First Skype Lesson

I just finished my first Skype lesson.  There were some Skype issues at first, which was annoying, but those got worked out and the lesson commenced.  My tutor was very nice, very patient, very encouraging and not scary at all.  I got a chance to trot out my little bits of Japanese, answer some questions, ask some questions, and use a distressing amount of English because I had no choice.

The end result?  I’ll be signing up for a new lesson next week with the same tutor.

I was really nervous at the beginning for no good reason at all.  The experience was pleasant and fun from start to finish, and I learned a thing or two.  It was actually exciting to have some one speaking Japanese to me and frustrating not to be able to say what I wanted to say, which is good, as it will motivate me even more.  It was really fun to hear words that I recognized and to be able to answer a question or two, such as “How old are you?” and “What is your job?” ( I admit that I prepared for the second one just in case by looking up a word or two.)

If you want to practice your Japanese, no matter how low your level is, get yourself an online tutor.  I signed up for both Italki and Cafetalk.  Italki sends me a lot of emails, suggesting teachers I might want to sign up with and articles I might want to read.  Cafetalk doesn’t.  I would imagine, however, that the two sites work very similarly, and I have no reason to recommend one over the other.  (Cafetalk did send me emails reminding me 24 hours and 2 hours ahead of time about my lesson.)

I really don’t have anyone to attempt to speak Japanese with where I live, so these online lessons are a great choice for me.  You can get grammar, vocabulary, specific topics, and conversation.  You just have to pick what you want.  And, of course, the instructor was typing things as well as speaking, which was very helpful.   It was really great, and I am already looking forward to the next one.

Here was a sentence that gave me fits during my lesson, but I finally worked it out: (This is in romaji so everyone can follow it as well as possible)

Kono kanji wa takusan no monogateri ga arimasu basically means “There are many stories about this Kanji) with the Kanji in question being 首which means “neck”.  It is scary (kowaii) {not cute! (kawaii)I mixed those up during the lesson} because the kanji shows that they cut through the neck, grabbed the head by the hair and pulled it off to leave the trunk and the neck behind.

Now, the above sentence contained one word I didn’t know (monogateri) and an expression I hadn’t come across yet (takusan no monogateri) and, hearing it coming at me even one word at a time, was tough.  When I finally worked my way through it, my success was greeted with what seemed like totally genuine delight from my tutor.  That will motivate you every time.

If you can’t find someone to speak with in person, check out some of the online site and find yourself someone to talk with online.

Have fun.





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