How to be fluent?

Japanese, general discussion on the language
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alx123
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How to be fluent?

Post by alx123 » Fri 11.30.2007 10:45 pm

Hello everyone. I would like to know how to be fluent and when I speak dont stop thinking what to say or what the other said. I cannot really talk japanaese a lot because I only have 2 days a week. and I gonna finish this year in thursday my classes! Nani Wo Shimasu ka!!

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NZJutsu
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RE: How to be fluent?

Post by NZJutsu » Fri 11.30.2007 10:51 pm

Study.

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Miyu-rin
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RE: How to be fluent?

Post by Miyu-rin » Fri 11.30.2007 10:53 pm

^ What he said. 8D

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saraLynne
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RE: How to be fluent?

Post by saraLynne » Fri 11.30.2007 11:00 pm

It's not so much study that will give you fluency, but usage.

I would venture to say that you will never be fluent only working with the language 2 days a week. I work with Japanese a little bit every day and have no grand ideas of actually becoming fluent.

Being fluent is more than just knowing all the grammar and vocabulary. Immersion is the best way, but if you at least had someone to speak with regularly in all Japanese, you might come close.
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NZJutsu
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RE: How to be fluent?

Post by NZJutsu » Fri 11.30.2007 11:09 pm

True, but is listening/speaking practice not study? ;)

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saraLynne
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RE: How to be fluent?

Post by saraLynne » Fri 11.30.2007 11:15 pm

... Listening/speaking practice is decidedly different than -using- the language. Listening and speaking practice implies to me textbook-style practice. Here's a dialogue. Listen to it. Repeat it.

Using the language to buy your groceries, or to tell your friend about a movie... that's not practice, that's real life usage. I use English every day, and I don't consider it "studying" English.

To move toward fluency, I think you have to break beyond that which the term "study" tends to encompass.
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NZJutsu
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RE: How to be fluent?

Post by NZJutsu » Fri 11.30.2007 11:20 pm

Point taken. :D

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alx123
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RE: How to be fluent?

Post by alx123 » Fri 11.30.2007 11:26 pm

The problem is that... I have no one to talk in japanese. I cannot meet japanese speaking friends in here. I havent meet any japanese speaking people in panama(only my teacher).

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saraLynne
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RE: How to be fluent?

Post by saraLynne » Fri 11.30.2007 11:37 pm

I understand your problem, Alx. You may just have to be content with the fact that you won't become fluent. Doesn't mean you should stop learning, though! You may one day find yourself in a position to use it.
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hungryhotei
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RE: How to be fluent?

Post by hungryhotei » Fri 11.30.2007 11:38 pm

Then you will find it very hard to become a fluent speaker. Although having a teacher is something, at least.

The best you can do is polish your reading, writing and listening skills so when you are put in an environment where it is easy to have more natural conversations you can become fluent faster.
天気がいいから、散歩しましょう。

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Hatori
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RE: How to be fluent?

Post by Hatori » Fri 11.30.2007 11:59 pm

Just keep on working hard.
As I'm learning German, it still takes me a minute to figure out what to say. lol So that's why I speak it as much as I can out of class!
~ハトリ~

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Yudan Taiteki
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RE: How to be fluent?

Post by Yudan Taiteki » Sat 12.01.2007 12:34 am

It depends a little bit on what you mean by "fluent".

If you just mean the ability to communicate your meaning through the language, then practice speaking is the only way to do it. If you don't have anyone to talk to that's unfortunate, but as hungryhotei and saraLynne say, there's really not much you can do about that.

If you want to set your goal to be as close to native-speaker speech as possible, it is absolutely essential (for most people) to have somebody correcting your mistakes frequently as you talk.
-Chris Kern

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Mike Cash
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RE: How to be fluent?

Post by Mike Cash » Sat 12.01.2007 4:30 am

Pattern drills until your mind goes numb, and then more pattern drills. Translate absolutely nothing, be it what you plan to say or what you have heard. "Fluency" involves the ability to construct your utterances "on-the-fly". That means you don't decide what you want to say, translate it, construct it, and then start moving it out your mouth. That's a sure-fire way to never achieve fluency. Absolute familiarity with patterns enables you to dive right into speaking without having thought out what you're going to say.
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Wakannai
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RE: How to be fluent?

Post by Wakannai » Sat 12.01.2007 7:15 am

I've found reciting the lines from whatever Japanese TV show I happen to like helps a lot too, then you're not just reciting neutral lines, but mimicking emotions too.

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Yudan Taiteki
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RE: How to be fluent?

Post by Yudan Taiteki » Sat 12.01.2007 9:33 am

Mike speaks the truth. So-called "automaticity" is a very hard goal to achieve, but well worth it. And this isn't really an advanced-level thing -- even basic sentences can be drilled to automaticity. But you probably at least need somebody to practice with for this, I don't know.
-Chris Kern

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