Alexandra
I am very shy with practicing japanese.

I get quite nervous when i am attempting to practice my Japanese with anyone. Has anyone felt this? 

Does anyone have any tips on how to become more confident in speaking?

Apr 12, 2017 1:11 PM
Comments · 4
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April 13, 2017
Hi, I was exactly the same with my Spanish. I learnt Spanish for a year and never spoke to anyone because I was so nervous. The thing that helped me get over it was travelling around China and whenever someone heard me speak (outside the main cities) they would try and practise with me. A lot of the time their English wouldn't be great but they weren't nervous or embarrassed, they just wanted to practise, and it made me think I should be like that too, so I gave it a go with some Mexican guys I met and they were so encouraging and helpful it really made me realise I had nothing to be nervous about. 

Some things that helped  me get over it were:

Just going for it. If I booked an italki exchange or lesson or started a conversation I would have no choice but to talk to them.

I also found it helped a lot if I prepared things to talk about before. So I arranged to talk about my holiday, or we could each prepare some questions so I knew what would come up and there wouldn't be awkward pauses.  

If you're nervous about just starting conversations you could try paying for a few lessons where you ask your teacher if you can just practise talking. You're paying them, so it's their job to make you feel reassured and comfortable, then you could develop the confidence to try with other people.

I think it's just really important to remind yourself that everyone started somewhere with languages and we're all in the same boat. It's fine to make mistakes when you're talking, it's just good to put yourself out there and practise.
April 12, 2017

Disagree with Benjiro :)

Those feelings of nervousness are natural - you care about doing well, and you want to show respect for the people you're talking to. But there's often much more going on - like your own social anxiety. (What will this person think of me?! Will I make a fool of myself?!) As adults, we often find ways to avoid putting ourselves in situations like this. (We're usually pretty decent at our jobs, etc.) But language learning is different: you're starting near zero, and it's easy to feel like a kid in a world full of grown-ups. 

But that's just how it goes! You're doing a brave thing, trying to learn a new language. If you mess up a word, (which you will!), or if someone gives you a funny look (which they will!) that's to be expected. In fact, you can prepare for that - when you wake up in the morning, remind yourself that you're going to find yourself in some funny situations, and that that's all part of the process. It doesn't mean you've done anything wrong, and you don't have to feel bad or apologetic about it. It's natural! (If you DO feel ashamed, that's okay too - just try not to beat yourself up about it :)

April 13, 2017

Hi Alexandra,

I think as you talk more, you become more confident. I know it's not so easy to start, but talking to someone is essential.

Currently, I'm teaching myself to be a Japanese teacher. So I'm very happy to help you with your Japanese. I can do free conversation or just doing some exercises.

If you're interested in, please let me know:)

April 17, 2017