Many people have things they want to say in English, but no words come out!
One time, I was throwing an event and someone wanted to ask me 「いつ開催しますか？」 in English. But then what happened?
He was stuck he wanted to say something like the word 「開催」 in English. But he didn’t know the right word.
It’s not just him though. A lot of other people get stuck like this, and even I used to get stuck like this when was studying Japanese.
But why does this happen and how can you fix it? The main reason is that they’re not trying to communicate. They’re trying to turn Japanese into English. They’re focusing on the language and not communication.
They’re trying to take exactly what they say in Japanese and word for word try to say it in English, rather than trying to communicate the idea.
And the truth is, they know a lot more Japanese words than English words. A lot more difficult Japanese words than English words. So when they try to say a difficult Japanese word in English nothing comes up! But remember. English is about communication, not about using words. It’s about sharing your ideas with someone else
And you can still do that even if you don’t know many words in English. To do that you can follow a simple trick I learned. I call it “The Three Simples” Simple words, Simple sentences, Simple grammar.
The thing is, words are just abbreviations. They are short ways to say something that is very complicated. Has there been a time when you forgot a word in Japanese, too? In that situation, what do you do? You normally try to explain the words in simple sentences.
And you can do the same thing when you speak in English.
About two years ago I was in Japan during the 梅雨 season, and it was so hot!
I was staying with my friend at the time and I wanted him to turn on the fan, but I didn’t know the way to say “fan” in Japanese.
If I was focusing on speaking English, I could have said <Japanese Phrase>.
I could have said that, but my goal was not to speak Japanese perfectly. It was to communicate an idea with someone. So instead I said something like <Japanese Phrase> . What was the result?
My friend knew exactly what I was talking about and he turned on the fan for me. And you can do the same thing when you’re trying to speak English.
When you want to say something and it’s a little bit difficult for you, just ask yourself this question:
It’ll help you think in a simpler way, and make it easier for you to say a lot of things in English.
“But wait, Arthur, doesn’t this sound strange?” The best part about this trick is that it sounds completely natural. Remember. Native speakers also sometimes forget how to say things. But they don’t stop there. They try to explain it in simpler words, so that the other person can understand.
Remember. Your goal is not to speak perfect, complex English like a native speaker. Your goal is to communicate ideas with them. And as you practice this skill, your speaking is going to get better and better and better, and you’re going to learn more new words. And soon, you’ll be able to speak smoothly and naturally.
By the way, my friend who wanted to say 「開催する」in English, he could have just said something simply like “When will you do the event?” or “When will you open the event? Pretty simple, right?
Remember. When you’re trying to speak in English, the best thing to focus on is the “Three Simples.” Simple words, Simple sentences, Simple grammar.
Did you like this video? Do you want to learn more ways to communicate naturally, smoothly with foreigners in English?
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Is it good? I learned that trick from Yukimi. Thank you!