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gregg block
01-01-2009, 09:48 AM
Been studying Japanese for a while now. I enjoy the language. Problem is outside of limited usage in the dojo, not many opportunities to engage in discussions to practice fluency.
Does anyone know of any sites that have capability to engage in live audio chat in Japanese? Or even to just listen to native speech. Any suggestions/experiences.

01-01-2009, 10:55 AM
I'd suggest going to your local neighborhood Asian area of town, finding a sushi/Japanese bar and frequent it and meet a "exchange student". Japanese are in the same boat as you- Since WWII, they have to study English all thru school, but have very little opportunity to practice it, so it should be pretty easy to meet an "exchange student"- one who'd let you practice your Japanese in exchange for them to practice their English.

01-01-2009, 12:01 PM
I'd put up flyers at the colleges in town (you have Lehigh and Moravian in town, I think) for language exchange partners. As GeneC noted, I've found that grad students especially are anxious to improve their English (and happy to make new friends). To listen to native speech you can download Japanese soap operas ('doramas') from the internet. They're cute, and the language is current (anime and some movie genres have weird characteristic language that you might not want to practise). As far the internet is concerned, the only live chat in Japanese that I know of is on gaming sites, but again, it's not stuff to practise. I think that t.v. dramas and language exchange partners are probably the best way to go until you can practise in Japan.

Good Luck!

Bob Blackburn
01-02-2009, 08:22 AM
http://www.livemocha.com/ is a good site for finding practice partners. Both written and spoken.