I found that all successful language learners (like Benny of FI3M, Olly of IWTYAL, Timothy of Polyglotpal, and many other wondeful polyglots!!) learn languages by theirselves. They inspired me a lot, and made me notice that I also love languages. The most impressive word they gave me was:
Languages cannot to be taught, they can only be learnt.
So, if you're going to start learning Japanese or any other languages but you can't find appropreate classes near your house, don't feel disappointed. It's OK, you can learn it by yourself! :)
Before Language Exchange
Simultaneously, I subscribed some Youtube channels which provide free lessons for beginners. I recommend Yangyang's lessons if you also want to start learning Chinese. ;)
I listened to an audio phrase book before sleep, and while sleeping. It helped me a lot to get used to the rythm of Chinese language. You know, it's really important to know how it sounds because Chinese is a "tone language". "Ma" with high pitched voice and "Ma" with low pitched voice have totally different meanings!
I found a website that you can download free audio files. I downloaded Persian from this website by the way. It's pretty nice. :)
→ 50 Languages
Japanese language is not so severe about pronunciation compared to Chinese, though some words are bit hard for foreigners to distinguish. (おばさん/obasan/ and おばあさん/obaasan/ are the totally different words!)
Found a Language Exchange Partner
You have to speak it if you want to be able to speak a language. It's true. Though I listened to the audio files almost everyday, my pronunciation was awfully terrible. I tried to speak the words I learnt but it always didn't make sense to my language exchange partner. She was patient and severe (in a good way!), so that I could train myself to improve my pronunciation.
If you want to learn a language by yourself, it'd be better to have someone who lets you output what you've learnt and corrects it. I've heard a lot of Japanese people say "I'll find someone to talk with... after I became good enough to speak". That's why they still can't speak it, and they'd never became "good enough". You know what I mean?
The First Step For Language Exchange
→ Self introduction in Japanese
OK, then what should I talk though I don't have enough words in my vocabulary? Well, in my case, I tried to use the words and phrases that I learnt from a book or a Youtube lesson. So my "input" was always for "output". I mean, I was always thinking what to talk by using those new words when I study.
I tried to speak in Chinese as much as possible. It is my policy not to use English even if it takes a long time to tell her what I want to say. The more I struggle with, the more unforgettable it becomes. I hardly forget the words I learnt in that situation. (I never forget the word "towel" in Chinese!)
Here's some Japanese phrases for the first step language exchange! :)
→ Basic phrases for language exchange
→ Basic phrases for language exchange (2)
Start Practice Writing
Fortunately, I had more than one partner, so I could practice speaking same things more than once. :)
Here's the post I wrote about Lang-8 and how to type Japanese on your laptop.
→ How to type Japanese
How It Went?
Now I still keep in touch with these language exchange partners. They're my best friends!
Well, that's all for today! I want to know how you study languages. :)
Please let me know by leaving a comment!
*Japanese Word of the Day*
/gengo-koukan no paatonaa boshuu-chuu/
Looking for a language exchange partner!
*言語（げんご）/gengo/ a language
→ 交換する/koukan suru/ to exchange
/pointo wo keihin to koukan shita/
I redeemed my points for some rewards.
*ポイント（ぽいんと） /pointo/ a point
*景品（けいひん）/keihin/ a reward
*パートナー（ぱーとなー）/paatonaa/ a partner
*募集（ぼしゅう）/boshuu/ an invitation, an advertisement, a recruitment
→ 募集する /boshuu suru/ to recruit, to look for
→ 募集中（ぼしゅうちゅう）/boshuu chuu/ now hiring, looking for
/koibito boshuu-chuu desu/
I'm available. I'm looking for a girlfriend/boyfriend.