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Speaking fluent Japanese?


27 Feb 2003
Hajimemashite minnasan!

Hello everyone! I'm Naomi. I study Japanese and am wondering whether anyone has any tips on speaking Japanese fluently.
From what I gather one of the best ways is to go to Japan and study, but I don't have the resources to do that right now. I'm wondering if there is any other way? I've joined a club which speaks Japanese, but it 's only on every month.
I guess what I'm having trouble with the most is being able to put lots of sentence structures in one sentence. In school we are expected to do that if we want to get good marks. Also being able to speak spontaneously is difficult. The latter, I guess improves with practice? School doesn't really teach colloquial Japanese, but that's something I'm interested in learning. Thanks for any help you can provide. :)

PS. If i say anything wrong in Japanese, could someone please correct me?
Hajimemashite, Naomi san!
Since I am native Japanese speaker, I can't give you advice for learing Japanese langauge, but if you want to speak more Japanese with someone who knows the language, I will reccomend this online chat: www.paltalk.com!
You will meet Japanese people who are studying English and people studying Japanese like you!
I like going there some time and help them learning.
It's really fun! 👍
I've found home-made flash cards to be especially helpful, both for getting a decent mastery of vocabulary under your belt as well as for making simple sentence structures. When I first started out, I would write down new vocabulary lists of say, five to ten or so different words each day from either my dictionary or had picked up in overhearing conversation and then make them into flash cards. Next, I would set forth trying to commit them to memory as best as possible. It's best if you use common and frequently used vocabulary (whether they be particles, words, or even simple expressions) early on I think. Eventually through sheer repetition and constant practice you'll find that your retention level tends to be pretty high.

The next step is to then form simple phrases and sentence structures. Using your home-made flash cards, you can lay them out in front of you and arrange them in such a manner as to make any number of sentences. Besides, being cheap, easy, and something you can do yourself (all it takes is a marker and the actual cards--i've found regular index cards to work well btw) they actually do work relatively well as a learning tool.

If you want to complicate things even further, they can also be a rudimentary tool for learning how to identify the appropriate kanji (simply have it on the back of the card). Just some simple suggestions, hope it helps. You might be surprised how easy it is to learn hundreds of new vocabulary/phrases in a relatively short amount of time. After that, the next logical progression would be to polish and hone your mechanics. It always helps to have a friend with you who expresses a similar interest as well, so you can correct each other's pronunciation as well as practice or quiz each other whenever you feel like it.
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