I checked out four new language exchange apps and sites and sent out dozens of messages to people. The end result of all of that was two responses, both from the same site Conversation Exchange. All of the others were a bust. So, now I have three total language exchange partners, which is great. Unfortunately, all the meetings are on weekends, but the 13 hour time difference between Japan and where I live makes weekday talks unappealing, since somebody has to be up early or late.
One of my language exchange partners said to me, “You are doing well. You can make yourself understood in Japanese.” I’ll take that for now.
I have fallen back on one of my favorite e-books: Human Japanese for some grammar help. Human Japanese has the best and clearest grammar explanations I’ve ever encountered anywhere, and I’m still amazed at how little it costs. Both the beginner and intermediate books are fixtures on my tablet and, when I’m stuck on some grammar point, that’s one of the first places I look.
The grammar this week is actually pretty interesting, because one of the points covered is comparatives. That is, how to say this is better than that or this is taller than that or this is more fun than that, and so on using より…ほうが and four or five other grammar points which I’ll get to this week.
One of the important things about learning a new language is to use it as much as possible, as soon as possible. Even if you’ve only been studying Japanese for a month or two, you can have a basic conversation, right? You probably know はじめました and げんきですか and a few other useful things that will let you talk.
Use the language as much as possible and as often as possible, and listen to the language as much as possible and as often as possible.
Yes, your language exchange partner may well say something you don’t understand. So, that’s we have 分かりません and も一度お願いします and ゆっくりお願いします. Hey, even saying “I don’t understand” or “Could you say that again, please?” or “Could speak slower, please?” is using Japanese and is a good thing!
Anyway, I have some homework waiting for me.