The Great Search

Ever since I started studying Japanese last year, I have been searching for someone to speak to.  I got spoiled when I learned Spanish, because, where I live, there are restaurants, stores, TV stations and radio stations where Spanish is spoken.  It’s easy to find some conversation practice.

Japanese?  Not so much.

But…finally…I now know a guy who speaks Japanese but wants to improve.  As it turns out, he also speaks Spanish.

We spent some time today hanging out, and it broke down like this:

Japanese grammar instruction

This was mostly me teaching him.  He learned his Japanese experientially – in real life rather than in a class, and he hasn’t used it in a while, so he had some grammar questions.  は versus が, for example.  I told him what little I know, but I have more to learn on that topic.

We also talked about adjectives.  Courtesy of my weekly lesson on Cafetalk, I was ready to talk about those!  I am reviewing Chapters 12 and 13 of みんなの日本語 just to make sure I’m clear before pushing on to 14課.

Mind you, teaching someone else about something is a great way to drive it home in your own mind.

Conversation in Japanese

The part where I learn how much I don’t know!  Great fun, though.

Conversation in Spanish

I still don’t actually remember how we got onto that…I suspect it happened because Spanish is easier for both of us than Japanese is!  It isn’t so much help for learning Japanese, though.

Planning for Next Time

He will likely be headed to Japan fairly soon, so he wants to brush up on skills.  I just want to learn.  I printed out a dialogue from みんなの日本の14課, and, the next time we meet, we’re going to go over the dialogue, each of us reading a part.  Schoolroom stuff?  Yes.  Helpful stuff?  Yes, again.  At least we know we’re reading grammatically correct sentences out loud, right?

I really didn’t think I’d find a conversation partner around these parts, but I finally did.

The I blew his mind with explanations of how い-adjectives work.

Of course, it’s one thing knowing the rules and, as I proved this morning, quite another to apply the rules on the fly as you speak.  I made several mistakes there during my lesson on Cafetalk, but my tutor pointed them out so I could fix them.

Great stuff.

Now if i could find a good Japanese radio station to listen to over the net…I know it’s out there.  I’ll find it.





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