Every time I met someone new (not necessarily non-Japanese, I mean, anyone), I immediately started to be getting nervous.
I was losing eye contact, sweating a lot, my heart was beating faster and faster. Basically, my mind went blank very soon.
After just a few minutes, an awkward disgusting silence was there. My mouth completely shut down. Both parties left with feeling weird s**t in the end.
This happened to me all the time when I talk with someone, again, not just non-Japanese, but also native Japanese who I’m supposed to freely speak with my mother tongue.
That’s why I ended up being antisocial guy in my entire childhood. I couldn’t talk with anyone properly not being able to have a conversation more than 5 minutes.
Now, what if I told you such a Japanese guy who was no communication skill at all became the guy who can have awesome conversation with anyone, not only Japanese, but also foreigners in English.
You’re gonna see in the below video it is actually possible.
■Stop translating in your mind!
I think when you talk with somebody, most people rethink again in head before they actually say loud out.
“Is it OK if I say this? Would I look cool?"
Subconsciously, you try to filter what you’re about to say in your brain like re-review.
Understandable. Because you don’t wanna be rude or weird, especially when you talk with someone new for the first time. You try to impress the person as much as you can.
But, the filtering process in your brain is the biggest reason to make you run out of things to say.
And to make it worse, when you speak second language, the filtering process become twice, which means it’s more difficult for you to actually say loud.
Let’s say you want to say “thanks” in Japanese.
If you try to translate English into Japanese, your mind has to stop temporarily in order to process the word. The longer words or sentence you translate in you head, the more time your brain has to stop in the middle of the conversation.
Guess what’s gonna happen in the end. Your mind completely goes blank because there are too many things going on in head so that you can’t handle properly anything.
■Speak the secondlanguage just as it is!
Different Language Barriers, for example, English and Japanese are not corresponded each other. You can substitute by similar word, but can’t tell the real nuance in detail perfectly.
On top of that, translating is just annoying. It’s very stressful, confusing, and time-consuming. When I make English substitute in my YouTube channel, I strongly feel so. I really wish I didn’t have to do that.
So, in my opinion, translating is meaningless. You definitely should stop during conversation.
I want you to speak the second language just as it is instead. I mean, when you speak Japanese, for example, you speak like a Japanese person.
Do you think Japanese people translate English words into Japanese ones in head when they speak? Of course not.
When we want to say “ありがとう”, we simply say the word “ありがとう” as it is, just like American people say loud "Thank you” as it is. There is no translation at all in your mind.
Therefore, you feel much more comfortable when you talk with someone, because you can speak instantly with no process time in your head.
So my suggestion is, when you speak Japanese, speaking Japanese immediately when whatever word comes up in your mind. Don’t give yourself the time to translate. You have to speak immediately.
Doing this, as you can guess, you’re more likely to make mistakes. Grammer and pronunciation mistake happens more often, because you don’t check what you’re about to say before you actually say loud.
And maybe some people think you’re awkward, weird, rude or whatever, and you feel so embarrassed to make mistakes. I get that. I used to feel like I’m a childish or less vocabulary person, which made me feel uncomfortable a lot.
But, the time you’re making mistakes is the most important to improve a new language.
Because you never realize what’s wrong until you actually make mistakes. As discovering many mistakes you didn’t notice, your language skill is definitely improving more and more.
So, let’s make mistake as much as you can, as faster as you can. That’s the best way to improve a new language.
Remember, the more you speak Japanese, the more chance you can get Japanese friends, the more chance you can find your love in Japan!
Hi! My name is Nobita, a native Japanese guy.I'm a Web Designer in Japan. I have a YouTube channel, "Find Your Love in Japan" to show "real" Japanese people for you.