It’s going to be an interview in Japanese Please put the English subtitle if you don’t understand Japanese well. Hi! Today I’m going to interview her on how she became so fluent (in Japanese) or How to study Japanese, and the effective way of studying Japanese! I’m looking forward to it!! How long have you been learning Japanese, Daria chan? Let me think…. Long time ago… I started when I was 16, 17 years old. I seriously studied for about 6 years. I think It’s 6 years. About 6 years. I think everyone wants know how you became so fluent in 6 years. So please tell us!! Yeah… let me think… It’s been 10 years . It’s a long story, but Well first, I studied properly with a teacher and After that I had Japanese friends. I went to Japan. Well I went but It was only 1 month. Not only studying with textbooks and teachers, but I also watched anime and sand different songs. Well I did various things. Like that, Not only proper Japanese, but also experienced practical Japanese and I think those things were very important. That makes sense. For example… the thing I get asked a lot by everyone is Things like “I don’t know how to make Japanese friends” or “I can’t practice because I don’t have Japanese friends” I hear this a lot but How did you talk to Japanese friends or practice Japanese?Daria? When I first started learning Japanese, I was living in Ukraine. In Ukraine, I was studying with a
Ukrainian teacher but There were Japanese people who lived in Ukraine. There was that kind of program and I guess It still exists. Just like American or British people can come to Japan to teach English, Japanese people can teach Japanese in different countries in the world. So some Japanese people were living in Ukraine with that program. People tend to say “There are no Japanese around because I don’t live in Japan” But I had Japanese people in Ukraine and Currently I’m living in a town called Charlotte America, Of course when I moved here, I was’t studying Japanese so much so I didn’t know it but There are Meet-ups for people who are learning Japanese and There are also “Japanese conversation” thing Once a week. And there is a Japanese community. By the way, the other day, I watched another YouTube video In that video, An American person, well he is American but she was born in Japan. Her parents are American and she was born in Japan. And she compared life in America and Japan. The place she live is same town where I live now. It’s Charlotte She was saying like “There is no Japanese and there is no one who speaks in Japanese in Charlotte.” And I was like ” It’s not true” I was so surprised. People might think “It’s not Japan so there is no way I see Japanese people” and they don’t look for Japanese people by themselves きめつける =Assume なるほど。(Make sense) But definitely even in a small town Especially USA, Europe, Australia,Canada, New Zealand, there is a lot of Japanese communities. Recently a lot of Japanese women are getting married with foreigners so They emigrate in other countries and I have heard that Japanese community is getting bigger there. I think there will be a Japanese community even if It’s a small town. So It’s important to have motivation to look for the Japanese community In the case you don’t find it even though you looked for it, For example did you practice talking to yourself as well??, Daria? I would talk to myself, and I think It’s important to say things out loud. Because we understand it but I think most of the case we don’t say it out loud. なれていない。(They are not used to it.) Because they are doing just input and don’t practice doing output. So when It’s a real situation, when they meet Japanese people, So what I do is even if I am not listening anything, when I read a book, I read it out loud. I sometimes read it again and again until I get the fluency right. If you do that, not only your pronunciation gets better, you get used to the flow of the word. And also if you read the vocabulary out loud imagining the scene again and again, You might remember the vocabulary easily. それ わたしもした。 えいごで ほんをよむときに こえにだしながらそれをよんで (Read while saying out loud) スラスラいえるまで れんしゅうしたり、(I would practice Until I can say it smoothly) それは いい れんしゅう ほうほうだよね。(It’s a good practice method, right?) ひとりで できる。(You can do it by yourself) りゅうちょうさ のれんしゅうになるとおもう。(I think It would be a practice of fluency) So first, you find Japanese friends or community. Try to speak Japanese. Not only that, but You make an opportunity to talk in Japanese at home. That last method allows you to be okay with embarrassing mistakes haha At first it’s embarrassing (to make mistakes) So you practice by yourself first and little by little you try to interact with Japanese peple Did you also make Japanese friends online? Have you ever done that? I think I didn’t do that online…. Maybe I was just lucky but I could find Japanese people in Ukraine and US You were lucky!ラッキーだったね！ In my case if there wasn’t any native speakers around me, I practiced with italkie and hellotalk I think there are that kind of method as well. The second question is… Lots of people don’t understand because the speed Japanese people speak is fast, How did you practice listening?? Besides talking with your friends What kind of material did you use for example, Or what kind of Anime, drama did you watch? If there is any thing good, please teach us! Of course at first It’s important to listen to Japanese with Anime, drama, but Saying things out loud would help your listening as well. I have experienced it as well! The word I say every single day, I can hear them! But the word I never said before , I can’t hear well. So in order to train your ear, your listening skill, It’s important to speak as well. つながってる。It’s connected. I’m lucky in terms of studying Japanese My mother tongue is Russian so phonetics=おんせい phonetics is close(Similar) so It’s easy to hear But with English , the sound is completely different (from Japanese) I think It’s surely an important to practice So listen to different type of Japanese and and I guess It’s better to say it out loud. Listen and say it out loud. So we can train listening and speaking together. Also if there is a new vocabulary in the sentence you’re saying out loud, and if you say it again and again, you will memorize it. And you start to hear it. So when you’re doing a listening practice you don’t just listen to it . you say it out from your own mouth and you make your ears get used to it. You mimic the pronunciation and intonation. Great. It’s a great tip and secret! Did you used to watch series and anime a lot? Yeah in my case I watched anime a lot at first but At that time , well It was more than 10 years ago in Ukraine but So they are dubbed anime so It was not so helpful with studying Japanese. After that I watched a lot of Ghibli animation. I guess It’s easier to memorize(Japanese) if you watch what you like. For sure, when we learn a new language, All the practice, grammar, and Kanji are important for sure but The motivation is the most important thing because we have to do this for a long time. If you don’t have motivation, no matter what method we use, we can’t do anything. By the way for our motivation I think we should join some speech contest or essay contest ,etc… I see. You create a goal by yourself. Creating a goal and If you write an essay, you will have to think how to write what you want to say. It will help your motivation and You will remember the vocabulary in an essay very well. In my experience when I wrote an essay I remembered the vocabulary in my essay very well. Yeah I see. because it’s your words. Yeah It’s your words and You will be very nervous and You do your best because It’s very important to you. If you can’t join the speech contest, setting your goal for JLPT like”I will take N2, N3″ will be effective as well. Also imagining what you want to do after you become fluent in Japanese would be good as well! いんさつする( print) You print a photo and study Japanese everyday thinking about your motivation while looking at a photo or picture. Yeah so the motivation is important as well. Okay so your tips would be “If you not only listen but also say things out loud, you will be able to hear more” And build a goal to raise your motivation. The third question is I get asked a lot from my followers and my students how they should memorize vocabulary. How did you memorize vocabulary? Let me think, Flashcards are popular among people who study languages But I can’t. I get sleepy while looking at flashcards. I tried several times but Just to me. Maybe It might be useful to other people. I think using vocabulary is best. So when there is a new word, Using it when speaking to someone would be best for sure but If you there is no Japanese people or other friends(who speak Japanese) Writing something in your diary Write things like “I did this kind of thing ” in Japanese or say them and try to use the new words I think it’s great. What I do often is I write 5 -10 vocabulary I learned in a small notebook and Of course if I’m not sleepy, If I’m sleepy I just fell asleep(right away) but Before I go to bed I write a diary using new vocabulary I memorized. And make them my own words. I think making them your own words is very important Because if you just read the textbook, no matter how many times you read, it doesn’t connect. I think It’s pretty much the same with the grammar! Even if you practice a new grammar in a textbook, It doesn’t connect (You don’t remember) You make your own sentences and think about the information, If you think it on your own, Then the brain will remember it better. When you do not only input but output, you remember it. If you do output, your brain would be like “Yeah Okay It works like that” プロセスする( to process) okay so not only using vocabulary flashcards like Anki, If you learn it you actually use it or write in your diary. So both are output. Saying and writing are output. I think making a habit of doing input and output after that is good. If we do that everyday, we will definitely get better. If you don’t have much motivation, you would be like “I don’t want to do it everyday…” First, look for a Japanese friend in order to become fluent. If you don’t have friends, practice talking to yourself a lot. And the next is.. what was it? When you practice listening, say things out loud( Do shadowing) So you start to hear things. the third thing is the way you memorize the vocabulary is Not only doing input you also do out put like by writing, saying in order to make them your own words. It’s amazing. They are very good tips so please try to use them! Okay then, let’s call it a day!