How to be fluent?

Japanese, general discussion on the language
User avatar
Mike Cash
Posts: 2737
Joined: Sun 08.20.2006 3:38 am
Native language: English

RE: How to be fluent?

Post by Mike Cash » Sat 12.01.2007 10:12 am

A practice partner, preferably a native speaker, is of extraordinary benefit. The reason I say a native speaker is preferable is primarily because they can moれ reliably spot errors when their mind has gone as numb from prompting the drills as the learner's mind has gone from doing them.

Pattern drills, substitution drills, combinations of the two.....whatever you can come up with and as much as you can possibly do them. I think too many people blow off doing verbal drills as they see it as being boring, but it really pays off when it comes time for the figurative rubber to meet the road.
Never underestimate my capacity for pettiness.

User avatar
tanuki
Posts: 2302
Joined: Sun 09.25.2005 9:00 pm
Location: South America

RE: How to be fluent?

Post by tanuki » Sat 12.01.2007 11:19 am

Mike Cash wrote:
[...] because they can moれ reliably spot errors [...]
Now that's a weird typo. :)
僕の下手な日本語を直してください。

User avatar
Chris Hart
Posts: 577
Joined: Wed 07.05.2006 3:36 pm
Location: 未確認飛行物体

RE: How to be fluent?

Post by Chris Hart » Sat 12.01.2007 11:27 am

tanuki wrote:
Mike Cash wrote:
[...] because they can moれ reliably spot errors [...]
Now that's a weird typo. :)
Almost looks intentional...
(It would require switching something in IME while typing it in.)
-.. .   -.- -.-. ---.. ..- ..-. ...-


User avatar
Mike Cash
Posts: 2737
Joined: Sun 08.20.2006 3:38 am
Native language: English

RE: How to be fluent?

Post by Mike Cash » Sat 12.01.2007 11:39 am

I'll leave it as it is.

What happened was that I had originally typed "most", then got interrupted by my son to J-Google something for him. When I came back to edit the "most" to "more" I was still in Japanese input mode and didn't even look at the place where I had made the edit.
Never underestimate my capacity for pettiness.

User avatar
Tspoonami
Posts: 837
Joined: Tue 08.22.2006 1:28 pm

RE: How to be fluent?

Post by Tspoonami » Sat 12.01.2007 1:37 pm

Mike Cash wrote:
When I came back to edit the "most" to "more" I was still in Japanese input mode and didn't even look at the place where I had made the edit.
And I thought you were being clever by putting in an intentional error, as you had just said that a fluent, native speaker can more reliably spot errors.
Sometimes I think that I'm afraid of thinking, and that scares me.

NusundaEbi
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat 12.01.2007 10:33 am

RE: How to be fluent?

Post by NusundaEbi » Sat 12.01.2007 1:45 pm

考えないでも話せるならいいんだね。  日本にきて、 ちょっと話せるようになってきたけどその前に英語に訳すのがまだ必要なんだ。 

Sherazard
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat 12.01.2007 2:47 pm

RE: How to be fluent?

Post by Sherazard » Sat 12.01.2007 3:03 pm

(I think this should work in any language lol) I live south of the border from the US... since I was little I watch lots of tv :D but all the cartoons I'd watch we're in English (not to mention all the video games too) cuz those were the only channels that I could see :p... that's how I learned it... that's how lots of people do here (not willingly.. just happens XD)... but I think it helps if you got no one to talk to in japanese :) (maybe?.. I hope my point was understood)
Last edited by Sherazard on Sat 12.01.2007 3:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
SpEaK nO eViL :x
XD

CajunCoder
Posts: 408
Joined: Tue 09.27.2005 4:08 am
Contact:

RE: How to be fluent?

Post by CajunCoder » Sat 12.01.2007 9:15 pm

The answer to your question is quite simple: use it.

If you want to read a book in Japanese fluently, you'll first have to read dozens, even hundreds of books that might seem "too difficult."
If you want to speak fluently, you'll have to experience thousands of conversations purely in Japanese, no matter how clumsy your Japanese might be.

In short, you have use it so much that it becomes second nature. You can't just "study". You certainly can't just study a few days of the week and become fluent. Japanese has to become an integral part of your life - you need to make Japanese friends, have talk to people in Japanese, write to people in Japanese, read books in Japanese, watch Japanese TV shows and dramas, read stupid warnings on random product packagings in Japanese, order a meal in Japanese, think about things to yourself in Japanese, read the news in Japanese, search for things on the internet in Japanese.

Use it. No amount of "studying" will make you magically turn fluent one day. It's a long journey, and there is now clear "finish line" or "light at the end of the tunnel." You simply have to jump in, and re experience life through another language. Eventually, you will reach different levels of "fluent", and your fluency will first be limited only to certain areas, and in certain aspects. But if you use it enough, you might someday become as fluent as a native speaker.

User avatar
alx123
Posts: 20
Joined: Mon 10.08.2007 10:02 pm

RE: How to be fluent?

Post by alx123 » Sat 12.01.2007 9:43 pm

Thanks everyone . I reaylly appreciate it.!

What reading books you would recomend. I not talking about about things like Genki, or Minna no nihongo. Talking about things to read like: manga, books, ect... I was thinking manga to improve my reading but I dont know.

User avatar
Yudan Taiteki
Posts: 5609
Joined: Wed 11.01.2006 11:32 pm
Native language: English

RE: How to be fluent?

Post by Yudan Taiteki » Sat 12.01.2007 10:17 pm

How good is your Japanese right now? Have you more or less mastered the material in Genki or Minna no Nihongo? If not, manga and books are above your level.
-Chris Kern

User avatar
alx123
Posts: 20
Joined: Mon 10.08.2007 10:02 pm

RE: How to be fluent?

Post by alx123 » Sat 12.01.2007 10:39 pm

Well... Lets say that I more mastered what I have study in Minna no nihongo. I think that alteast I should understand a kids manga or book.

Wakannai
Posts: 658
Joined: Thu 10.18.2007 6:38 am

RE: How to be fluent?

Post by Wakannai » Sat 12.01.2007 11:01 pm

Unfortunately, that's not how it works at all. Manga are actually harder than a book.

User avatar
alx123
Posts: 20
Joined: Mon 10.08.2007 10:02 pm

RE: How to be fluent?

Post by alx123 » Sat 12.01.2007 11:04 pm

yes? I though manga was easier. Well a children book is fine??

User avatar
Yudan Taiteki
Posts: 5609
Joined: Wed 11.01.2006 11:32 pm
Native language: English

RE: How to be fluent?

Post by Yudan Taiteki » Sat 12.01.2007 11:38 pm

No, even children's books are hard. Even a 6 year old child who is just starting reading has mastered the majority of the grammar in the language, and has a huge vocabulary (in comparison to someone learning Japanese).

I'm not saying you can't use manga or books at all, but if you have not completed a basic course of study (i.e. both volumes of Genki, Minna no Nihongo, etc.) it's unlikely that you will be able to use manga or books as a primary method of study.
-Chris Kern

hungryhotei
Posts: 1067
Joined: Wed 04.12.2006 5:06 am
Native language: English
Location: Germany

RE: How to be fluent?

Post by hungryhotei » Sun 12.02.2007 12:10 am

Wakannai wrote:
Unfortunately, that's not how it works at all. Manga are actually harder than a book.
I didn't really find this. The visual clues in manga really helped by giving lots of additional information, like the attitudes of the people speaking, which really helped me figure out what people were saying when I was lost, and get a better idea when I wasn't sure. Also I think that in many manga it isn't as much of a problem if you don't understand certain sentences or even dialogues as it is in a novel. Manga also had the benefit of having very short chapters and being much shorter overall, which I think is quite important when you are reading very slowly. Of course I was still somewhere at or above JLPT 3 level when I started reading manga.
Last edited by hungryhotei on Sun 12.02.2007 12:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
天気がいいから、散歩しましょう。

Post Reply