Problems with my Japanese Language Exchanges

Hey everyone,


Recently I have started to converse and have more Japanese language exchanges because I want to practice speaking in the language more and build some motivation through actual use of the language.


In terms of language exchanges, I had great sucess in the past with my Spanish language exchanges and I was able to talk with a lot of people and improve my Spanish greatly. However in terms of my Japanese exchanges it has been a lot more difficult.


Usually my partner and I set a time limit for how long we will use each language (English /Japanese) and then we plan a day to talk. However, I have found that whenever we begin talking, my partners would either use only English with me (with a few words of Japanese sprinkled in) or the Japanese part of the conversation lasts only a few minutes while the English part almost dominates the conversation. 


I have tried to keep the conversation in Japanese , which leads my partner to recognize that it is time for the Japanese part and switches back to Japanese. However, before too long they always go back to English or start speaking half Japanese/ half English which gets confusing for me.


I often wish to set strict language rules but I don't want to be rude, since this is causal conversation. 

Is this something anyone has ever experienced when having Japanese/English language exchanges? 

(I am really having trouble with this issue since this never occurred with my Spanish/English language exchanges.)


Any help would be greatly appreciated. 

Dec 1, 2015 12:08 AM
Comments · 12

In my opinion, I think you should tell your partner what you are thinking straightly and that you don't feel satisfied. I think seting rule is not rude as long as your partner is willing to learn and help you. You are helping each other.

If thing can not be better and your partner can't understand it, try to find another one as a last resort.


December 1, 2015

As she started yawning and was about to say goodnight, I reminded her what a language exchange was and that if she wanted to pay me that would be fine.  Plus she needed her ears to hear my painful attempts at the language as I did hers. Finally I advised her that if she was tired, it would be best cancel the exchange or to stop altogether.  All of a sudden the tiredness vanished......lol!

The joke was, she set the time for the exchange....lol!

A few people would have said goodnight and deleted her but I wanted to give it a chance. She's become one of my best contacts.

December 3, 2015

It sounds like very unfair and weird. Of course language exchange should not be that serious, but you definitely should ask them. In my opinion, language partner should be enthusiastic for teaching his/her language. I'm also doing language exchange and I always ask a lot of question in Japanese so that my partner can improve her Japanese skills.  

If you feel you can't improve your Japanese skills, you may change your partner.


Anyways, 良いlanguage exchangeの経験ができると良いですね!お互い頑張りましょう:)

December 3, 2015


I think what you're describing is common and is not only a Japanese thing.

I had an exchange partner who would get tired when it came to speak in the language I was learning. Let's just say I stopped her doing that..lol!

Do set strict rules and try Japanese first and see what happens. If it continues, then find new partners.

Let us know how it goes.

@ Camilo. Ouch! I'm sorry there are some awful people out there.


December 2, 2015


@Yuki Thanks for the advice, I will also try to see if I find partners who are more enthusiastic about having a language exchange.


@Seth That's a good story and funny too. I am glad that it worked out and it did not turn into a case where you had to let her go.


@Debarun Of course setting up a language exchange takes time. I had to spend a lot of time searching before I was able to talk with others, so don't lose heart!

December 16, 2015
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