How to make a Japanese friend or find an opportunity to practice the Japanese language?

Hi! I am Mayo. I am 25 year old Japanese.

Many Indian people have asked me “how to make Japanese friends?” “how to How to find an opportunity to practice Japanese language?”. Today, I want to give you some suggestions to find Japanese friends who can practice the Japanese language with you.

Language Exchange platform

Language Exchange platform is the platform where people can find the language exchange partner.
You can find Japanese people who want to study English or Hindi.

On the platform, you will find many Japanese people. However, very few people want to study Hindi or other Indian languages. Most Japanese people want to learn English. Therefore, it would be difficult to find a partner if you cannot speak American or British accent English. If you are not great at English, you should try to be a good teacher who speaks English slowly and teach nicely.

Here are the Language Exchange platforms that Japanese people use.
Registering on those platform is usually free.

My Language Exchange

I used to use this platform when I was a university student. I found a few good language partners. I also met one person face to face in Japan.
To my understanding, this is the most famous platform among Japanese people.

speaky

I recently registered on this platform but as soon as I logged in, I got 25 messages instantly. It means whenever you try to find the Japanese language partner, you will have to compete with 25 foreigners that want to learn the Japanese language. You should maintain the profile very well.

Easy language Exchange

InterPals

Conversation Exchange

Above three language exchange platforms are also known by Japanese people.
I have never used those so there is nothing I can explain. You can try and see which one suits you the best.

Language lesson platform

Language exchange is free but it is time consuming and difficult to find the right partner.
Personally, I prefer to pay a little bit of money to get the qualified teacher.

iTalki

italki is my favorite tool to practice languages.
You can choose the teacher and book the time and date for lesson.

I realized the Japanese lesson by native Japanese is a bit expensive compared to other languages. It starts from 600 Rs./h.

Meet up (in Japan)

Meetup

If you live in Japan or travel in Japan, you can use Meetup app to find the events where you can get to know more people.

Meetup is the event organizing application. You can find events such as Language exchange cafe, drinking together, discussion about movies etc..

I used to use this app when I was a student so that I can be in English speaking environments.

Facebook?Twitter? Instagram?

Facebook

I realize that many Indian people use Facebook to make new friends. They send friend request to strangers. However, most Japanese people use Facebook to share the updates to friends they already know in the real life.

If you want to make new friends on Facebook, I recommend you to maintain your profile very well so that people can understand who you are. Also, sending the brief introduction of your self on the first message could be effective to higher the ratio of approval.

Twitter & Instagram

Twitter and Instagram are not recommended for making friends. Twitter and Instagram accounts are not reliable because less people register as the real name. Facebook is better.

Tips for making friends!

Lastly, I wanna give you some tips to maintain good Japanese relationships with Japanese people.

Try to have a mutually beneficial friendship

I understand that you want to have a Japanese friend to practice Japanese language but if you only think about improving your language, you cannot have a good relationship. You should think about how you can help that Japanese person as well.

This is my experience in India.
I was living in India as a Hindi student. Obviously, I wanted Indian friends that I can speak Hindi with. In Delhi, many Japanese language students(Indians) approached me. One Indian guy asked me to hang out at CP so I went out with him. He only spoke Japanese with me even though I said I was having trouble with finding an opportunity to speak Hindi. I felt very miserable that I was speaking Japanese even in India and not being able to speak Hindi. He didn’t seem to care how I felt. On the street, we encountered his friend and he said: “This is Mayo, she can speak a little bit of Hindi”. I was very miserable and decided not to meet him again.

I was kind of insecure at that time. I spent a lot of money to study Hindi in India so I was under pressure to improve my Hindi. I thought if I hang out with people who speak Japanese, I would be a failure.

What I am trying to say is, if you only pursue your benefit and ignore how your friend feels, that relationship is not going to last long. It is a very normal thing but many language learners (including me) could forget this very easily.

Don’t call Japanese people without an appointment

Facebook has a phone call function. It is easy to call someone.

I guess it is ok to call someone without an advance appointment in India but Japanese people don’t like this in general. It is considered rude or not considerate.

Personally, I hate sudden phone calls because I am usually working on PC. Imagine, you are under pressure to get some work done and get sudden phone calls again and again. It is distracting and annoying. If that person doesn’t stop calling even after I ask to stop, I have no choice but block that person. Many Japanese people feel the same way as I do.

If you want to have a Japanese friend, you should know what is rude and what is ok to do. This is something you can keep in mind in order to have good relationships with Japanese people.

Good luck with learning Japanese!

I hope this article is helpful for you to make Japanese friends and practice Japanese language.

Good luck with your study! See you again soon!