Resources to practice speaking?

Any favorite sites/apps/etc. to help practice speaking? I’ve done some of the conversation partner apps, and that definitely helps, but I’d also love to have something that I can practice with solo and on my own schedule. Even just a simple audio chatbot would be amazing, but I couldn’t find much.

Shadowing is helpful, but my weak point is in recalling vocab and grammar in the moment. I made a tiny app that contains a bunch of simple prompts, and that in itself has been really helpful, but I need more variety.

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Online games might be a useful place to try speaking on your own schedule, though I can’t guarantee the quality of the conversation. The other thing that comes to mind is discord. It’s not necessarily spoken but at least in english the text based conversations seem fairly high paced and colloquial so I assume the same would be true of japanese.

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for speaking. either go to japan and there go to nomikais.

if you aint in japan italki is your best bet period

Do people just come up to you and talk to you?

Nope. I’ve had a random guy on the street once, and he spoke great English, and just wanted to know where I was from out of curiosity. And I’ve chatted to people at concerts, because they’re usually a little interested in why a foreigner in their 20s is interested in enka. Typically, nobody goes out of their way to speak to you though.

Speaking is by far my lowest skill and I’ve been here a year now. I’m not a nomikai kinda guy, so I can’t really use that as a break-in point. I’m actually joining iTalki purely so I can start getting somewhere.

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iTalki is great. If you just want conversation practice, the community teachers are nearly half the price of professional teachers.

If you’re interested in shadowing, there’s a book called Let’s Speak Japanese that can really help you practice on your own.

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I had my first trial lesson last night and really enjoyed it, so it’s definitely something I’m going to keep going with. It was a bit surprising realising I spent the entire time speaking Japanese, so I think it’ll help me over a mental hurdle, haha.

I have Let’s Speak Japanese, but I definitely need more practice in actually thinking on the spot and responding in conversation. I need to be more disciplined with learning from it too.

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I used that book too much never finished it. I got maybe halfway through it. I took if off my bookshelf and said I would read it again…but haven’t done that. Have you found it beneficial for you?

Not super a lot but I like to use it to warm up for my iTalki lessons!

With that said, I have found that owners of tiny restaurants often like to speak to their foreign customers, especially when there aren’t so many people around (I often take my lunch at 1:30 PM). Maybe I’ve just been lucky :slight_smile:

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A casual virtual Japanese class that I’m attending every Saturday might be a decent resource to practice speaking Japanese with native speakers.

If you want less structure without having to follow Genki textbook, on Fridays at the same place has a Japanese & English language exchange, in the form of Shiritori.

Other than that, there are tons of Japanese owned places in Second Life that operate on different days (not all have Voice chat enabled though) but since my Japanese is still basic, I haven’t done the deep dive to crash their events yet. Perhaps someday I’ll work up some courage to do so :grin:

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