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How do I find a Japanese-speaking flatmate in a place where it is not frequently spoken? (say Sydney, Australia, but totally as a hypothetical example, because I don't want to be seen as spamming)

Do Japanese speakers typically use the internet for searching for accommodation, or do they use other means as well, such as printed Japanese language newspapers, advertising on notice boards in shopping centres, or word of mouth?

What are the most commonly used websites for accommodation? What are the most popular equivalents of easyroommate.com (dedicated to shared accommodation), and gumtree and craigslist (general purpose, but have substantive sections for accommodation)? (I'm asking here, rather than just typing クラシファイド or 売ります買います into google, because I don't know whether the first hits are the most popular, or whether it's just search engine optimization).

Also, for people from countries near Japan, such as South Korea, Taiwan and China, who have learnt enough English to live in an English-speaking country, how common is it that they know enough Japanese to be a useful language exchange partner for a beginner?

I checked whether Resources for learning Japanese has any information on this topic, and it doesn't. If my questions are better answered in chat, I'm fine with that as well. I'll also keep in mind not to assume that everyone looking for accommodation is interested in language exchange.

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    クラシファイド is not a (common) Japanese word. – user458 Jul 8 '12 at 16:31
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If you have a significant enough immigrant/expat population in an area, you will find free magazines aimed at that population. For example in London there's TNT (New Zealand/Australian/South African), and there's also at least one Japanese equivalent that I sometimes see at restaurants/food stores in London when I'm there (I think this one.) The hard copy ones usually have classifieds in the back.

If you look at this which has a few suggestions of where to search, the links they give all look like similar things - news/info sites aimed at Japanese expats in Australia which also have a classified section.

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  • For looking for places to live, people usually follow the custom in the local area. If there are bulletin boards in the community where people put flyers, the people will look at that. If there is an off campus housing section on the university website, then people will look at that. There is nothing special about Japanese people with that. (However, in case of Chinese people, if you take two random Chinese people in the same local area, in most cases, there is a link of personal connections that you can follow from one to the other, which means that if you come to know a single Chinese person and ask in person to spread something, it will be advertised to the whole Chinese community in the area).

  • Among the East Asian countries, (or actually all foreign countries), Taiwan is the most likely that a randomly picked person will be able to speak Japanese.

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