Where Can I Talk to Japanese People Online? - How to Find an Online Community to Practice Japanese and Learn Culture
After learning Japanese for over three years in High School, it was an inconvenience for me to try to learn Japanese after graduating. No longer could I take advantage of the Japanese Class setting. However, there was one way I could still progress my Japanese linguistics - online chat rooms!
If you're here to look for an online forum or website where you can converse with other native Japanese speakers, I highly recommend you visit Livemocha.com. This is a website with a layout like Facebook, and has many services like an immersive language learning program (think of Rosetta Stone), community teacher programs, and a whole array of other languages you could participate in.
There's also a very similar alternative to Livemocha - Busuu.com. Busuu.com is better for beginners than Livemocha in my opinion. There are more lessons, more interaction with virtual Japanese computers, and you have free premium access to many features for the first seven days. However, instead of purchasing times with tokens like Livemocha (which can be earned for free by helping English learners), you'll have to purchase a $9 a month plan. It's immensively more helpful however, so it is all up to you.
The online community on both Busuu and Livemocha, however, are the same, and you can take advantage of them equally.
To start, Register for both Websites
Registration is easy. Just fill out the information completely with an accessible email.
If you have a Facebook, log in to Facebook and apply it to your Livemocha and Busuu accounts. Invite your friends too if they want to learn Japanese as well.
Search for Japanese Friends Online
On both websites there are search functions where you can find people to talk to. On the search function, adjust to settings so that the Native Language is Japanese, and the Learning Language is English. You could also have the Native Language as English and the Learning Language as Japanese, but you might not get accurate corrections (although communication is much easier and more fun in my opinion).
Once you find your few friends, feel free to talk to them. Most know at least some English, so feel free to tell them your situation:
"Hello, my name is Jay. I'm trying to learn Japanese. Could you help me?"
Enjoy the Experience!
Use the websites' functions to your advantage to learn additional vocabulary. And remember: use everything you learned and talk to other people! That's the only way to truly learn a new language.