being fluent in japanese (38)

1 Name: Anonymous Enthusiast : 2007-05-21 22:24 ID:UcDybDdI

i am a college student currently studying japanese. i never had any interest in the language before, but it just seemed so interesting one day while i was looking at this japanese drama on youtube that i started getting more and more into it.

i have been studying for three semesters, and i guess because i am just so driven in learning the language, i am one of the best students in class in terms of performance. but i know i am nowhere to be fluent.

my question is, how do people speak it so fluently and quickly? of course the japanese people speak it well because it's their language, but whenever i'm listening to people speaking japanese, they speak so fast that it seems crazy they don't even need one second to think about it!

i know practicing with native speakers improves the language drastically, but... i just don't understand how people can do it so well!

even when i listen to tapes of japanese lessons, they speak so quick, and i can't catch up!

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3 Name: Anonymous Enthusiast : 2007-05-22 00:01 ID:adniEk9y

how do you run on unfamiliar terrain without thinking about it?

4 Name: Anonymous Enthusiast : 2007-05-22 15:29 ID:G2BEmarc

practice bro!!
that's the only way that i can suggest

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8 Name: Anonymous Enthusiast : 2007-05-25 21:07 ID:Heaven

>>1 If you are an American, you will never be able to master Japanese, period.

9 Name: Anonymous Enthusiast : 2007-05-26 04:20 ID:WZVx2E/s

Nope, I know an American who is a translator for his career in for Japanese to English, has a Japanese wife, lived there for something like 10 years and he is completely fluent.

10 Name: Anonymous Enthusiast : 2007-05-26 21:07 ID:Heaven

But they still won't let him into the public bath.

11 Name: Anonymous Enthusiast : 2007-05-28 04:20 ID:PHsk01Up

Some people can latch onto conversational, spoken Japanese really quickly, but then have trouble with writing/reading, sometimes visa/versa. Like anything, it depends on how you learn and where your talents are.

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13 Name: Anonymous Enthusiast : 2007-06-05 01:23 ID:MX/PTiTZ

>>8 I know an american who speaks perfect yamagata-den which is supposedly the hardest japanese dialect to learn

14 Name: Anonymous Enthusiast : 2007-06-07 03:31 ID:zoOsLodp

Fluency is possible. There are gaijin who know more kanji than a Japanese (although this ain't common by any stretch).

How does one actually DEFINE fluency, though? Japanese Language proficiency test level 1 (highest)?

Practicing with native speakers is key.

As we say in J-study land, がんばれ!

15 Name: Anonymous Enthusiast : 2007-06-10 01:31 ID:15pnzz6p

>>10 lol nah they do, just not if you're rude (they seriously do, and they put your name up outside aswell ~in katakana though :P~)

16 Name: Anonymous Enthusiast : 2007-07-17 06:16 ID:dSJA0l8w

participate in a study abroad program. you will find that the experience there (even if it's for only a few weeks) will be very helpful.

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19 Name: Anonymous Enthusiast : 2007-07-21 21:35 ID:uYG46htd

They will if you speak Japanese. Seriously, the myths created about Japan 10 or so years ago are mostly wrong now. The only reason gaijin aren't allowed in things anymore is because they are afraid you will screw things up. But if you speak fluently, all is well.

Keep up the hard work. I have been studying Japanese for the past two years and while I am also no where near fluent I can definitely speak quickly, especially when it's something simple. This may sound stupid, but watch as much Japanese stuff as you can. And pay attention to the way they speak and what they say. Honestly, half of the reason why I can speak with almost no accent is because I say Hokuto no Ken lines to myself at random times during the day. Learning Japanese is just like learning any language, try to immerse yourself in it!

20 Name: Anonymous Enthusiast : 2007-07-22 05:41 ID:qu1zgcQu


Speak Japanese. All the time. Just generally speak Jap whenever possible. Sooner or later it will snap into place.

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22 Name: Anonymous Enthusiast : 2007-07-28 17:43 ID:rfUoQrpg

I've BEEN in a public bath, at a time when I spoke no japanese at all. And I'm the most obvious gaijin you've ever seen.

Agreed. Barrage the senses. Music, TV shows, manga, whatever you can get your hands on. That's what I do, and it definitely helps.

23 Name: Anonymous Enthusiast : 2007-07-30 08:01 ID:SbsItPNP

just practice and use, no shortcut

24 Name: Anonymous Enthusiast : 2007-07-31 02:14 ID:svWDnzZi

Try a daily blog and don't be afraid to make mistakes. Join mixi.

25 Name: Anonymous Enthusiast : 2007-08-01 05:44 ID:D/g8KLxf

Do join Mixi. And use it to get a language exchange harem.

26 Name: Anonymous Enthusiast : 2007-08-01 08:31 ID:AI/himxY

i agreed with the study abroad program...

27 Name: Anonymous Enthusiast : 2007-08-05 11:36 ID:1IIHlJ2I


28 Name: PC Otoko : 2007-08-14 16:39 ID:0abW+9o3

renshu,renshu,renshu...i'm sure you know this means...practice,practice,practice...

29 Name: Anonymous Enthusiast : 2007-08-16 12:50 ID:NFCjczQF

renshu = practice?

wow although i don't know the Japanese language, the sound this word is very similar to the Chinese word, which also means roughly "to study hard!"

also like "denwa", it is! the same as in Chinese, even the pronounciation ;)

30 Name: Anonymous Enthusiast : 2007-08-16 14:26 ID:dNBIxGjt

In case you haven't heard, Japanese is like, what, 80% Chinese vocabulary? So much for originality, Japan.

31 Name: Anonymous Enthusiast : 2007-08-16 15:48 ID:Heaven

>>30 jah, but the Japanese pronounce things differently, usually, and some of the chinese characters that they adopted/stole/borrowed have even developed new and different meanings.

32 Name: Anonymous Enthusiast : 2007-08-17 01:14 ID:Heaven

different but only due to the limited amount of pronounciation for syllables in the japanese language. they're still pretty close imo.

33 Name: Anonymous Enthusiast : 2007-08-17 11:55 ID:1YXUZfAN

But i like the pronounciation of Japanese better than Chinese :)

Because their pronounciation of words, remsembles more languages of the western countries ;)

ROMAJI ftw :))

34 Name: Anonymous Enthusiast : 2007-08-26 19:10 ID:Heaven

Go there.

I was always good at (understanding, writing) English, but I could barely speak it at all. After spending three weeks in an English-speaking country, using the language for work and daily life, something just clicked, and now I don't have any problems at all.

Of course, that was after a lot more than just three semesters. But if you're in college you only have so much time. If you get the opportunity to go there as an exchange student, do it.

35 Name: Anonymous Enthusiast : 2007-08-27 02:18 ID:sUZKTh4W


More like 65%, and T'ang Chinese at that. Kinda like English and Latin, but also French where we've inherited a bunch of medieval middle-French and O'il words like "Fuck" from Fuccant - to stab, that have since disappeared over there, although the French do have "foutre" dunno if it's related.

36 Name: Anonymous Enthusiast : 2007-09-02 02:41 ID:rRbIesSw

to speak fluently you have to live there, or speak it A LOT like constantly. Like >>34 said, just go there. You'll have more fun than you're having at the moment.

37 Name: Anonymous Enthusiast : 2007-10-23 04:04 ID:ve2alWqT

Yeah...Speaking with native or really experienced speakers truly is the key.That's the point...You have to SPEAK.
When you study don't just lock yourself in a room and read for hours and hours like most people tend to do.
Say stuff aloud and practice pronunciation.
Get a pen pal and go for it.
Try Mixi or Skype...language exchange programs
If you make mistakes they'll correct you.After you practice so much in real time you'll start to understand the grammar more and it isn't as hard to
It'll start to become natural for you to speak sentences quicker without even thinking about it.
completely agreed.use whatever you can to practice.

38 Name: Anonymous Enthusiast : 2007-10-23 06:22 ID:ve2alWqT

sorry..I was gonna say
"you'll start to understand the grammar more and it isn't as hard to speak it."

and towards using whatever you can to practice:
yes,unfortunately as much as we all love anime it isn't too smart to learn from it.They tend to over exaggerate words and they sound like squirrels on caffeine.Plus you don't need a hundred ways to say "prepare to die".
I'd recommend using things like TV shows with people speaking in everyday speech and of course music, and manga for reading practice

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