To speak Japanese fluently is usually the ultimate goal of anyone studying the Japanese language. To reach the level where you can speak Japanese fluently can become quite a time consuming challenge. Not because the language is so difficult, but because most of the methods people use to learn or study Japanese are unproductive and too confusing.
In my experience the best foreign speakers of Japanese are usually people who have taken no formal Japanese classes, can’t read or write hiragana or katakana, don’t know any kanji and don’t have a clue about Japanese grammar. They are also usually non-English speakers as well. How are they able to speak the language so well? They are forced to because of there job. Due to their environment or situation they have no option but to speak Japanese.
Why English Teachers Living In Japan Can’t Speak Japanese Fluently
When living in Japan I met hundreds of English teachers who could speak Japanese, but never at a fluent level. They were taking classes, studying for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test, and investing quite a lot of money on text books and audio programs. They studied hard but just couldn’t get to a fluent level. Then occasionally I would met someone from Turkey or India. They would speak the language like a native. Yet, they had taken no classes or purchased little in the way of study material.
These speakers of Japanese wouldn’t learn or study the language in the traditional sense. They wouldn’t spend time learning hiragana or katakana. They certainly wouldn’t learn kanji or study grammar. In fact they would no nothing about the language except they could speak fluently. They would just soak up and use the language from their environment. They learnt the language from example and experience. The fastest and most effective way to study anything, especially a language.
Learn To Speak Japanese Fluently
In order to speak Japanese fluently you need to surround yourself with Japanese speakers and also not speak your native language. If you put yourself in a situation where you are forced to speak the language daily your Japanese will improve in leaps and bounds. If you spend too much time on rules about the language you will become knowledgeable about the structure of language and whatnot, but your speak ability will progress very slowly.
To develop the ability to speak you must observe how Japanese interact and then basically model what you see over and over. You have to become a bit of a actor and become Japanese. Japanese has to become a part or most of your life. Now, the problem is not many of us can just drop what we are doing and fly of to Japan.
So how can you learn to speak Japanese without studying the language?
Surround yourself with as much Japanese as possible. Immerse yourself in real language as much as possible. This means making Japanese friends, getting a Japanese girlfriend or boy friend, watching Japanese television and listening to Japanese radio. You need to listen to Japanese speaking the real thing. Don’t listen to podcasts that are designed to teach you Japanese. There is too much in the way of explanation and unrealistic examples. Most of what is taught is too formalized anyway.
Focus your life on mimicking Japanese. Speak to yourself in Japanese. So now you know what you need to do if you want to speak Japanese fluently. If you follow my advice you end up saving yourself a whole lot of time and money.