aimed at little children). It's not something one can "pick up" on the side. But, I'll suppose you'll find that out for yourself soon enough.

Good luck with your travels.
 

mdchachi

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Make no mistake: the Japanese writing system requires dedicated study for a long period of time before being able to read even simple texts (that are not aimed at little children). It's not something one can "pick up" on the side.
This is true so I agree with your approach. You're not trying to learn Japanese to read manga, you want to communicate with people. So focus on the conversation.
 
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Just a quick vote in support of working on writing.

I've noticed certain things have accelerated my learning, and writing (along with reading) has been one. It forces me to organize correctly and highlights every mistake in particle use, word order, and grammar.

Like the others, though, I wish you best of luck on your journey!
 
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I would be able to teach you how to speak (not write) English traditionally, by conversation
Teach me? I'm a native English speaker.

Traditionally, by conversation? Once again, I see a slightly askew way of expressing yourself here. Do you realize just how many eikaiwa there are in Japan, not to mention independent private lesson teachers, all of whom give lessons on how to speak English?

Also, as far as yourself "picking up" the spoken language, that's really not so hard to do if you don't mind making mistakes. But keep in mind that there are levels of politeness that need to be heeded depending on the audience one has. They require distinct differences in wording and grammar. Granted, we foreigners are often excused for mistakes because the Japanese generally consider their own language virtually impossible for an outsider to learn, but if you are a serious learner, you will not want to make many mistakes, or at least know when you should switch politeness.
 
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@Glenski Thank you for your comment. I think there may have been a slight fault in communication. I don't intend to teach you personally, my aim is to teach the mutual learner how to speak through general conversation. Also, I value your advice and certainly heed it. I live in London and there are multitudes of people from other nations that come here to learn English & pick it up reasonably quick, solely by conversing with natives. I was hoping to take a similar approach. In your opinion, what time period would you start to see efficiency? (acknowledging that each individual has an independent learning speed). Much love.
 

Mike Cash

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If you asked some of that multitude, you would likely find that most of them were introduced to English in school and aren't total beginners, that many are in school now studying English, and that many learn English with the added stimulus of their ability to earn their next meal depending on it.

You have none of those going for you. Get yourself into a proper class or at least get yourself a proper textbook. Language exchanges, while all warm-n-fuzzy and seemingly a fantastic idea, seldom work out well and aren't a terribly productive or efficient use of your time or of much benefit to the rank beginner.

Sincerity and zeal are no substitute for competence and experience.
 
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Most things which look effortless are the result of a hell of a lot of hard work over a really long period of time.

What I've learned from language exchanges is that they tend to be a really good way to practice the same conversations with the same errors I made at the last language exchange, and the one before that, and the one before that, ad infinitum. Until someday I can get really, incredibly good at making those particular errors when I have that particular conversation.
 

mdchachi

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Assuming you aren't doing aimless conversation but directing it efficiently (such as by following the lesson plans of Genki or another textbook series), you should be able to achieve a basic level of proficiency in about 500 hours. Of course you can learn the most high priority sentence patterns such as 生ビールください in much less time than that.
 
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Assuming you aren't doing aimless conversation but directing it efficiently (such as by following the lesson plans of Genki or another textbook series), you should be able to achieve a basic level of proficiency in about 500 hours. Of course you can learn the most high priority sentence patterns such as 生ビールください in much less time than that.
And what number of hours to be able to access the philosophical musings and teachings of a zen master?
 
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@Mike Cash @WonkoTheSane @mdchachi Thanks again guys for your input. I will look into taking lessons locally as an initial beginning to my journey. Judging by the comments above it may save me some time with errors and generally be the better choice. I will keep an update and let you guys know how it pans out. Much love
 
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